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GREEK NEWS

Greek Yale Professor: We’re Still in Phase One of Pandemic

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Yale professor Nicholas Christakis is warning the public that the pandemic is still in its first phase. Credit: Ted.com

Yale University Professor of Social and Natural Science Nicholas Christakis warned in an interview on Monday that the pandemic is still raging. “We are not at the ‘beginning of the end’ of the coronavirus pandemic, but near the ‘end of the beginning’,” he told Skai TV.

Professor Christakis predicts that the pandemic will go through three phases — the last one being an impenetrable wall of immunity. But for now, due to the evolving new strains of the virus, we are still in phase one, he says, adding “The immunity target is being pushed further out of reach.

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“With the original strain we could have gotten by with a much smaller percentage, but the virus has become much more infectious,” he explains. “To be safe now, 85% to 90% of the population would have to be vaccinated or infected.”

Professor Christakis, who is also an expert in internal medicine and biomedical engineering, added that the second phase will be about “cleaning up” after the devastation of the pandemic. He likened it to a “tsunami” that “destroys households.”

Professor Christakis on third phase of pandemic

For every Covid-19 pandemic fatality, he noted, there are approximately five patients who survive the disease. But they are left with debilitating damage to their hearts, kidneys or lungs, he added.

The third post-pandemic phase, the professor predicts, should not be expected before 2024. Then, the world will have suffered a great deal more casualties than it would have, if there had been a better “exit strategy.”

“We could be done with this ‘war’ if everyone got the vaccine,” Christakis stated. He compared the pandemic to the end of World War I, when tens of thousands of lives were lost before news of the armistice had spread.

The choice, he said, is between getting the vaccine or getting the disease. “If you get the disease, you have one in a hundred chances of dying. If you get the vaccine, you have less than one in a million chances of dying.”

“Societal changes” at the end of the pandemic

Last March, professor Christakis presented his book on the pandemic, “Apollo’s Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.”

In it, the professor predicted the societal changes which will be inevitably wrought across all societies. These will be the result of lifting the constraints the public has had to accept during lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions.

The pandemic has forced all peoples everywhere to be more inward-turned, more philosophical and religious. This is a trend noted in past health crises, even as recently as the great influenza epidemic of 1918.

Professor Christakis believes that the end of the pandemic will be met with unbridled joy around the world. The public will welcome the lifting of all pandemic-related strictures with celebrations — and serious partying.

In an interview with Greek Reporter in September 2019, professor Christakis talked about his “Human Nature Lab” at Yale University: “My lab is trying to understand the deep origins of human nature. In particular, I am trying to study and understand how natural selection has shaped the kind of things we do with each other.

“We look at our probability or propensity to love each other, or to cooperate with each other, or to spread germs to each other,” he told us. “How does our social interaction shape our risk of infection? All of these things are things that arise because of how people interact with each other.”

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