The outbreak of the Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic has gripped the world in fear; the US & Italy have been hit the worst, Australia has imposed a lockdown country-wide in an attempt to curb the spread, and every nation is spiralling towards what seems to be grim times, economically & socially. But how did this even happen? Where did it even begin? How a minuscule, microscopic organism was able to cause such an uproar across the world?
To understand the current intensity of this pandemic, we must first understand the complex world of minute biological particles. The SARS CoV-2 virus belongs to a family of viruses called corona virus which is known to cause various diseases amongst animals such as bats, snakes, and pigs, etc. Over the past few years, these corona viruses have passed on from animals to humans through interaction, unleashing a series of deadly diseases like the SARS, MERS and now, the ongoing COVID-19.
With its epicentre in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, the COVID-19’s exact carrier is still unknown – however, it’s been speculated to have originated from the first animal-human contact at a live animal market in Wuhan.
This strain of corona virus affects a human being’s respiratory system, primarily – and it spreads from the respiratory droplets of an infected person that remain in the air. In other cases, it also spreads through contact with infected surfaces. Research has proven that once the virus latches on to the human body, its incubation period is 14 days i.e. it takes close to 14 days for the infected person or people to show symptoms.
What is actually fearsome is that the virus starts with symptoms similar to the common flu. In the initial stages, the symptoms include a cough, a cold and mild fever. As it intensifies, the person begins to experience headaches, discomfort while swallowing, throat pain, difficulty in breathing and fatigue. If you have been facing any of these symptoms and have been facing it for more than a few days, it is advisable to seek medical help immediately.
Since the outbreak, government/health officials across the globe have been urging every single person to practice social-distancing because of one integral reason – to limit the rampant spread of this virus. COVID-19, in a nutshell, primarily claims more victims through social contact, so let’s do a small analysis. On a regular basis, the crowd within a city keeps shifting, with people on the constant move for work, for travel and everything in between. Let’s assume on an average, an individual meets 10 other people during the course of his day.
If this person is infected with COVID-19, then there’s a very high possibility that the 10 other people he met could have contracted the same virus via him. This then starts the never-ending chain of cases, with different people’s symptoms manifesting after 14 or so odd days.
This is where the social distancing concept comes to play – when you distance yourself from meeting people, you drastically minimize the chances of infecting/getting infected. When the number of cases are minimised, so are the fatalities, and eventually, the situation comes under control.
Staying confined within a few walls will be hard, and the next few weeks aren’t going to be any easier, but it is essential to follow the mandates and try to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Nothing great comes without breaking a sweat, does it? If each of us can understand the dexterity of the situation and deem it our responsibility to co-operate with the government and health care officials, we can overcome this virus, sooner than expected.