2 September 2020

Things we know about COVID-19 blog

Unless you have been living under a rock, you like everyone else has probably been affected by the global pandemic known as COVID-19 or Corona Virus. Not only has it affected our day to day lives it has devastated the world economically, environmentally, socially and health wise. Along with every other effect that a pandemic can have on the world. So, we thought it only fitting that we gather some information and made our first blog for this fall Things we know about COVID-19.

Dealing with the unforeseen challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on people all across the world. The risks of crowds and travel are here to stay. Post-pandemic, Canada will be left with massive social challenges requiring unprecedented levels of innovation to overcome. Enlisting help from elsewhere in the world could boost the country’s recovery. COVID-19 is changing Canadian communities’ infrastructure needs: outdoor public space is more precious than ever, public transit is unsafe for those vulnerable to the virus, and a connection to the internet has become a lifeline for many community members.

The COVID 19 pandemic, also known as the coronavirus pandemic, is an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV 2). The outbreak was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020 and a pandemic on 11 March. As of 30 August 2020, more than 25 million cases of COVID 19 have been reported in more than 188 countries and territories, resulting in more than 843,000 deaths; more than 16.4 million people have recovered.
The virus is spread primarily via nose and mouth secretions including small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing, and talking. The droplets usually do not travel through air over long distances. However, those standing in close proximity may inhale these droplets and become infected. People may also become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face. The transmission may also occur through smaller droplets that are able to stay suspended in the air for longer periods of time in enclosed spaces. It is most contagious during the first three days after the onset of symptoms, although spread is possible before symptoms appear, and from people who do not show symptoms.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, and loss of sense of smell. Complications may include pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The time from exposure to onset of symptoms is typically around five days but may range from two to fourteen days. There are several vaccine candidates in development, although none have completed clinical trials to prove their safety and efficacy. There is no known specific antiviral medication, so primary treatment is currently symptomatic.

Recommended preventive measures include hand washing, covering one’s mouth when coughing, maintaining distance from other people, wearing a face mask in public settings, disinfecting surfaces, increasing ventilation and air filtration indoors, and monitoring and self-isolation for people who suspect they are infected. Authorities worldwide have responded by implementing travel restrictions, lockdowns, workplace hazard controls, and facility closures in order to slow the spread of the disease. Many places have also worked to increase testing capacity and trace contacts of infected persons.

The pandemic has caused global social and economic disruption, including the largest global recession since the Great Depression. Up to 100 million people have fallen into extreme poverty and global famines are affecting 265 million people. It has led to the postponement or cancellation of sporting, religious, political, and cultural events, widespread supply shortages exacerbated by panic buying, and decreased emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. Schools, universities, and colleges have been closed either on a nationwide or local basis in 161 countries, affecting approximately 98.6 percent of the world’s student population. Misinformation about the virus has circulated through social media and mass media. There have been incidents of xenophobia and discrimination against Chinese people and against those perceived as being Chinese or as being from areas with high infection rates.

We are facing a global health crisis unlike any in the 75-year history of the United Nations — one that is killing people, spreading human suffering, and upending people’s lives. But this is much more than a health crisis. It is a human, economic and social crisis. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which has been characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), is attacking societies at their core.

On 11 March 2020, the WHO said the pandemic could be controlled. The peak and ultimate duration of the outbreak are uncertain and may differ by location. Maciej Boni of Penn State University said, “Left unchecked, infectious outbreaks typically plateau and then start to decline when the disease runs out of available hosts. But it’s almost impossible to make any sensible projection right now about when that will be.” The Imperial College study led by Neil Ferguson stated that physical distancing and other measures will be required “until a vaccine becomes available. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University said because the coronavirus is “so readily transmissible”, it “might turn into a seasonal disease, making a comeback every year”. The virulence of the comeback would depend on herd immunity and the extent of mutation. COVID 19 is a new disease, and many of the details of its spread are still under investigation. It spreads easily between people—more easily than influenza but not as easily as measles. People are most infectious when they show symptoms (even mild or non-specific symptoms), but may be infectious for up to two days before symptoms appear (pre-symptomatic transmission). They remain infectious for an estimated seven to twelve days in moderate cases and an average of two weeks in severe cases. People can also transmit the virus without showing any symptom (asymptomatic transmission), but it is unclear how often this happens. A June 2020 review found that 40–45% of infected people are asymptomatic.

If not properly addressed through policy the social crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic may also increase inequality, exclusion, discrimination and global unemployment in the medium and long term. Comprehensive, universal social protection systems, when in place, play a much durable role in protecting workers and in reducing the prevalence of poverty, since they act as automatic stabilizers. That is, they provide basic income security at all times, thereby enhancing people’s capacity to manage and overcome shocks.

Although the prognosis may be bleak, we as Optimists feel that if we follow the science, come together as a united world and work together to defeat the virus not only can we come out of this as a better and stronger world, we can create a new normal that is all inclusive and works to help everyone in our society. If we dare to care about the world and it’s inhabitants, we help chart a new course for our world.


Source: Wikipedia

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