The COVID-19 disadvantage
Bradley Blankenship
A view of Penn Station in New York City, U.S., September 2, 2022. /CFP

A view of Penn Station in New York City, U.S., September 2, 2022. /CFP

Editor's note: Bradley Blankenship is a Prague-based American journalist, political analyst and freelance reporter. The article reflects the author's opinions and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on global public health. The United States, announced a few days ago that life expectancy in the country fell for a second straight year to roughly 76 years – down from a pre-pandemic level of about 79 years. Studies also indicate that years of life lost are dramatic, with an estimated 25 million in 2021 in the United States alone, resulting in untold social costs, such as a rising number of orphans and people with disabilities.  

One of the many dangers of COVID-19 largely ignored by the mainstream Western media is the persisting effects after acute infections with COVID-19. The Financial Times reported on August 30 about the severe health implications of getting infected with COVID-19, even if one does not have continuing symptoms, which includes an increased risk of cardiovascular and neurological diseases. 

But it wasn't just this report that had raised alarms, but the Chief Scientist of the World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Soumya Swaminathan endorsed it with a tweet, saying that we must prepare for "large increases in cardiovascular, neurological and mental health disorders" in the post-COVID-19 era. 

Nevertheless, this report hasn't been circulating in the international media. Instead, many countries, particularly in Western countries, are downplaying COVID-19 while still recording a surge in caseloads and death tolls. But Bloomberg  appears to have celebrated the terrible news by pointing out a "grim silver lining," by arguing that the declining life expectancy in wealthy nations, including the United States, can lower pensions' costs getting paid  out by corporations money in the long run.



Meanwhile, the virus continues to spread, which could have an ominous impact on parts of society, which can include the wealthy and corporations, according to a pre-printed study, "Missing Americans: Early Death in the United States, 1933-2021."

The paper discloses that mortality figures in the U.S. are much higher than in peer countries, especially for the under-65 demographic. The working-age adults have the highest mortality rate when compared to other developed countries. Apparently, America's high mortality rate in this demographic could also be due to factors such as the opioid crisis, gun violence and obesity. But the ongoing worker shortage that happened after the onset of the pandemic seems to have a causal connection. One study by the Brookings Institution found that as many as 4 million people in the U.S. alone could be out of work due to disability from COVID-19. 

Countries affected by the widespread COVID-19 are setting themselves up for a myriad of public health complications, which will also have negative implications on the economy. Western countries, like the United States, have surrendered to COVID-19. It's difficult to implement an effective public health strategy since an effective social network doesn't support it.  

We are only just at the beginning to learn more about the long-term effects of COVID-19 exposure, and the data looks horrible. This further backs up the successful dynamic zero-COVID policies of China, which is safeguarding its citizens' health. China and other countries who are adopting pandemic control measures that could reap some benefits.

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