The pandemic , known as the Coronavirus, seems to be plastered across every major mainstream media outlet throughout the country. Everytime we turn on the TV, half of the news reports are stories focused solely on the Coronavirus. It feels inescapable at the moment. I see news outlets focusing largely on the fear aspects associated with the virus. In other words, every story seems to be about “Another reported case in Seattle” or “The death toll rises to 14 in the United States”. I have rarely seen articles, or a news segment, that outlines what the Coronavirus is, symptoms, and actual factual information about the disease it can cause. This is becoming so commonplace, that personally, I wasn't sure what the Coronavirus actually was. All I know for sure, before researching, is that it caused some sort of respiratory problems comparable to the Flu. I realize this may be out of my realm as far as my blog goes, but this is a major illness that seems to be affecting every aspect of our daily lives.
So, seeing as I am no professional medical journalist, nor do I have a medical degree. I will attempt to explain the above mentioned data to the best of my abilities. If you are well informed on COVID-19, then this article will be somewhat redundant. However, if you are like me, lost in the media mania. I hope this will be somewhat informational for you; giving you the data needed to be well informed about the growing pandemic.
Well, for starters, let’s dissect the name of the virus; as it seems to be misleading. The CDC classifies Coronavirus, as a FAMILY of viruses that are Zootonic (can be transmitted between animals and people). There are many different Coronaviruses that already exist in the animal kingdom; that have not yet been found transmittable to humans. Keywords there, have NOT YET been found transmittable.
As we know, viruses and bacteria are constantly evolving, much as is the human race. The CDC has given the disease the name COVID-19, and the virus that it causes SARS-COV2. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, that's a nasty name), that's sounding familiar right? It most definitely should. In 2003, the world saw another outbreak of a Coronavirus. SARS-CoV. Actually... the first discovered by scientists. You remember, the thermal readers at airports checking passengers body temperatures? Every picture or news clip you saw, was someone wearing a mask walking through airport security.
Like 03’, what we are experiencing is a “novel Coronavirus” (According to the World Health Organization). Meaning, a Coronavirus that has not yet been discovered (until now obviously, hurray! science haha). Scientists are not fully aware of the complete clinical picture of the virus, as it is quite new.
The Coronaviruses, past and present, have all been tied to one perpetrator; BATS! Although they can affect many members of the animal kingdom, bats seem to be where it all began (According to the CDC). If you’re a blonde, or like myself, you never liked bats anyways. Unless they gave you magical powers, like the vampires in Dracula movies or Batman; then, I might consider hanging out in a cave full of bats.
However, contrary to Hollywood movies, bats have been major contributors of SARS-CoV (03’ virus) and SARS-CoV2 (20’ virus). Bats are an essential component to many processes in the animal kingdom. So, let's not lose sight of that and jump on the "pro-extinction for bats” bandwagon (if there is such a thing). It's in the natural order of things that diseases, which affect the animal kingdom, will eventually spill over to humanity ( Mad Cow disease, just to name another off the top of my head).
So, we have identified the responsible “party” ; but what was the geographical origin? The epicenter (According to the CDC), was Wuhan, Hubei Provience in China. The live animal and raw seafood market provided a link between animal-person spread. Whoa, Whoa, hold on a minute, they eat Bats in China?
Well no, as I mentioned this is a virus that can spread to multiple levels of the animal kingdom (cats, camels, etc). Bats are the origin, yes. But, could a bat have bitten an unsuspecting cow, which was cleaned by a butcher, then sold on the market, and the tainted meat consumed by an unsuspecting human? Thus, starting the spread of the growing pandemic? Then, as interconnected of a society as we are, the person-person spread began?
Well, as you can see, it's not that far-fetched to imagine. Again, this is the natural order of things in the current human condition. China reports a likely single, recent emergence of said virus from an animal reservoir.
Now that we have some background, let’s look at some of the symptoms of the disease that is already proving to be deadly. The CDC, says that symptoms of the COVID-19 may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Some of these symptoms include:
This is the exact list, down to the detail, in which the CDC’s website outlines the symptoms of the virus (click on the link above to see the actual CDC web-page, as you can throughout this article for other relevant information from the sources I lisited).
