Sunday, 24 October 2021

A look at the coronavirus pandemic in Estonia

It's concerning to see the coronavirus infection rate steadily on the rise again in Estonia. During recent weeks there have been multiple deaths each day and hospitals are feeling the strain of trying to find additional intensive care beds. There still appears to be some resistance towards wearing masks in public and being vaccinated in Estonia despite the success seen in other countries (e.g. Germany). Only 55% of the Estonian population are fully vaccinated yet the vaccine has been freely available for some time now. Whether it's fear, lack of knowledge or ignorance that affects their judgement, the fact of the matter is, vaccination saves lives and significantly reduces the chance of ending up in intensive care if you contract COVID-19. As of today 1,461 people have died in Estonia after contracting the virus, two of the youngest victims were an eleven year-old girl who died in March and a newborn. In the last 24 hours Estonia has lost seven more senior Estonian citizens.

When I visited Estonia in August I was amazed to find the majority of people I passed in shopping centres and restuarants were not wearing masks and adhering to the two metre social distancing rule. People appeared unconcerned that a deadly virus was lurking and did little or nothing to protect themselves. We have been living with this pandemic for almost two years now and have seen the death toll, it's nearing five million worldwide now. The count is updated everyday, country by country, on worldometer: covid live update. Just because we are tired of the situation and the restrictions placed upon our lives, it doesn't mean we should stop being viligant. The virus is still here and until we have reached herd immunity we should all be wearing masks in all indoor areas and keeping a safe distance. 

There are estimated to be 15,510 active cases in Estonia.
Most of the cases are in Harju, Tartu, Pärnu, Viljandi and Võru counties.

Estonia is using the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Janssen vaccines. 
AstraZenca is being used for the over 50s.

It is not get fully known how long immunity lasts after vaccination, there are multiple ways of determining immunity level including but not limited to antibody levels, therefore some experts recommend booster shots.

Why wearing masks is important.

A crisis phone line has been created to answer any coronavirus-related questions and for psychological first aid. The free number to call is 1247 (wíthin Estonia).