Israel has always been at the leading edge of the COVID-19 pandemic, both in the spread of infections, the vaccination phases, the use of antiviral drugs, and thanks to the creation of Enovid NONS viral protector spray. A new spike of coronavirus there could teach the rest of the world that what’s been happening in Israel could be coming their way soon.
No other country has been so much the focus of attention during the short history of the COVID-19 pandemic as Israel. As a trailblazer both in the spread of infections, and how science and governments have been able to contain the spread, Israel set an example. Recent developments in Israel are precursors to what could happen in the rest of the world by the end of 2022.
Why is the world so interested in Israel’s experience with coronavirus?
Several unique features came from Israel’s geographic location, high population density, advanced social medicine infrastructure and population patterns. These made it both a high target for the virus throughout the pandemic, and also an ideal real-life laboratory in which preventative and treatment methods could be developed, tried and rolled out without massive cost.
- Israel has a relatively small population, which lives in high-density in the center of the country. Israel has a population density of nearly 500 per square kilometer, with 93% living in urban areas. For comparison, the population density in the United States is 36 per square kilometer, and 82% of the population is urban. The population density in Western Europe is 181 per square kilometer, and 79% is urban
- Israel has one of the most advanced socialized medicine systems, where all citizens belong to state-backed health funds and are entitled to a basket of consultations, treatments and medications at a very low cost
- Israel is a country advanced in medical research and innovation, with top-ranking universities and pharmaceutical research institutions at the cutting-edge of science.
These combined to make Israel a perfect laboratory for investigating COVID-19, and trialing preventative methods, vaccines and medications. It was the first country in the world to roll out a complete inoculation by the Pfizer vaccine. The government had the vaccination infrastructure in place within weeks. By the end of January 2021, Israel had first-dose vaccinated 55% of the population. In comparison, the USA (next highest on the list) had only vaccinated 12%.
By June 2021, Israel had double-dosed around 70% of the population. It achieved a fourth round on almost all of the eligible population (excluding only young children) by the end of 2021. No other country has yet reached this.
Treatments of patients infected with the virus have effectively reduced mortality sharply. Antiviral medications are widely prescribed as soon as a patient tests positive along with typical symptoms. The Israel-developed preventative spray Enovid is widely used as the first line of defense by vulnerable people (the older population and those with weak immune systems).
What is happening now that’s pointing to the future for the rest of the world?
As charted by the open-source website Out World in Data, a picture is again developing pointing to future trends. At the moment, Israel is experiencing a fivefold increase in the rate of new infections with the virus. Is this just around the corner for the rest of the world?
All through the pandemic, cases and outcomes in Israel are a leading-edge indicator of what would follow in the rest of the developed world, with a general time gap of four to eight weeks. Israeli cases are now spiking dramatically, with daily cases running at nearly five times the levels they were at the beginning of May.
Due to the advanced services made available through the healthcare funds and hospitals, the mortality and ICU rates are well below what is being experienced elsewhere, in spite of the dramatic uptick in new cases.
Along with medical services and drugs, Israelis have benefited from the availability of a protective measure that was developed in the country very early, the Enovid nasal sanitizer. The spray provides up to five hours of protection in the nasal area with excellent efficacy as a prophylactic (more than 99 percent successful in killing COVID viruses in all the known variants so far) and by reducing the viral load, so also decreasing symptoms.
Conclusions to be drawn
Even with high levels of vaccination, there is a strong possibility that the rate of new cases will escalate rapidly in the rest of the western world as summer runs into autumn. It’s never too early to begin taking the necessary preventive measures, and the best place to look to see how to handle this uptick is Israel.