The 46 doctors who signed the letter celebrate the sight of several coronavirus vaccines, but ask for caution. They recall that although mortality decreased in Spain, the number of deaths from coronavirus during the second wave was “as if every day in Spain a plane type Airbus 320 crashed (on the best days) or a Boeing 747 (on the worst days)”.
Through a letter 46 doctors, most responsible units and research groups of the hospitals Vall d’Hebron, Clínic, Del Mar, Sant Pau and primary care, ask for “prudence” before the arrival of vaccines and “the maximum collective rigor” and “sacrifice” to face the third wave of the coronavirus.
Under the title of ‘Seeing the light at the exit of the tunnel but with prudence and with the need of the maximum collective rigor’, doctors celebrate that there are several possible vaccines against the coronavirus that “have shown great efficacy in preventing the disease”, in addition they highlight that they offer “safety and confidence”, but they ask to continue to maintain the measures of social distancing, washing of hands and use of mask to not propagate the virus and above all they ask for prudence.
“We have seen in this second wave of the pandemic that physical distancing measures and the continued use of the mask outside the strictly single-family scope (bubble) are essential to avoid spreading the infection,” they stress. Professionals justify the “significant” improvement in coronavirus mortality in this second wave in which they have “improved knowledge on how to effectively treat the disease”.
“Even so, the number of people who develop the disease is still very high, as well as the patients who develop sequelae after overcoming the infection, and of these we still do not know how they will evolve in the medium and long term”.
In the letter the doctors recall that although mortality in Spain decreased, the number of deaths from coronavirus during the second wave has been “as if every day in Spain a plane type Airbus 320 crashed (on the best days) or a Boeing 747 (the worst days)”.
15% fewer cancer patients have been diagnosed
Professionals also warn that apart from the direct effects of the coronavirus, the pandemic also has indirect consequences on other diseases that are mainly due to the first wave, either have not been diagnosed or have been diagnosed late”.
In this sense, they report that so far this year, and with respect to the same period last year, 15% fewer people have been diagnosed with cancer and 40% fewer first visits for mental health illnesses.
The heart attacks and strokes severity have also increased “as we have not seen for years,” according to the signatories, who attribute this fact to the fear of going to health centers, the denial or underevaluation of symptoms and the fact that “virtually the entire health system will be dedicated to the care of a single disease in order to best overcome the first wave of the pandemic”.
The signatories of the letter believe that most of the activities can be made compatible, maintaining the measures of physical distancing and use of mask, until the pandemic goes down to controllable levels and they see “fundamental” that the population comes to get vaccinated “to get community immunity as soon as possible”.
“Whether we are at the exit of the tunnel will depend on how we face the remaining months in a spirit of sacrifice, fulfilling the measures of physical protection and distancing, social responsibility and adequate vaccination. The number of planes that crash in the coming months will depend on what we do in the coming weeks and during the Christmas holidays, “they conclude.