There has been the Bubonic plague, there has been the Spanish Flue, there has been Ebola, but now were are faced with a new, threatening global epidemic: the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus first surfaced in Wuhan, China where an estimated 426 people have already died according to the World Health Organization as of Jan. 3.
The result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus has already caused a government shutdown in almost 20 cities in China which has forced 56 million people to be quarantined in the country. It saddens me to see an entire country facing difficult circumstances while there hasn’t even been a concrete solution to solve the crisis at hand. In this article, I want to analyze to what extent the Coronavirus has affected society so far, but to also see what the response has been from the international community.
As with any serious medical crisis, many countries have been taking serious precautions into isolating those who have been affected by the Coronavirus. So far, the Coronavirus has now been considered as a global pandemic and has managed to successfully spread itself to several countries in Asia. From countries such as Cambodia, India, and the Philippines, Asia has been devastated by the Coronavirus. According to Aljazeera, there have been more than 14,500 reports worldwide of the Coronavirus with most of them originating from China.
In fact just a few days ago on Feb. 2, a man died in the Philippines who had suffered from the effects of the Coronavirus. This death marks the first casualty that has happened outside of China.
Additionally, there have been several reports, eight in total, claiming that the Coronavirus has made its way to the United States. The most recent report was an infected student from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, on Saturday which was one day after the U.S. made an official declaration of a public health emergency. Now the question is, where do we go from here?
The truth is, the Coronavirus has been difficult to keep track of as it has already become more widespread than the SARS outbreak back in 2003. With this in mind, the United States has put a ban on non-citizens who have visited China in the last 14 days. David Pekoske, the administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), issued this rule explaining that this one of the many security precautions that the country is taking in order to combat the spread of the virus.
In addition to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are also taking personal initiatives in trying to isolate the outbreak of the Coronavirus. The CDC also issued a statement allowing U.S. citizens who have been to China within the past two weeks back into the country through the courtesy of only seven airports. These airports range from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Chicago O’ Hare to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. These security precautions have yet to seen results, as U.S. officials await more details of the spread of the Coronavirus.
It is interesting to point out that the mystery and uncertainty of the Coronavirus are alarming. Just a few days ago Dr. Peter Dasdak, president of EcoHealth Alliance, and Chinese Professor Guizhen Wu of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention have recently confirmed that bats may be the source of the Coronavirus.
Both Dr. Dasdak and Professor Wu believe that bats are the closest relatives to the Coronavirus outbreak and data shows that they are the source of the infectious disease. It is a troubling thought that we face the reality of skepticism and doubt. In many ways, the Coronavirus proves that we as a society are on the brink of total collapse.
I cannot begin to fathom what the people of China are dealing with now. To have an entire country in lockdown and barricaded is scary to say at the least. For those who do not know, China is second in the world in GDP and, according to data reports by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), is set to have an increase in economic growth of 5.8% in 2020.
Personally, I believe that China is a country of astounding accomplishment while historically dealing with dire political strife. Perhaps the most popular news that has come of out China for the past couple of months has been the protests in Hong Kong.
In Hong Kong there has been the rise of social unrest due to the presentation of China’s extradition bill. This extradition bill would allow the Chinese government to enact harsh punishments amongst its country’s prisoners and criminal suspects without necessarily a fair trial.
Protesters are outraged that the Chinese government might get away with inexplicably using violence to control society. No wonder why hundreds of thousands of people are angered by the corruption and greed of the Chinese government. Alas, I hope that in the end the people of China may resolve their conflict peacefully as well as find a cure to the Coronavirus.