Introduction

In early December 2019, the first cases of Coronavirus were detected. Being discovered in China, it has been spreading exponentially across the globe. Now, there is hardly a country that has not been affected. At first, the Chinese government acted to constrain it within the country while the virus still was not considered a threat. When the cases of people infected outside of China were informed, the virus took its place on the world stage. On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization [WHO] announced that the outbreak of the new virus is now a pandemic. COVID-19, the new virus, is currently considered a worldwide menace (WHO, 2020, para. 2). In this work, transmission, infection statistics, effects on political, cultural, and social levels, opinions on the pandemic will be analyzed, and the possible solutions will be considered.

Summary of the Issue

COVID-19 is no longer a minor virus; it is a power to be reckoned with. Since the WHO claimed the virus as a pandemic, it has provided the world community with guidance to handle the current situation. The organization proposes such measures as “to ready emergency response systems; to increase capacity to detect and care for patients” (WHO, 2020, para. 4) and many more. With such an emergency level, many countries are in quarantine; the governments close the borders even for their citizens within the country to prevent disease transmission. For the moment, the Coronavirus is a high-profile emergency.

The disease is still to be researched, but scientists have already identified how it transmits and what symptoms might indicate it is time to consult a doctor. Though there is no specific symptoms list, some of them are familiar to everyone: cough, sore throat, headache, fever, or shortness of breath. For adults, emergency warning signs may be persistent pain in the chest or inability to arouse, too. The disease is believed to transmit when people are in close contact with one another or when an infected person sneezes or coughs around healthy one. There is still much to be discovered about the disease that most likely will change the methods of disease treatment.

Coronavirus Facts and Statistics

Population movement across the countries facilitates the spreading of the virus and impedes verifying the credibility of the statistics. Though the virus spreading statistics is changing daily, it can be easily checked, if needed. According to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering online map (CSSE, 2020), the number of cases confirmed surpassed 182.406 worldwide, at the moment. Among them, 79.433 recovered and 7.154 deceased; most of the cases are detected in China, Iran, and Italy (CSSE, 2020). The online map is updated continuously and count each case confirmed and is readily available at any moment.

The site of contamination, China holds the most cases confirmed, but with the population movement across the world – urgent, scared, or planned – the virus reaches other parts of the world. With 79.433 cases confirmed, China remains the most infected country, while Russia (93 cases confirmed), Canada (419 cases confirmed), and Mongolia (4 cases confirmed) hold the least number of confirmed cases. USA is among the most infected countries with 9.415 cases confirmed. According to the data of the online map mentioned above (CSSE, 2020), the virus even reached the Greenland with 1 case confirmed. When counting the infection cases, it must be noted that some countries do not dispose of necessary equipment allowing timely disease detection. Also, if they do, the health workers in medical facilities overwhelmed with patients may not identify each infection case on time, either. Thus, it is important to take into consideration these facts when checking or changing the statistics numbers.

Currently, it is known that the virus affects differently on elderly and young people. The older adults are at higher risk than any other social group. People with serious chronic medical conditions like lung disease, diabetes, or heart disease, are at higher risk, as well (Morens, 2020, para. 14). Though the specific numbers of the infected older people compared to the ones of young patients are unknown, the death rate recorded among the first group is certainly higher.

Effects of the Pandemic

COVID-19 has already left a mark on each world country’s daily activities, economic and health systems, and international relationships. The borders closure may cause severe economic decay not only in the closed countries but also in those of their major trade partners. Numerous business trips and travels have been canceled as travelers fear to become infected. People are now encouraged to stay home for their safety. Though it might seem that people are disconnected, their morale remains high (Wang, 2020, para. 18). In the face of menace, people are uniting to go through the challenging time together. At times, the effects of adversity might be unpredictable, indeed.

Opinions on the COVID-19

To articulate an opinion on the current situation, one might consult those of the researchers. Some members of the world research community consider novel virus as one of the greatest threats of the century. According to Morens (2020), “If public health efforts cannot control viral spread, we will soon be witnessing the birth of a fatal global pandemic” (para. 1). Others are less preoccupied, but still warn about the necessity to act immediately in order to ‘understand and control disease’ (Wang, C., et al., 2020). It might be useful to study various articles on the Сoronavirus disease-2019 investigations to formulate an opinion, or take measures to, at least, prevent becoming infected might be enough, too. If it is difficult now to come to a definitive conclusion, whether it is a fatal threat to the future or not, it will be easier soon.

Solutions to Stop the Pandemic

To prevent the new virus spreading and thus stop the pandemic, scientists have developed specific precautions. Some of them are practicing good hygiene – avoid handshaking, clean hands regularly, avoid touching one’s face, and disinfect surfaces. Also, it is important to avoid traveling, postpone meetings, and stay home, if possible (Wang, 2020, para. 23). While in home, disinfecting tables, handrails, and doorknobs, regular ventilation by adjusting air conditioning or opening windows should be done. Until the cure has not been created, every measure to stop the pandemic should be taken.

Conclusion

It has been a few months since the first cases of the COVID-19 were discovered, but the global community is terrified. WHO now claims the virus that has not been considered a threat as a pandemic. At this point, it has reached the farthest parts of the world. Since some of the infected countries do not dispose of appropriate equipment for timely disease detection, the statistics numbers of the virus remain unclear. However, due to the latest researches, it is now possible to provide timely measures to stop the pandemic or, at least, prevent oneself or loved ones from becoming infected. Although the world scientific community is preoccupied, it is essential to remain calm and take all the measures possible to protect oneself and those around them. It is now time to unite and leave all pain and conflicts behind.

References

Morens, D.M., Daszak, P., Taubenberger, J.K. (2020). Escaping Pandora’s Box – Another Novel Coronavirus. The New England Journal of Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp2002106.

The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at JHU. (2020). Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE). https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6.

The World Health Organization. (2020). Critical preparedness, readiness and response actions for COVID-19 Interim guidance 16 March. 2020. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331422/WHO-COVID-19-Community_Actions-2020.1-eng.pdf.

Wang, C., Horby, P.W., Hayden, F.G., & Gao, G. F. (2020). A novel coronavirus outbreak of global health concern pdf icon. The Lancet, 395, pp.; 470-473. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30185-9.

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