February 28, 2024

News from France and the region

Young Jacinta and Joao loved each other. They married a century ago, exactly on September 10, 1921. Eight days later, she died of pneumonia and bronchitis at the age of 18. Joao, 23, went to the funeral in the same suit he wore the previous week to the wedding in Cedar, County Rio Preto. Microscopes could not see viruses when the Spanish flu reached Brazil in 1918. The treatment was based on aspirin. There were no antibiotics to combat the symptoms – fever, cough, runny nose, and body aches. The lung infection was overwhelming. Later, Joao married Rosa, they had 7 children, and I am one of their grandchildren. In the late 1950s, my father harnessed his horse, went into town, comforted the animal, and took a train to Presidente Prudente. In the big city, with my mother, they wandered down the famous Street of “Doctors”, with me on my lap, until they found a pediatrician, who called them a triptych. It was my first vaccination. Whenever I hear stories like this in my family, I am grateful for the advancement of technology and science. I watched on TV with amazement the arrival of man to the moon, and marveled at the advent of the Internet. Science and journalism have a lot in common. One is that when they make mistakes, the solution is not inquisition, censorship, or prison. It’s more science. It’s more press. It’s more of the same craft. This does not happen with fake news producers. They are interested in surfing against it to make money and enjoy naivety and ignorance. It is true that the vaccine against the Corona virus was developed in record time, but this, rather than raising suspicion, should be cause for celebration. There has been a concerted effort by scientists, governments and companies to achieve this result. Human survival was at stake. In the age of speed, everything is developing amazingly. However, ignorant big men hear the sound of a rooster, but they do not know where. Those without a vaccine reject evidence, intelligence, achievements, and human progress. The rejection movement is so hollow that some give up their arms for injections after a flurry of gifts, ice cream, and entry into a brothel. Others, workers of the earth and stubbornness, sow discord, disbelief and despair. They are professionals in fear and destruction. For all that, it bothered me so much to see him in Live do GCN Video by Mayor Alexander, an epidemiologist by training. Confused and restrained at the same time, he pointed to the public health stockpile of vaccines in Franca in slumber waiting for thousands of people. Meanwhile, Europe faces the fourth wave of the epidemic and the world fears the new Omicron strain, the effects of which are still uncertain. More than 600,000 deaths in the country. In the state of São Paulo, the total number of those missing from the vaccine is 4.1 million. When Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis attempted to adopt a hand-washing protocol in Vienna hospitals in the 1840s to reduce maternal mortality, he was demonized by his colleagues. We need a traumatic event like the COVID-19 pandemic to know, in nearly two centuries, the benefits of hand washing. On a journey into the past, what would medieval skeptics say about masks and alcohol gel? No need to exercise your imagination. Here and now, the obscurantists spread their fictitious discourses. They are all around us like viruses of foolishness, insensitivity, and lack of empathy. Stupidity is part of human nature. History repeats itself. Antivirals are loose, irreparable, fools and accomplices. Medicine has taken huge leaps. Penicillin and antibiotics came hand in hand with prevention practices. We have evolved. We reached nearly 8 billion people because race has known how to sustain itself over the centuries and millennia. With so many pestilences, wars, tragedies, and famines, we still manage to renew the ship’s permit every 24 hours on its axis. The third booster dose of the anti-coronavirus vaccine, I’ll take it in a few days, I walk a few blocks to the SUS center in the early hours of the sun. I will be able to hug my parents at Christmas more safely and thank them for their childhood vaccinations. At 65 years old, I am in good health. I didn’t turn into a crocodile. 100 years ago, in the youth of my grandfather, life expectancy in Brazil was only 34 years. He was 40 years old. Getting vaccinated now means much more than just an investment in health and longevity. It is a position to conserve the species.

Wilson Marine Journalist and editor of the portal GCN.