Definition and Origin of COVID-19
COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is an infectious respiratory disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The choice of the name was to avoid stigmatizing the origin of the virus. Stigmatization, in terms of geography, animal species, or populations.
Primarily, the Coronavirus disease originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China.
It was first reported to World Health Organization (WHO) amid an outbreak in the city on 31st December 2019.
Subsequently, one month later, WHO declared Covid-19 a global health emergency of international concern.
How COVID-19 Spreads
The primary way of spread is through people in close contact and via aerosols and droplets from respiration exhaled. Thus, can occur while breathing, talking, coughing, or sneezing within a range of 1.8 meters.
As a result, the virus enters into the cells by binding to membrane protein that regulates the renin-angiotensin system called angiotensin-converting enzyme.
How To Prevent Infection And Spread
Accordingly, health organizations and facilities have issued some guidelines guiding the prevention of infection and the spread of the virus.
- Protecting yourself by masking when in public
- Keep a social distance of about 1.5 meters
- Seek vaccination
- Keep your hands clean by using sanitizer or soap
- Choose a well-ventilated place, and keep windows open while in a closed room
- When you sneeze or cough, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow
- When feeling unwell, stay at home
Treatment For COVID-19
Critically, there are efforts around the world by scientists to find effective treatments for COVID-19. Indeed, some of the things you do when you have flu are the same ones that can help in Corona.
Centrally, talk of drinking enough fluids, taking sufficient rest, and taking medications to relieve fever.
Towards the end of 2020, a major milestone was achieved. Most importantly, authorization was given for use of the vaccines that had been going through laboratory tests. This, as a result, would aid in controlling the spread of the disease;
- Moderna– Administration is twice to people of over 18 years.
- Pfizer-BioNTech– This is recommended to people of more than 16 years, administer 2 doses three weeks apart.
- Johnson & Johnson’s– Its dosage is once to people of more than 18 years.
Other than that, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has recently authorized some medications for people hospitalized with COVID-19. This is in addition to other medical conditions to curb continuation. One such is Paxlovid, which was found, at trials, to reduce the possibility of deadly illness after recovery by 90%.
The medication, primarily, is a combination of two drugs. These are Nirmatrelvir, designed by Pfizer to stop COVID-19 from repeating inside the cells, and Ritonavir. Indeed, the latter has been in existence for a long time and has been in use to treat HIV.
To this end, the tablets are to be taken twice a day but should not exceed five days. Most importantly, the prescription should be administered immediately after testing positive for COVID-19.
It is recommended for people who have mild to moderate COVID-19 but have risk factors that predispose them to severity.
Impacts Of COVID-19
- The global economy
The Coronavirus has negatively impacted the global economy. Indeed, in 2020, it was estimated that global economic growth reduced significantly to an annual rate of about -3.2 %. Trading as well fell to roughly 5.3% in the same year.
- The school/education
Learning was not spared by the pandemic, either. According to UNESCO, close to over half of the world’s students were affected as of 2020. In fact, over 100 Million fell below the minimum proficiency level in reading.
With these global effects, continental and country levels had a share in how they were affected.
- The workplace-retrenchment, work from home, closures
As a result of the pandemic, many workstations changed from office to home. Many businesses realized a reduction in incomes, resulting in a retrenchment and others closing businesses.
- The social life-curfews, lockdown, marriages & relationships
Many countries introduced several measures like lockdowns, and curfews as means to combat the wild spread of the virus.
These changes caused a shift in the lifestyle of many people. As a result, some relationships got challenges while others enjoyed their moments. This was precipitated by the unusual staying together, most of the time.
- The businesses
Some businesses benefited from the outbreak of the pandemic while others suffered a lot. However, those who suffered were more due to the global economic conditions.
- The online economy & transactions
COVID-19 gave some businesses opportunities to thrive. Especially those with online establishments. It’s during the pandemic that saw a lot of businesses emerge online.
This was necessitated by home delivery due to movement restrictions.
Various Types Of The Corona Virus
Since the outbreak of the pandemic in late 2019, there have been mutations that result in disease variants.
How are these variants known? A swab is done by a doctor from an ill person. This is done by removing the genetic substance from the virus in the sample. Thereafter, using sequencing apparatus to read the genetic code.
- Omicron variant;
This is the latest one which was identified in November 2021 by WHO in South Africa. It has however spread to other parts of the worlding including the US.
Preliminary evidence points that the variant is more transmissible than other variants due to the number of mutations.
- Delta variant;
It is known to be more contagious than any other variant and has caused a lot of deaths.
First identified in India in December 2020 with spread to many other countries.
- Gamma variant
Brazil is the first country to record this variant known to be more susceptible to antibodies than Beta. Its spread is quicker than the original one.
- Beta variant
Emerged from South Africa in December 2020 with not much evidence to show it causes severe illness or death.
- Alpha variant
The variant was detected in September 2020 from the United Kingdom. It is known to be 50 % transmissible than the original virus and it is associated with more hospitalization and deaths.
Common Myths Surrounding The Pandemic
As the pandemic continues with the destruction course, there have been three myths aired.
1. Developed In A Laboratory In China As A Weapon For Mass Destruction
History on the formation of weapons from the laboratory for destruction is rich. Different nations have been using against each other when they have some differences.
However, it should be known that no country has used it against itself and COVID-19 has been in every country. This possibility should be ruled out.
2. As A Weapon To Reduce World Population
Before Covid 19, there have been accusations that some people intend to reduce the world’s population. Such myths create resistance in some people making control mechanisms slow.
3. Accidental Leakage In An Experiment In A Laboratory
It’s widely believed that the Coronavirus, accidentally leaked out of a China laboratory during experimentation. However, there’s no authentic version to authenticate these assertions.
Viruses cannot be created neatly in laboratories than in nature. It is so easy to tell that a virus is not some Frankenstein formation stitched together out of DNA or RNA from other things.
Genetic analyses indicate that the virus is not man-made.
Following health guidelines given by health bodies and institutions help in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic.