How has the world’s view on biotechnology changed after the pandemic?
We have all been affected by the pandemic caused by the virus with many names, “COVID-19” or “The Rona”. Many healthcare professionals and other social workers had rushed to the scene, by either trying to prevent the further spread of the virus or to have provided care and aid for those, who, unfortunately, have been infected by the virus. But what about the scientists and the biotech industry?
Let’s go back to the earlier days of the virus outbreak and let’s stay away from political issues like “Where did it begin?” or “Whose fault it was?”. But instead, let us talk about how the biotech industry helped the frontline workers fight the virus and the various problems the industry helped solve.
Firstly, the problem with the Corona virus was that it was “novel” or to put it in layman’s term “new”. And that on its own posed its own set of problems. One of them being the absence of a method to quickly diagnose whether a person is infected or not. This is a huge problem especially in this case as the virus is not only considered deadly at the time but also very infectious. So a method needed to be found to quickly tackle this problem. Investments were made by various government agencies and private companies to address this problem and finally, we have Rapid Testing kits that were used by the healthcare industry to quickly detect the virus in a person.
Secondly, the research carried out by scholars, academia, government agencies, and private biotech companies, took a lot of time. We understood more about the virus and worked on the much-spoken “cure”. Though at first, they didn’t find the cure, they answered several questions on how to treat the infected patients and help in bringing up the recovery rate of the infected individuals. Then as more and more research was published, the biotech industries prepared themselves to work on a vaccine.
Finally, after a long time, many biotech companies invented the vaccine, though not yet tested at the time. Clinical trials went in full swing to test the efficacy of the vaccine on various ethnicities of people. As some were successful, preparations to produce the vaccine on a large scale were carried out by bio/chemical engineers and by scientists working in the field.
To conclude, the Biotechnology industries before the pandemic were, in my opinion, not prioritized or given much importance as compared to other fields of science, technology, and medicine. Hopefully, the general public and governments of various nations recognize the importance of supporting such industries.