Stephen Fry has delivered a scathing report on how countries like the US have handled coronavirus.
The 62-year-old British cultural legend narrated a video entitled “Will 60% Get Coronavirus?” which explores how the world should be able to defeat the deadly virus.
These are some of the main points addressed in the video:
It’s inevitable that there will be waves of infections
When it comes to lockdown restrictions, Dr Leung, Dean of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong said:
We must all prepare for several cycles of a ‘suppress and lift’ policy.
This means, Fry says, that it’s highly likely we’ll need to keep the implementation of regular social distancing and school closures in place – in varying degrees of severity – for at least another year.
But it does look like the first wave is the worst spike, if everything goes according to plan.
Misinformation is how Covid-19 spreads more rapidly
Fry warns against misinformation spread through conservative media outlets that are downplaying the seriousness of the virus.
Contrary to their coverage, Covid-19 is “at least 10 to 20 times more deadly” than seasonal flu.
Alarmingly, America is a “hotbed” of conspiracy theories, with at least 50 per cent of citizens believing in at least one.
In the US, fake news is more likely to be shared than real news, so Fry warned Fox News viewers in particular were less informed than people who don’t watch any news at all.
We need radical healthcare reform
Fry believes now is the perfect time for huge healthcare reform across the world because we're all in this together:
Underfunding of the NHS left it highly stretched even before the pandemic. Surely now is the time to transform all of our health systems.
Fry said we need to place "science above politics":
In the war on the virus and with so many lives in the balance, perhaps healthcare will be recognised as a human right. Without it, people are less likely to see a doctor when they have symptoms. And without a diagnosis, less likely to isolate themselves.
This is how Fry thinks we can beat it
In order to beat Covid-19, Fry says least half the world’s population has to become immune – and that can be achieved through already having it and your body building up its own immunity or being inoculated with a vaccine.
A vaccine is likely in around 18 months time and this lengthy time period is to allow extensive testing to make sure it's safe.
He says it's unlikely warmer seasons will help kill off the virus, but it will help slow the spread and “bide time to prepare for the next surge”.
Aggressive and proactive testing is the key to trace the spread, with Fry adding:
Testing is our greatest weapon against the virus. It will also uncover the true death rate, which varies widely.
Unfortunately, countries who succeed in stopping the spread of the virus are likely to be reinfected by other countries.