It has been almost 3 weeks since the whole world went into partial or total lockdown depending on the situation in different countries. However, one thing that remains common between every citizen who is tired of staying at home is the question- when will this end and when can we go out?
Sadly, scientists and governments do not have a definite answer but we are all relying on their efforts to make the cure as soon as possible. After all, earth has dealt with viruses before and we have come out on the top by developing cures, treatments and stronger immune systems. So scientists who previously helped us in fighting the battles are giving hope that we might not have an antidote right now but it will be developed soon and our normal routines would be restored.
One such researcher is the epidemiologist, Larry Brilliant who is on the forefront when it comes to calming the people across the world and asking them to have faith in science. Just like his name suggests, he is an absolutely brilliant scientist himself and assisted the world in getting rid of the smallpox epidemic.
He spoke to a TED audience 14 years ago and informed them about the structure of the future pandemics. His speech was quite ominous as he said, “A billion people would get sick. As many as 165 million people would die. There would be a global re
cession and depression, and the cost to our economy of $1 to $3 trillion would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their jobs and their health care benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”
And we're right where he predicted us to be. However, the news wasn’t all too bad and he is now sharing his expertise with the paramedics working to eradicate this pandemic. Even though the numbers are less than what Brilliant predicted, the curve has still not flattened.
Source: Gulf news
The good news is that he is chairing the board of Ending Pandemics and is hopeful that we might come across the treatment soon. He is trying to contain himself from saying ‘I told you so but the truth remains unchanged because he did tell us that this would happen.
Brilliant also served as the senior technical advisor for the horror movie based on pandemic, Contagion and the storyline surprisingly follows what is happening in the world right now. He has assisted the world in combating flu, polio and blindness but is now 75 years old, so he does not work in the lab anymore.
Team for Wired contacted him via phone and Brilliant had tips to share, given his success with dealing with dangerous diseases in the past. He said, “by slowing it down or flattening it, we're not going to decrease the total number of cases, we're going to postpone many cases until we get a vaccine—which we will because there's nothing in the virology that makes me frightened that we won’t get a vaccine in 12 to 18 months. Eventually, we will get to the epidemiologist gold ring.”
Basically, what he means is that either we wait for our immune systems to become strong enough to deal with the virus on its own or develop a vaccine soon. However, the first option comes at a cost of a lot of fatalities so let’s hope his efforts in chairing the team working to end the pandemic actually get us somewhere and we all get rid of isolation soon.