The COVID-19 virus hits hard

Deaths in the family as we await vaccine rollout

Narrative: Will Galang | Artwork: Pixton Pro

For certain, it was a nightmare I wish I could wake up out of. In a span of four days, my wife lost her father and one of her brothers. Yes. It was the COVID-19 virus. The respective comorbidity of each family member rendered both basically helpless in their system’s fight against the virus. (My wife and her brother took their father to a hospital for a lingering medical issue, only to find out that the latter was already carrying the coronavirus, hence the transmission — face masks and face shields notwithstanding.)

Now, I’m wondering if things would have been different if my country got the vaccines much, much earlier.

Since the First World gets to corner a huge majority of the coronavirus vaccines market, people like us in the Third World manages with whatever crumbs we could get. The disparity in the global distribution of vaccines will definitely leave poorer countries (like the Philippines) grappling with extreme difficulty in managing the pandemic even before they are able to fully roll out their vaccination programs.

From “Global COVID-19 Vaccine Access: A Snapshot of Inequality”:

High-income countries, representing just a fifth of the global adult population, have purchased more than half of all vaccine doses, resulting in disparities between adult population share and doses purchased for all other country income groups…

The disparity is even more pronounced when looking at the share who could be vaccinated. While enough vaccine doses have been purchased to cover more than 80% of the adult population, high-income countries own enough doses to vaccinate more than twice their populations while LMICs can only cover one-third.

It’s a reality that I am aware of. Something beyond my control.

As if the developed nations are consigning more guaranteed COVID deaths to their developing nations counterpart, attempting to eradicate the virus from their turf first before helping the poorer countries get rid of theirs.

My immediate focus now is caring for my wife — who got hit with the same virus that killed her immediate family members — even as I evaluate my own health to find out what damage the virus has done to my body, if any. I would probably be inconsolable right now if my wife’s COVID infection also resulted in her demise.

We’ll be on close guard for her health. Mine, as well. Although she was cleared of the virus for now, we’ll never really know how it substantially damaged her system.

We can only wait for the vaccination. We have registered for it — that’s all we can do for the time being. The inoculation rollout for the general public starts mid-year. The government prioritized medical personnel, health workers, and those afflicted with certain medical conditions that would make them more susceptible to quickly succumbing to the virus. These priority groups are all currently getting inoculated even as we speak.

(However, I wish slow and painful deaths for those who jump the line just because they can.)

So now, we patiently stay put for our turn. For now, I can only wish no more coronavirus deaths within my immediate circles.

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Will Galang

Will Galang

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WORK: Marketing Communications. | FUN: Coffee with Friends. Movies. Music. FIBA/NBA. Chess. Photography. Social Media. | EXPERTISE: Eat. Sleep.