A disease that loomed in the darkness, but now rose to become a pandemic


Courtesy of Aljazeera

COVID-19 spreads like wildfire throughout the globe, separating sick and healthy is getting tougher by the minute

Cody Bennett, Executive Striv Producer | Sports Director

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus rose like a thief in the night in early January of 2020. The media caught wind of a new disease in Wuhan, China, a high traffic area in the nation with massive amounts of illegally trafficked animals and markets. The Center of Disease Control (CDC) identified the case of COVID-19 to be caused by a “bat soup” eaten by the Chinese people. This caused an upsurge of cases in the media, identifying this virus as “deadly” and “mysterious.” The disease spread like wildfire throughout Wuhan, and thousands began to be infected. The Chinese first thought that it was an uproar of pneumonia cases, but with extensive research and testing, that turned out to be false. Within five days, the Chinese had no answer for the virus that consumed a suburb. The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) may have been at fault again after another scare a couple years back. Still, nothing to back up the claim on what is getting the people of Wuhan sick. 

On January 7th, the Chinese government finally caught wind of what was happening. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the new novel virus to be 2019-nCoV, a virus that belonged to a whole coronavirus family, including SARS and even the common cold. Not even four days later, a 61-year-old man passed from the novel virus, sparking the beginning of deaths for COVID-19. On January 22nd and 23rd, the death toll had risen to 17, and the infected had risen to over 500. The Chinese government ordered a total lockdown of Wuhan, but allowed a grace period for people to get out of the city before the lockdown. A poor choice by the communist government as tens of thousands of people fled the infected town on railways and airliners. Then, on January 30th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global emergency. 

Finally, on February 9th, the death toll surpassed the SARS epidemic as the deaths rose to 871 with the infected numbering in over 37,000. This is getting closer and closer to becoming a pandemic, a disease that travels across the world from active hosts, and shortening the lives of the older generations. 

During the first week of the virus, China shut the Wuhan providence down. An attempt to mass quarantine the entire town and the locals inside it. The Chinese government announced to the locals that it would be closing its borders and transportation out of the town, effectively locking the sick inside. But, the mistake they made was they announced the quarantine and many escaped before the town went on full lockdown. Those with the virus and didn’t know (two week incubation period,) escaped and fled to other provinces and spread it there. Some went to Europe, Russia, India, South America and even the United States. 

The source of the virus varies on what the person believes, many think it was from a bat from the live animal market in Wuhan, others think a bio-weapon from China to suppress the Taiwanese protesters in late 2019, one thing is certain, though, whatever this disease is, we have no way to combat it at this point in time. 

As the disease was discovered, there’s no cure, vaccine, treatment, nothing. We need to heed the warnings brought forth by the CDC, that being said, washing your hands thoroughly for about two minutes, washing in between your fingers and underneath fingernails. If one thinks they are sick, wear a mask to stop the spreading, or do not go out into the public. COVID-19 is spread primarily from human to human, do not touch your eyes, face or mouth with unwashed hands for risk of infection. Frozen foods or refrigerated foods are not at risk at this time, since the host needs to interact with another host for the disease to be passed along. 

That being said, the people being targeted at this disease are the elderly, around 60 years of age is when COVID-19 is deadly. The people that are at risk are to be believed newborn, although there are studies denying that, those with preexisting health problems, and those that are elderly. 

COVID-19 is nowhere as near deadly as, let’s say Ebola. That disease had almost a 50% fatality rate, being said, every two humans that were infected, one would die of the disease. One thing that mainstream media doesn’t say, COVID-19 is nowhere near as deadly, only having around 6% of infected fatalities, most of those being among the elderly and having a 55% recovery rate. Ebola effectively killed itself off in reality, killing the host too fast, in turn, having less of an impact on those healthy humans. COVID-19 is a lot more infectious, but a lot less deadly.  

Something very new though, the National Basketball Association is shutting down the season after a Utah Jazz player came down with the virus. Many different updates came out today as well as, state basketball for Nebraska only allowing immediate family to attend the event and no other spectators and Major League Baseball considering shutting its doors.

The CDC and WHO are trying to come up with a cure every passing minute, doing research for the disease that, right now, we don’t have an answer to. Our bodies will evolve into denying the virus overtime, allowing for hardening of the immune system, but for now, there have been warnings given by the CDC and steps to prevent the disease, that’s all we can hope for currently.