The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. But humankind is not that easy to give up. We backed up the statement many times before if history is remembered correctly. Take the example of the ‘1918 Spanish flu’ or the deadly outbreak of ‘SARS – Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome’ which coincidentally originated in China, the same as that of the present-day COVID-19.
Every instance in the history of pandemics we have stood up to the deadly outbreaks upon humankind with perseverance and hope. With hope, we fought back and survived until now. The COVID-19 is not that different from its previous ‘pandemics’. The path it took is the same and the devastation it brought upon us is no different from the other outbreaks.
Let us look into the origin of COVID-19.
ORIGIN OF COVID-19 :
About the virus:
COVID-19 stands for coronavirus disease of 2019. it has been named by WHO(the world health organization).
The World Health Organization(WHO) labeled the CoV-2 virus as ‘zoonotic’, meaning that the virus has been transmitted from animals to humans. The other types of coronavirus have similar origins. The ‘SARS’ has been said to have originated from either bats or civet cats. The accurate origin has not been identified. Similarly, the ‘MERS’ another disease caused by a virus from the family of coronaviruses is thought to be transmitted from animals.
SARS is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV and COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2. There are other known forms of coronavirus out there which can affect humans as well.
When and where did it begin?
On 31st December 2019, the Wuhan municipal health commission reported a cluster of pneumonia-related cases in individuals. WHO found out a new type of virus called the ‘novel coronavirus’.
On the 1st of January when the entire world was after enjoying the after party of the new year, WHO set up an IMST(Initial Management Support Team). This was made to ensure the control of the newly found virus. Various levels of government institutes of China have taken part in this operation as directed by the WHO.
On the 4th of January WHO officially declared the newly found virus COVID-19 on all of its social media platforms, focusing mainly on the Hubei province where the virus was firstly reported.
On the 10th of January WHO issued a comprehensive package with technical guidance on key issues such as
1. How to handle patients affected by the virus?
2. Advice to all the countries of the world.
3. Guidelines for medical institutions all over the world.
For more information: Archived WHO timeline.
Since then the Chinese government has imposed strict lockdown in places where huge amounts of cases have been surfaced. The reports from the government state that the cases have been reducing since the initial lockdown but no one can be sure about what is going on in the secretive country of CHINA.
EFFECTS OF COVID-19:
Let us look into some initial effects caused by the pandemic:
Loss of Life:
Lots of lives were lost in the battle against COVID-19. Only memories are left of those who passed away from the disease, Be it the brave doctors who risked their lives for the treatment of patients who contracted the virus or the innocent people who contracted the virus.
On the tragic day of 2/06/2020 i.e, last Wednesday 52,789 American citizens contracted the coronavirus. This is the first time such an amount of people got infected in a single day. A similar amount of cases is being reported all over the world in various countries. 10.7 million cases have been registered worldwide while 5.4 million people have recovered. The recovery rate of the world is close to 50%.
Coming to the case of India, the tally of COVID-19 cases crossed the mark of 4,73,105. In the beginning of the pandemic India seemed to have control over the situation, but the huge density of population has been a double-edged sword in the hands of INDIA.
The huge population of India was a boon for its economic development but the same boon turned into a liability for India in maintaining its population COVID-19 free. The government of India is trying its best to contain the spread of the virus but it is being proved as insufficient.
Lack of proper and required amount of medical equipment to treat COVID-19 affected patients is also a huge setback in fighting the virus. Many developing countries such as India itself has many drawbacks in its medical infrastructure.
The number of hospitals to population ratio is quite disturbing to write about. The lack of medical institutions that can take in patients is a very devastating disadvantage to India’s fight against the Coronavirus. Such conditions are not only visible in India but in many other developing nations of the world.
The lockdown which was imposed by governments of the world resulted in shutting down workplaces and stopping the manufacturing processes of all the heavy industries which constitute the majority of the economy of various countries.
The biggest economies of the world sure took a massive hit from closing down most of their productions and services. As some experts say, in the initial stages of the virus spread America has refused to shut down its business institutions to maintain economic strength. This wrong step resulted in the form of citizens getting infected on a large scale.
Now America has the highest number of infections among other countries.
The case of India is unique in its own right. When the reports of the virus surfaced in the Indian subcontinent, the state as well as the central governments took massive steps to contain the spread of virus. Heavy security lockdown was imposed in the entire country for many weeks straight ignoring the economic side effects it might bring.
According to the reports of various economic institutes such as ‘The International Monetary Fund’
The world economy has gone into recession with a margin of -3%. experts point out that this is the closest we have gone towards economic disruption since the ‘The Great Depression’ during the 1930s.
The rate is said to rise as much as -6% in the coming days if the devastation of the pandemic is not stopped.
For more information: “Lockdown extension to have a deep impact on Indian Economy.”
The big blow to the tourism industry:
The tourism industry took a heavy below the belt blow. As a result of the travel ban and serious lockdown protocols in place resulted in worldwide travel stillness.
Countries have closed their gates and borders to outsiders to fight the devil inside their borders. All this affected the tourism sector of every country very badly.
There are no plans of reviving the dead tourism industry shortly until the risk of contracting the virus is completely eradicated from the face of the planet.
Countries such as Italy where “tourism accounts for 13.2% of its GDP” might not be welcoming a single tourist soon. Photos of empty streets in tourist rich countries like Italy, France were trending on social media.
People’s interest in tourism and travel has been drastically reduced. Stats from Google and other domains indicate so. According to many travel experts, the tourism industry is not about to open and run as efficiently as before until the pandemic ends.
Carelessness by CHINA:
China’s response to tackling the spread of the virus has not been taken well by the world leaders. The US president ‘Donald Trump’ fired at the Chinese government accusing them of conspiracy and attempt of bringing the world powers down by infecting them with the virus
In my opinion, If China would have notified the presence of the virus much earlier the kind of devastation which we are observing would not have taken place. This carelessness on part of the Chinese government has been taken very easily by world leaders.
The closing of travel among countries was also implemented very slowly and poorly by many of the countries. If the measures taken were a bit more strict and vigilant we would have been recovered by now.
Anyhow the spread is taking place at a very alarming rate. There is not much use of dwelling on the past, instead, we must be focusing on the present on how to eradicate the virus.
For more information: China’s irresponsible attitude towards informing the world.
The race to find “COVID-19 vaccine”:
35 active vaccine development programs are undergoing clinical trials in various parts of the world to find a cure to the deadly COVID-19.
Pharmaceutical giants along with other smaller companies such as ‘GlaxoSmithLine’, ‘Sanofi’, and ‘Moderna’ are racing against time to find a drug that might save humanity from the clutches of COVID-19.
Every country is eager to lay their hands upon these drugs but industry experts say that ‘a vaccine might be available in no less than 12 months’. Until then the only option for humankind to survive is not to contract the virus.
The drug by the name ‘Favipiravir’ under the brand name ‘Fabiflu’ is being prescribed to mild coronavirus cases in INDIA.
For more information: Vaccines and their race to eradicate COVID-19.
THE CASE OF NEW ZEALAND:
New Zealand along with 8 other countries are declared COVID-19 free after fighting their own battles against the deadly virus. The efforts put up by the government of New Zealand was applauded by the many elites and governments. Truly it is a remarkable feat for such a nation to fight the virus.
When the initial reports of the virus surfaced in the country of New Zealand, the government implemented a level-4 lockdown procedure that was met with flak by the citizens. But that approach towards containing the virus made new Zealand free from the pandemic.
They decided to conduct 8000 tests per day which is the highest among any other country in the world. New Zealand’s public health officials were adamant about sticking to the “Two maximum incubation periods” or 28 days of monitoring before declaring virus-free.
All these steps along with strict supervision and communication between the government and its citizens made New Zealand’s victory over the COVID-19 possible.
For more info: Impact of COVID-19 on Indian education platform.
COVID-19 EFFECT ON NATURE:
The COVID-19 pandemic had a positive impact on nature excluding humans. While humans were getting infected and suffering under the clutches of the virus, nature was recovering from the damage we humans have been doing to it.
Most of the automobiles have been limited to their garages which resulted in less CO2 production. Most of the economic services related to forests have been stopped because of the lockdown.
Animals have been coming out of their habitat zones into human settlements as the movement of humans has greatly reduced. Skies have been cleared up, the ozone layer is being revived by nature itself due to the absence of CO2 emitted from the automobiles.
Let us stay safe and be careful during this tough time of COVID-19. Let us hope that this devastation ends soon.
We, humans, have lived our lives in a way which affected nature in the worst manner possible. We must promise ourselves to mend our ways and live along with other forms of lives peacefully.