#WhatsHappeningInMyanmar. “One very reputable public health specialist expects that the population will be decimated by at least 10-15 million by the time Covid is done with Myanmar.” I did not write 10-15 million will die of COVID.
tinyurl.com/4trexsxh. /1
I expect the fallout from the politics of Covid to last 5-8 or even 10 years & be intertwined with legacy of the coup. We will never know how many contracted or died of Covid. Anecdotally, the elderly and people with co-morbidities appear to have been hit hard, as expected. /2
But what had been perfectly healthy young people are also now struggling to breathe, while taking care of their parents and grandparents, with no access to proper healthcare or medicine. /3
As things stand, the population will not be vaccinated against Covid anytime soon, if indeed, ever. As one US professor of medicine and infectious diseases told the Guardian, “Unvaccinated people are basically the cannon fodder of the virus.... /4
....The virus needs people to infect in order to replicate and the more people it has that are vulnerable or susceptible to infection, the more likely it will mutate.” An unvaccinated Myanmar will be one giant Petri dish.
tinyurl.com/mmet82y7. /5
In the meantime, where will those with tuberculosis, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, pneumonia and other lung diseases, and each year’s seasonal flu obtain care, if there is no public health system? /6
Say Covid clears out? Far more of the population will be incapacitated by diseases that might have been treatable, had the politics of Covid not wiped out the health system. Those unnecessarily "incapacitated" count toward the calculation of the decimation wrought by Covid. /7
What about Myanmar’s children who are going unvaccinated for measles, diphtheria, rotavirus, whooping cough, Hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenza type B? UNICEF reported early this month that already 1 million have missed this cycle of immunizations. tinyurl.com/ju48smsw /8
Another 5 million kids have stopped getting Vitamin A supplements to stop infections and blindness. At least 600,000 newborn babies are not receiving essential care. Again, more who are unnecessarily at risk. tinyurl.com/yjcvhu4n /9
The social and economic implications of Covid are as yet unstudied but will be myriad & monumental, but here are just 2 examples.(1)In Myanmar’s typically multigenerational households, grandparents typically leave the formal and informal workforce in their 50s or early 60s. /10
They become childcare providers for their children's new babies. Myanmar has no other safe system for childcare. This allows parents in their prime to bring home the income. Many grandparents will not survive Covid or the lingering damage to their lungs. /11
I would not expect NPT, in a time of political madness & economic crisis, to suddenly offer the work force safe childcare any time soon. Which probably means mothers’ incomes will drop, as they will likely be assigned responsibility for day-to-day childcare. /12
That means lower household incomes. Before Covid, Myanmar’s poverty rate had doubled in rural areas. After, it will continue to rise. Deadly diseases that come with poverty, like childhood diarrhea from lack of access to clean water, will only spread. tinyurl.com/esyz7928 /13
(2) Myanmar is facing its first crisis in two decades in which its most common safety valve is not available: internal or external migration. There is no good data on how much of the country's families depended on worker remittances, but it must have been significant. /14
Peri-urban areas in MM no longer offer jobs, just desperation, disease and hunger. Thailand is policing the border, even using cavalry in remote areas, to keep out MM people. Migrants in Thailand are getting Covid, and are ineligible for medical treatment. /15
China has no jobs to offer. Instead, it has deployed troops along its border and is expanding an electrified fence to keep Myanmar migrants out. Myanmar’s working class, spread from Hlaingtharyar to Sakhon Sathon and Dubai, can no longer prop up family incomes. /16
Both of these Covid-related drivers of poverty mean that income that might once have gone to buy eggs or fish or medicine simply will no longer be available. The diseases that come with poverty, like childhood diarrhea from lack of access to clean water, will only spread. /17
For all these reasons, I stand by my source, a dedicated public health specialist. It is at least within the realm of the possible that a decade from now 10-15 million lives will have been wasted, incapacitated or lost ("decimated") from the madness of MM's politics of Covid. /18
Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong. But since publishing this piece 24 hours ago, I have received more than 140 texts and DMs from people inside MM asking me to pray for their dying children and parents, or listing those already lost. /19
Many are stories of caregivers, who died of exhaustion. One whole family died in two days, the cousin wrote me. Another told me of having been shot at while in line to buy oxygen, only to return home to find his father had passed. /20
Yes, technically, "everyone" is not dying. But it is hard to not to feel like they are. /21/end

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Mary Callahan

Mary Callahan Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!