So, why so short, well if you think about it, that's a pretty good description for what they have at hand. As I mentioned, this is a relatively new outbreak. Science and health professionals are doing their best to keep up with the ever changing aspects of the viral world.
At the present moment, there is No VACCINE to stop the outbreak of the disease. There are however, ways to lower your chances of infection and
prevent possible spread of the virus.
How dangerous is this virus really? How is it impacting the world around us?
Well here’s an interesting little piece of factual information. In Japan, they have closed schools until April. This closure is estimated to affect 13 million students throughout the continent. Italy, another hard hit area by the virus, has issued Quarantine measures on 11 towns. Greece is cancelling all carnival activities (facts reported from BBC.com).
Well, those are halfway around the world right? They’re not affecting us, not in the United States, least of all Ohio. Well not exactly. As I watched ESPN this morning, of course what other than the Coronavirus topic came up. The NBA has now told players to “fist bump” each other rather than high five or handshake. Professional sports leagues across the board have told players to “limit the amount of autographs they sign and pens they use from fans”, as they could be coming from an infected person.
The Arnold, in Columbus, has cancelled spectators for all major events as a precaution to the exploding pandemic. Those of you that aren’t into weight lifting, won't know anything about the Arnold Classic . The cancellation is going to cost the City Of Columbus an estimated 13 million dollars.
In Seattle, which has become a hot-spot for CoVID-19, 6 people have died at the Life Care Nursing Facility. A nursing home for aging individuals who can no longer physically care for themselves. One location, one outbreak, claimed the lives of six people.
Here are some major sporting events that are already being affected around the world:
Article From Cnn.com (click here to view)
Well, the most common relative CoV is compared to, is Influenza (aka “the flu”). According to John Hopkins Medical, the flu claims an estimated 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year. The Coronavirus, approximately 3,491 deaths reported worldwide; 14 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 7, 2020. I'm no mathematician, but if you take the current growth rate and expand that to cover a year’s time frame, you're left with 13,840 deaths worldwide (from CoV) and 56 US deaths. This pales in comparison to the mortality rate of the flu. Now, the million dollar question (or billion if you have seen President Trumps latest $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus package), will the growth rate remain the same, or will it increase? The CDC classifies our risk as a nation as LOW, however they do say this is a rapidly changing situation and they will update their “Risk Assessment” as needed. I guess only time will tell.
The CDC has begun research for a cure. But, with over 90% of the Amoxicillin, Doxycycline, and Penicillin (Penicillin the US no longer makes, period. It is all imported) precursors come from China, producing that cure can become tricky.
What if China decides to start stockpiling drugs to deal with the explosive infection rate they're experiencing? Remember the epicenter of this disease started in China. Where does that leave us?
Sounds like the old saying, “wish in one hand and crap in the other” right. Maybe this is a wake-up call to the United States, on our dependence on foreign pharmaceuticals? Do we need a wake-up call? I’m not sure what the right answer is.
The FDA has already reported a shortage of drugs (but were reluctant to comment on which). In fact, they have placed over 20 medications on their watch list. Again, refusing to comment which drugs these were. What happened to American Ingenuity and leading the world in medical and technological advances? Numbers don’t lie, these are statistical facts that cannot be refuted. The question is…. What are we going to do about it?
Web Designer, Digital Marketer, and Blogger. Certified in both Google Analytics and Google Ads (As well as many other qualifications, which you can view on my LinkedIn Profile). A listed "Top Expert" on the Kartra platform.
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Former construction professional (Superintendent for 10+ years), who understands and values an "honest day's work". Enjoys softball (And baseball, but softball now that I am old), constant gym sessions, and anything that pushes me mentally and physically. After all, life is a strive for improvement and knowledge. Meaning, in order to "climb the next rung in the ladder", you must be focused on improving yourself. If you aren't striving to reach "the next best you" in life, then what's the point?