As per many experts, the 3rd wave of COVID-19 is more or less inevitable. However, its severity and exact timeframe cannot be predicted. Pandemics like COVID-19 tend to exhibit a rising and declining pattern just like sea waves. The journey with COVID-19 gave us a glimpse of these life-threatening waves, each more dangerous than the other.
How different will COVID’s 3rd wave be from the first two covid waves?
The anticipated 3rd wave of COVID-19 is more or less inevitable due to the high levels of circulating virus. As new variants of a virus are natural, the existing variants will make way for new variants which may or may not be more destructive. However, in any case, the best approach to remain on the safe end is to follow the obvious COVID-19 appropriate behavior and vaccination. COVID 1st wave had a generalist approach, similar to a key that can be fitted into many locks, affecting people with low immunity. In the 2nd wave, the virus changed its structure (mutations) to fit better inside the human body. Cases of re-infection were also observed during this ferocious wave.
The new variants of viruses which are seeing in the 3rd wave of covid are of concern represent a much more dangerous picture as they can adapt effortlessly inside the human body. To add to the cause, non-compliance of COVID-19 appropriate behavior creates opportunities for the virus to invade our lives. So, whatever measures we can adopt to lower its transmissibility must be followed religiously. In the anticipated 3rd wave, previous infections and vaccinations will cause adaptive pressure on the virus for new types of changes (mutations) to cause infection as most of the population will become immune to the virus.
What safety measures can be taken to prevent the spread of the anticipated 3rd wave of COVID-19?
Ans: Each wave of COVID-19 came with a different set of challenges. Among other precautionary measures, vaccines can be considered the most potent tool against COVID-19 infections. Therefore, vaccination becomes crucial. Though we do not have concrete data on the protection offered by the various vaccines against the mutant strains, most experts agree that some degree of protection against severe infections exists with these vaccines. Therefore, vaccines can be considered as the most rational way to manage this proposedly upcoming 3rd wave. Also, other measures such as compliance to COVID-19 appropriate behavior, continuous surveillance, and allocation of essential resources along with reliable data altogether can help India tackle the hit of COVID-19 3rd wave if it comes.