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IPL in UAE: Nail-biting match

What a nail-biting finish to the match between King XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders (“IPL 2020 in UAE: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by two runs — as it happened”, Gulf News, October 10). Congratulations to Dinesh Karthik for his captain’s knock, setting a reasonable target of 165 and bringing in Sunil Narine during the death overs. Ironically, though KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal once again gave a rollicking century opening partnership, coasting easily to the target. But, they choked at the death to lose another game from a winning position. It seemed as though KL Rahul was overconfident of winning the match hands down. It was a real shocker to see Glen Maxwell, coming to play at the 18th over and failing to live up to his billing. It is really baffling as to why Chris Gayle is warming the benches. Definitely, King XI Punjab deserved to lose for their foolish actions, and all credit to Dinesh Karthik who held on to his nerve to win the match by an inch.

From Mr Vinay Mahadevan

Chennai, India

Coronavirus: Let’s flatten the second wave, too

We love winters, viruses love it more (“Why we should be fine in a second COVID-19 wave”, Gulf News, September 12). The second wave is creeping back and is poised to spread its wings across continents during winter. Countries that have successfully slowed the transmission are experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19. There are two ways of ending this pandemic: Herd immunity from natural infections or vaccination. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the world’s population needs to be immune before herd immunity can work. But, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported on October 5, 2020, that best estimates indicate roughly 10 per cent of people worldwide may have been infected. That means more than 760,000,000 people are likely to have contracted the virus based on a current world population of about 7.6 billion.

Immunity from vaccination is preferable since it would save lives. In most parts of the world, the second wave has already begun, strict measures, including lockdowns, have failed to prevent it. The second wave is likely to be larger than the first, and may spread faster this winter. Other deadly viruses like the seasonal flu are awaiting to launch their weapons on us too. If social distancing and face masks help to prevent the transmission of viruses, the morbidity and mortality might be less. The recent evidence of COVID-19 re-infections and sequelae from past infections is disturbing. Co-infection of COVID-19 with other viral infections like flu will rub salt into the wound. Having two respiratory outbreaks would put enormous strain on the health care system too. While COVID-19 was relatively kinder to children, other viruses could be brutal on them. So the focus during the second wave should be on children and the elderly too. The flu shot will be extremely important and life-saving this season.

Despite the medical advances for over a century after the Spanish flu, we helplessly struggle against COVID-19. That also reminds us that the importance of preventive measures against a future pandemic weighs more than treatment or vaccination trials. We have forced climate change, illegally traded wild animals, and displaced species that have every right to live on earth as we do. We also have overpopulated and destroyed our planet. Unless we fix our hostility with nature, a future pandemic from another zoonotic disease is inevitable.

Until an effective and safe vaccine is licensed, our mitigation strategies will still be social distancing, face masks, and clean hands. In addition to that, getting flu shots will be important this season as it would help to minimise the number of people hospitalised from flu. Hopefully, we have learnt lessons from the first wave and will start behaving responsibly for the sake of humanity. Let’s flatten the second curve too.

Brace for impact: the second wave will be here soon. Protect yourself and your loved ones. Together we will end this pandemic.

From Dr Praveen Sreekanthalal

Abu Dhabi


Irreparable loss

My husband passed away on September 22 after a brief illness. It was so sudden and unexpected that my children and I are in a state of utter shock and disbelief. We are going through a very traumatic time. 'Why us?', is the thought that has been creeping into our minds ever since our family patriarch left for his heavenly abode. But we are beginning to believe that there is a new dawn that we will experience soon. Family and friends have been giving us emotional support, and help has been pouring in from unexpected quarters. It is an irreparable loss for us, and the void created will not be filled. But, then we know that death is inevitable and that if God closes a door, he opens a small window, and we will be able to move on in life.

From Ms Jayashree Kulkarni

Pune, India

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