Star comment: Our scientists have worked miracles

We are learning every day. The ingenuity and skill of our scientists and medical professions seems to know no bounds.

Lydia Newhall, a trainee biomedical scientist (BMS) in pathology, prepares Covid-19 tests for analysis.
Lydia Newhall, a trainee biomedical scientist (BMS) in pathology, prepares Covid-19 tests for analysis.

A disease that crippled our nation, caused chronic difficulty and untold grief is slowly being defeated. New drugs and therapeutics are being discovered that lower the mortality rate and put us in the ascendency.

The good news generated by the Recovery Trial has demonstrated mankind’s ability to rise to challenges that would once have been insurmountable. It is progress indeed.

The difficulties that arise from Covid, of course, are multi-faceted.

We have to update and boost vaccines as the virus mutates, developing a library of suitable treatments that will keep us one step ahead. We also have to develop new and better treatments to improve the prospects of a full recovery.

We have encountered such challenges before in living memory, the case of HIV and AIDS being prescient. Such diseases were once thought to be unbeatable, now they are more easily defeated. The same will inevitably be true of Covid and we owe a considerable debt to those involved in the research programme as they work hard to protect life.

We have come so far since the start of the virus and anyone falling seriously ill now has a better chance of survival than back in March last year.

We will have to learn with Covid just as we have had to learn to live with flu and other infectious disease. But we must always stay ahead of it so that it doesn’t consume our lives again, as it has in the past 18 months.

That will require ongoing financial commitment and the ongoing goodwill of the wider population. The number of anti-vaxxers who impede efforts to unlock might realise the damage they cause, as do those who are offered the vaccine but refuse it on non-medical grounds.

We remain in the biggest post-war challenge of our lives and considerable work is required before the picture improves.

Amid gloomy days, however, we can take hope from the work from our scientists, who have worked miracles.

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