Fighting for Facts - Eneida Roldan

December 2019 was a watershed moment that the world will never forget. A month that brought large-scale disruption across the globe, in every aspect of our lives, when in Wuhan, China, a novel virus surfaced, Covid 19. A pandemic was upon us with no prior warning or preparation.

The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce recently asked me to moderate a panel on ‘Navigating Covid-19,’ a relevant discussion to be having today as we are not yet in the clear.

Some of my insights are shared below.

Eneida Roldan - Strategic Health Trailblazer

Time Stamps of quotes used: 9:52–15:30, 59:59–60:40, 62:24–63:48

“No country has been spared as of April 2021. Even countries such as Thailand and Vietnam that pride themselves on successfully containing the virus since the pandemic began have had a recent surge of cases. Only a few countries and territories in the south pacific and central Asia have been spared as of September 1, 2021. In the past few months, the globe has travelled the Greek alphabet, alpha, beta, gamma, to reach the deadly delta variant of the virus. The world has watched as our elderly population perished, and now we watch as our children are impacted by the delta variant of Covid-19.

“Fast forward twenty months, the world has seen 221 million-plus confirmed cases, 4.6 million deaths right at home. The United States has seen 41 million-plus confirmed cases and 669,000 total deaths. In our home state of Florida, considered a hot spot, the most current count is of 3.4 million confirmed cases and forty-seven thousand deaths. Even closer to home, in our own county, there have been six hundred and thirty-five thousand confirmed cases and sixty-five hundred death to date.

“The stats are astronomical, the number of resources consumed is exponential and the loss of lives is tragically regrettable. Yet even more regrettable is the fact that even today, as we have more resources to fight this virus, more testing treatments and vaccines, we still have a large number of cases and have not been able to convince the population that vaccines do work.”

I went on to introduce the salient discussion around the impact this has had on businesses and vaccine myths.

“We fight not only the virus, but the myth and misinformation on a non-evidence-based treatment and scare tactics that ultimately impact the health of the population. There is still hesitancy in getting vaccinated. The latest numbers in Florida show that 54% of the population is fully vaccinated, and in Miami-Dade County, the number stands at 68%. This is still not enough to get us to herd immunity, a necessity at this point that may have prevented the impact of what we see today with the delta variant.

“With the sweeping advent of the virus and its mutability, it is hard to stay ahead of the curve. Being infected with the virus is not a short-term affliction. Back in March, we were just learning how to treat this virus. Now we also have patients who are being readmitted to hospitals with severe post-covid syndrome or the symptoms of long-covid.

“We all know that just a few weeks ago, the FDA had already approved the Pfizer vaccine. That has obvious regulatory and social implications in how businesses react. What will this mean for businesses, for this industry, now that the vaccine has been FDA approved?

“There has been a lot of confusion in the nomenclature and usage of the booster shots versus a third dose. Very few individuals use the word third dose, which is the correct usage for what we are doing now with both Pfizer and Moderna. There has been a lot of confusion at the upper levels of the leadership and scientists in our country, arguments about whether the booster is necessary as the booster is for the non-immunocompromised. There are also inputs that this will happen perhaps only through Pfizer as clinical studies have shown that Pfizer reduces the antibody immunity. We are trying to see what that means in comparison to Moderna that can hold immunity for longer.”

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