CORONAVIRUS: TIPPING POINT OF THE 21st CENTURY
I always planned to be busy working on my projects in Canada by 2020, I would fly to the US hosting there my projects by that time, and of course here I am in Canada writing this. I have named my bedroom Canada after all this mess started. With much of the world on lockdown, everyday tracking death tolls and flight cancellations; No one is questioning why we are in the midst of only sitting at home and some doing almost nothing. And from my ideas in Canada (my room), I questioned myself and got an answer that we are in this because of a tipping point that gave rise to a zoonotic virus.
"What’s a zoonotic virus?" I know some of you would ask! A quick simple answer is that the virus was spread from non-human animals to humans hence zoonotic. The world has witnessed the outbreak of several other zoonotic diseases like Ebola, and others since the early 2000s and yet we still find ourselves woefully unprepared to address the remedy of these crises. It's good now that you know that it came from a non-human animal, but which one exactly? – Move on you’ll find out.
This disease was first detected by the Chinese authorities in December of 2019 and its cause is one of the new viruses in the group of coronavirus(betacoronavirus). And that is SARS-COV 2 which in full means Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2. This disease Covid-19 which is the CoronaVirus Disease 2019, its spread agents are believed to be pangolins and horseshoe bats, both of which are killed and sold in wet markets which are usually referred to as sea food markets in Wuhan-China. An interesting fact is that in this market they illegally sold live wild animals such as bats, snakes, and others. And so that illegal selling became the tipping point of the current century_(Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell). And that is where it is believed the outbreak which is now the global pandemic to have originated.
Now that you know that Covid-19 started from China, then how do you think it travelled along from China to more than 180 countries in the world? I really liked Bill Gates’ view saying that the borders we see are just physical boundaries. This has demonstrated the interconnected nature of our world. Basically, to answer that question the virus had and still has many techniques and to narrate for you some:
Primarily, it is spread between people during close contact. And since the first detection; people couldn’t consider the virus that their usual activities and gatherings continued. As they gathered, one infected person could possibly infect the other 1000 in that area hence quick spread and rapid increase of Covid-19 cases. At the time also people could still fly from one country to another hence they could also carry the virus with themselves and spread it to the other countries.
The virus can also be spread via small droplets produced by coughing, sneezing and talking. Usually the droplets fall to the ground or onto surfaces rather than travelling through air over long distances because they are heavy, and less commonly people may become infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching their face, the virus would go in a marathon to reach the throat. Another way is staying suspended a short time in air held in the smaller droplets and you can get infected by breathing in the virus if you are within close proximity of someone with Covid-19 hence easy and quick spread. By the way, to my view Covid-19 might be quite that intelligent!
Now that we know how Covid-19 is spread and then how can we identify a Covd-19 patient? Firstly Covid-19 has an incubation period of 5-6 days on average however it can also take up to 14 days. An incubation period is the period between the day of infection and the day at which the person starts to express signs and symptoms. What are the symptoms and signs that person is likely to express?
There are some inevitable symptoms of Covid-19 which are most common in every Covid-19 patient and those include fever followed by a headache which is the increase of the body temperature beyond the usual one which is 37. And the other common symptoms are a dry cough and tiredness due to the weakening of the body cells especially the white blood cells and that causes the weakening of the body’s self defense hence the tiredness is inevitable.
However there are also less common symptoms of Covid-19 and those can include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, loss of taste or smell, rash on skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes. And though they are less common, they are also inevitable in some circumstances and have to be taken care of! Covid-19 has also got serious symptoms that must be focused on while describing a covid-19 patient. And those serious symptoms include shortness of breath or difficulty of breathing, and this might also cause a chest pain or pressure due to the damaged lungs.
Though we now know the origin, the signs and symptoms of covid-19, it is still impossible for the world to eradicate this pandemic. While we still do our usual (sometimes unnecessary) activities and gatherings. Since we still don't cope with the preventive measures such as wearing a mask, washing hands with water and soap or alcohol based hand-rub, covering mouth when coughing, maintaining social distancing and other many measures put on by the authorities. But it is our role to always cope accordingly and follow the preventive measures as long as the pandemic is still on; in order to avoid the spread of Covid-19 towards its eradication and I strongly believe we're all in this together.
We all have to be aware that "No one is safe until everyone is". Only by acting in solidarity can communities save lives and overcome the devastating socio-economic impacts of the virus.
Jewell, T. (2020, June 30). Everything You Should Know About the 2019 Coronavirus and COVID-19. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/coronavirus-covid-19
Mackenzie, J. S., & Smith, D. W. (2020, March 17). COVID-19: a novel zoonotic disease caused by a coronavirus from China: what we know and what we don’t. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7086482/
Maron, D. F. (2020, April 15). Wet markets’ likely launched the coronavirus. Here’s what you need to know. National Geographical. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2020/04/coronavirus-linked-to-chinese-wet-markets/
Pavel, B., & Engelke, P. (2020, April 30). Irresponsible wet market practices led to COVID-19. China hasn’t learned its lesson. EuroNews. Retrieved from https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/30/irresponsible-wet-market-practices-led-to-covid-19-china-hasn-t-learned-its-lesson-view
WHO. (2020, April 17). Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19). World Health Organisattion. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses#:~:text=symptoms
Writer: Kevin Rusagara Iraguha from Cornerstone Leadership Academy