Second anniversary of Covid-19 in Europe: lessons/learned/new perspectives for a (hopeful) globally vaccinated post covid-19 landscape – Project StayOn

The COVID-19 epidemic first appeared in China and spread rapidly across the globe, taking on the dimensions of a pandemic, surprising people and governments around the world, as there was no preparation for it.

On 24th of January 2020, France became the first European country to confirm cases of COVID-19. This date marks the European anniversary of the two years of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. During these past two years humanity faced enormous and unprecedented challenges. The precious value of our health and ultimately our life itself were compromised. Once more, even though we dealt with pain, fear and anxiety because of the new reality, catalysis of life as we knew it, we managed to bring out our altruism and self-sacrifice while indisputably scientific progress and achievements reached a pick. We can without doubt say that this test taught us, in the harshest way, that the truth is pandemics are extremely dangerous and therefore can become a tangible reality and require readiness, cooperation and solidarity.

Our weapon against this unprecedented threat, however it may evolve, is vaccination. According to Dr. Hans Henry Kluge, Belgian doctor and public health specialist, WHO’s Regional Director for Europe, it is premature to say that the virus’s endemicity will become a reality in 2022. Thanks to vaccination almost half a million lives in Europe have been saved. Vaccines were and are our best strategy for preventing the virus.

What is next? Are we going slowly back to our life as we knew it before the pandemic? Is it safe to say that we learned our lesson?

The conditions we live in are of radical uncertainty so any prognosis would be risky. When a nightmare ends nobody wants to rethink it. The fact is that after standing so close to the end, we all seem eager to live our lives to the fullest of its potential.

It is certain that life after COVID-19 is not the same, we are all different, each for its own reasons and although humanity has been proven to be unable to learn from its experiences many times in the past optimism along with vigilance prevails and in the face of this threat, even upon its upcoming end, we will be a community again. Only when we become a community again can we face such great dangers and challenges as a humanity. The lessons of this current crisis are multifaceted and vary, giving rise to hope for solidarity between states and citizens.

If we all just take a deep breath and realize what we have managed to overcome, we will be able to see something positive coming out of this situation. Despite the fact that millions of lives around the world were lost, once more we survived and we can rebuild what was dismantled. We are fully equipped to create healthier and more humane societies unless we diminish our attitude to do so.

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