Some Thoughts Concerning Pandemics

please be safe

March 20, 2020

Now is a good time to talk about pandemics considering the state of the world. Countries like Spain and Italy are on lockdown to further prevent the spread of Covid-19; countries like Canada, Australia, and Germany are also closing their borders; schools around the world shut down; sports and events like baseball and March Madness are canceled; attractions like Disney World and Disneyland closed down temporarily— which they would normally never do; social distancing became prevalent; some thought it would be a good idea to purchase all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer, then reselling them at a much higher price only to find out that no online website wants to be an accomplice. Speaking of pricing, U.S. stocks had their worst losses since 1987. As of now, the total number of global cases has surpassed 265,000, including more than 11,000 fatalities. On the bright side, over 90,000 patients are reported to have recovered, but those who survived from Covid-19 can easily get reinfected. This is what it means to have a pandemic— one that changes the course of history. 

Covid-19 isn’t the first pandemic we have experienced, nor will it be the last. A pandemic is the global outbreak of a disease. According to livescience.com, pandemics are “generally classified as epidemics first, which is the rapid spread of a disease across a particular region or regions.” Aside from Covid-19, the latest pandemic that caused an uproar was HIV/Aids. Aids were first identified in 1981, destroying a person’s immune system, and resulting in death by diseases that the body would normally be able to fight off. Treatments have been developed to slow the progress, but, according to history.com, 35 million people worldwide have died of AIDS since its discovery, and a cure is yet to be found. 

Despite not having a cure yet, we are fortunate enough to have proper facilities and the knowledge to lessen the spread of Covid-19. Those who dealt with a pandemic 500 years ago, or even 100 years ago, struggled to get the word out and find the immediate solutions, thus resulting in far more deaths. The first cholera pandemic in 1817, for example, originated in Russia where it killed over a million people. It made its way to India through British soldiers where one million more people died, and it also traveled to Africa, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and America, where it killed 150,000 people. Finally, after nearly 70 years, a vaccine was created, but newer cholera pandemics persisted.

There have been many pandemics throughout history, and many more will occur in the future because of its uncertainty. But pandemics allow the rest of the population to examine our society in regards to the strength of our economy, the trust of our citizens, and especially the state of our healthcare system. We have no other choice but to advance as we continue seeking improvements and honor those who have perished before us. Their deaths are not in vain; just like in the past, we will overcome this pandemic and find the cure we so desperately need. Our generation will finally see what it’s like to go through a pandemic and will realize that there are still plenty of flaws in our system. We have to step up to the plate and work on hitting those home runs and hope we don’t strikeout.

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