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A reflection on the SARS-COV-2 Pandemic

In order to study the pandemic, scientists have analyzed infected tissue samples from frozen victims to identify the virus. Due to the extreme virulence of this virus and the possibility of accidentally or intentionally skipping the quarantine, there are controversies in the investigations carried out to date. One of the main conclusions of these studies is that it is not the virus itself that is capable of killing, but rather the cytokine release storm that occurs after infection. The second important conclusion is that this not only occurs in the elderly or immunosuppressed population, but also affects people with younger ages, which until now has been rare in the history of potentially fatal infectious-contagious diseases."

Reading the previous paragraph, we can feel very identified with the current COVID19 pandemic without going back further in time. But unfortunately, reading the text, including its conclusions, is none other than accepting that we have not learned anything in the last 100 years. All of the above referenced was written many decades ago to talk about what had been until the beginning of the 20th century one of the deadliest pandemics that Spain has suffered, the one caused by the influenza A H1N1 virus. More than a century later, tens of thousands of people throughout the world continue to suffer and die from this disease. More than 100 years have passed between that A H1N1 flu and the current COVID19 pandemic, in which we have not been able to provide an effective solution for the former. And instead, we are demanding or pleading with the scientific community to do so with COVID19, just six months after its appearance. And this without talking about all that we have left along the way with the HIV pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of victims behind it, for which we do not have treatment capable of eradicating the infection after almost 40 years since its appearance.   

In the most successful era of medicine, when the greatest challenges in its history have been achieved, we do not stop accumulating new diseases: influenza A, HIV, COVID19. All of them end up being incurable by not being able to eradicate these viruses. This increasing diversity of emerging diseases, attacking different targets of our organism, together with a decreasing genetic and microbial biodiversity of our own species, leaves humanity in a very vulnerable place, on the verge of extinction in the centuries to come.

It is a proven fact that those species that have a greater genetic similarity over the years are more defenseless against the effect of new diseases. These new diseases have the capability to act on a common target for all members of this species, so genetically similar.  

Humanity is constantly in danger and the solution is not the miraculous treatments developed in a few months or years, because the history of medicine does not stop showing us that this is impossible. Neither the miraculous vaccines that we still use against the flu with the sole result of perpetuating the disease over time and history, nor the dozens of treatments that initially appear to be miraculous, have served to eradicate these infections, despite the multi-million dollar investments and profits generated.

Six months after the last great pandemic, we cannot say more than, “Welcome COVID19, you came to stay; and this will inevitably happen, unless humanity comes to understand your purposes much earlier than it did with other diseases that preceded you ”. 

Vicente Navarro is director of research at Start Up Bioithas, located in the Alicante Science Park; head of the infectious diseases unit of the Vinalopó de Elche university hospital ; Principal Investigator of the Mibiopath group of Fisabio and Director of the Human Microbiota Chair at the Catholic University of Murcia . One of the leading experts in the analysis of the relationship between human microbiota and disease.     

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