The most frequently talked about topic worldwide today is the now identified pandemic of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has affected everyone in the world in one way or another, either directly or indirectly, due to its severity, the alarming speed by which it is spreading, and the socioeconomic effects globally. To date, cases have been reported and confirmed in 125 countries. Things progress and change hourly regarding this matter, and their respective countries have implemented drastic measures in the most affected countries.
As of March 12, 2020, the three countries that have the most identified cases of the Covid-19 are China, Italy, and Iran.
According to reports from the World Health Organization (WHO) on December 31, 2019, there were several instances reported of patients having pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China, which subsequently lead to further investigation and testing, resulting in the discovery of this new virus. COVID-19 spread rapidly throughout this city, with over 11 million inhabitants, and continued to spread throughout the country and other countries. The Coronavirus is spread similarly to the common cold and the common flu, which made its containment very challenging. Less than a month after its discovery, restrictions to citizens of Wuhan and neighboring cities were imposed and implemented, including the closure of schools, nonessential stores and services, transportation in and out of the city, public transport, and so on. The government plan was to contain the Coronavirus, and it is spreading, but unfortunately, cases began to surface in other parts of the world other than mainland China. As of 3:15 pm EST, March 12, 2020, the total number of reported cases of COVID-19 is 80,796, with 3,169 deaths.
In early February, cases of the Coronavirus were formally reported in Italy with no identifiable links to its victims in China. To date, Italy has the second-highest reports of citizens affected by the virus totaling 15,113 people with 1,016 deaths as of 3:15 pm EST, March 12, 2020. This number changes by the hour. Patient "1", as patient 0 has not yet been identified, was discovered in the Lombardy region of Italy, and precautions were taken using various forms of restrictions and public closures to try to contain the spreading of this virus. These restrictions were quickly adopted in neighboring regions, including Veneto and Friuli. This mandate was adopted rapidly across the country. Schools were closed. All places where public gatherings took place were also closed, including sports venues, gyms, night clubs, theatres, and churches. From mid-February (specific dates vary from region to region) to March 11, 2020, stores, bars, and restaurants were allowed to remain open until 6:00 pm daily to service and accommodate people's needs. Still, as of March 12, 2020, all stores, bars, restaurants, and other nonessential services have been mandated to close. All citizens are to remain at their residences, unless they are the few that are still working, and are only allowed to leave their homes for essential shopping or emergencies. All citizens country-wide have to be in their homes by 6:00 pm. Hospitals are overflowing and beyond capacity and are asking citizens to contact local doctors and nurses for non-emergency issues as they are unable to function and service patients effectively.
It is challenging to imagine an entire country entirely and utterly brought to its knees socially, economically, and psychologically in such a short period. Yet this is the reality for Italy. The situation is scheduled to be re-evaluated on April 2, 2020, where the President of the Republic of Italy will once again address the country and the world.
On February 19, 2020, cases were also formally reported in Iran. As of 3:15 pm, March 12, 2020, there have been 10,075 Coronavirus cases reported with 429 deaths. It is difficult to confirm these numbers due to the political impact the virus has brought to Iran. According to sources at John Hopkins University, it is thought that the reported cases in Iran are understated. Although Iran has officially said that its government has taken extreme measures like Italy and China to contain and stop the spreading of the Coronavirus, viral videos commonly shared on social media depict COVID-19 victims collapsing in the street and health care workers pleading for assistance from the international community. It has been tough to assess the facts of what is happening in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic in Iran to date.
Staying Safe During The Pandemic
This virus has hit the world by storm, and it does not discriminate against age, gender, and race. There is a global awareness and a ton of fear of what has happened and what is to come concerning health, wellness, safety, and the longterm socioeconomic impacts this is having worldwide to countless industries and world markets. It is up to us to stay informed, be vigilant, follow directives and decrees as indicated by our local and federal governments, and continue to do our part to help stop the continued spread of the Coronavirus.
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