What is the hot, terrifying news these days? The great virus which is engulfing the globe, as if a wave from the sea; sweeping away everything on its way. The novel coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city Wuhan, at the end of 2019.

Currently, it is the world’s biggest unresolved problem. We’re in a global war against coronavirus.

COVID-19 belongs to the coronavirus family. It was originally transmitted from animals to humans. Although its symptoms are similar to that of common flu, it’s more dangerous than that.

It’s very important to keep in mind the symptoms which differentiate common flu from influenza virus (flu).

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • High fever
  • Dry cough
  • Severe body pain
  • Breathing difficulty followed by infections of the respiratory system and pneumonia.

This virus is easily transmitted by human interaction. This is the reason why the cases are multiplying rapidly on a daily basis. The virus seems to multiply just like a penny that doubles in value. One sick person becomes two, two becomes four, four becomes eight and it goes on. It’s largely driven by individuals even who have mild symptoms, are undetected or show no symptoms at all.

Coronavirus is not a challenge for all the doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff only but also for each and every one of us. The fatal virus has led to the loss of thousands of lives globally. Currently, 48,135 people have lost their lives.

946,875 patients have been confirmed carriers of the virus.

200,317 people around the world have been recovered.

Let’s have a look at the countries that have been most affected by the pandemic. Although the virus was initiated in China, the state has successfully won the war against it after a couple of months. The USA is the most affected country with more than 200,000 registered cases!!

COUNTRY NAMETOTAL CASESTOTAL DEATHSPATIENTS RECOVERED
USA215,3445,1128,878
ITALY110,57413,15516,847
SPAIN110,23810,00326,743
CHINA81,5893,31876,408
GERMANY77,98193119,175
FRANCE56,9894,03210,935
PAKISTAN2,45835126

The spread of this virus is exponential. According to Columbia university’s professor Hod Lipson, “you’re right to be baffled by the rapid spread of the virus. The sudden spike is an example of a concept that is fundamentally difficult for the human mind to understand.” Everyone is shocked by the sudden outbreak of an unstoppable virus.

The table above shows statistics of a few countries, many more countries are also affected globally. From the statistics, we can clearly infer that a lot of patients are recovering but many deaths are also being recorded at the same time.

Many countries have imposed curfew or complete lockdown to limit social interaction as much as possible.

The novel coronavirus and the world - A global war

Governments have educated the general public about the preventative measures which include washing hands, wearing masks and staying at home.

Despite the fact that most people are taking the measures under consideration, why is the virus continuing to spread? Despite complete lockdown and mass social distancing, why is the virus continuing to spread?

To me, the answer seems to be quite complicated. The disease is new and unfamiliar to the human race. We are dealing with it slowly. The patients are being diagnosed slowly and our coping mechanism is not that strong. 

Two factors determine the speed of an epidemic:

  1. The number of cases being infected (reproduction number)
  2. The time duration it takes for the epidemic to spread amongst the people. (serial number)

In the case of the novel coronavirus, it is observed that the reproduction number is high and the serial number is low. It means a lot of people get infected and it transmits fast amongst the population. Social distancing and isolation are currently the only possible ways to stop the spread of the virus. But lockdown imposition and still the number of registered cases each day is alarming.

The novel coronavirus and the world - A global war

Another reason is that the individuals who seem to be perfectly fine and show no symptoms do not get tested. The dangerous part of this disease is that a person with zero or mild symptoms can be a carrier too. Unknowingly he can affect any other person if complete isolation is not being observed. Hence a lot of caution is to be observed and to take no risks, all of the people in every community should be tested.

Keeping in mind The novel coronavirus is not detected using a blood test, instead, the swab test is carried out for diagnosis. The test results come out in at least two days, it means it’s slowly detected.

All these reasons account for the continued spread of this terrific virus. It seems unstoppable. Researchers and scientists, doctors and nurses around the globe confess that this virus needs extreme preventative measures.

We hope life gets back to normal no sooner than soonest. We hope to hear good news and we all are looking forward to better times. Till then, we need to stay safe, stay at home, stay clean, stay positive and help ourselves and everyone around us.

//The novel coronavirus

The Merakian – Ayesha Anwar

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