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Growing pessimism despite treatment breakthrough

20 July 2020

By Ian Silvera, Account Director

It’s still ultimately out of our control. That is unless you’re one of the boffins in Oxford working on ChAd or, to give the trial Covid-19 vaccine its full name, ‘ChAdOx1 nCoV-19’. You would be forgiven for feeling a renewed sense of hope after medical journal The Lancet published positive findings of tests relating to ChAd today. 

The drug seems to be safe and induces an immune reaction, results from the trial of more than 1,000 people found. There were some side-effects, however, with fevers and headaches taking hold. The researchers countered them with paracetamol. 

It’s positive news, but – and there always seems to be a ‘but’ when it comes to fighting the virus – the development needs to be measured against what needs to happen next, including more trials and more research on whether the vaccine can actually prevent people from becoming ill or lessen their symptoms from the virus. 

The news also comes amid a fresh outbreak in France, with the government now ordering citizens of the republic to wear masks in all enclosed public places and a contract tracing centre in Motherwell facing their own drama.

The US, meanwhile, has seen its own Covid-19 exodus, with millions of people relocating, according to Pew Research. And it is now clear in Australia that public concern about Covid-19 had reached an inflexion point in mid-June, with Newgate Australia’s community sentiment survey (of 1,200 people between Monday 13 July and Wednesday 15 July) recording consecutive weeks of growing pessimism about the spread of the virus, the country’s economy, the need to reopen borders and the appropriateness of Australia's overall response.

The research also revealed that an overwhelming 86% of Australians supported the Melbourne lockdown, while 50% of respondents were ‘extremely’ concerned about the economy. All things considered, then, hope needs to be measured with a dose of the here-and-now reality across the globe.