Of course, any health issue brings fear. The primary question now is, ‘has the coronavirus already created pandemic fear?’ Well, let’s see.
If we go back to medical history and peruse through ancient literature, you will discover that humanity has faced several vicious medical killers. All of them have created pandemic fear. Despite this, we always seem to bounce back even stronger. However, a significant percentage of our race dies in the arms of these medical killers.
Currently, we are in the middle of a pandemic. The coronavirus is still present among us, and medical researchers are yet to find its cure. People of all ages and cultures are dying day and night. This brings me to my initial question, ‘should we raise the pandemic fear alarm?’ Well, let’s figure this out together.
What is Pandemic?
When it comes to disease outbreaks, most of them tend to appear first in specific geographic regions. For example, take a look at the Ebola virus disease. It first appeared in the Democratic Republic of Congo. People in the Middle East or other continents outside Africa had little to worry about in terms of its spread. However, sometimes, these diseases do spread, and when they do, their effects are massive. When a disease spreads worldwide, it becomes a pandemic. However, if the condition spreads in only one region, and at a particular time, it is called an epidemic.
Epidemics and Pandemics that Caused Pandemic Fear
Throughout history, humanity has had to fight through various health conditions. Cholera, HIV/AIDS, the bubonic fever, smallpox; you name them, and humanity has had to fight these fatal killers. The unfortunate thing about all these epidemics and pandemics is the fact that millions die when they occur. Let me dive deeper into the HIV/AIDS pandemic and use it as my baseline for the coronavirus pandemic evaluation.
The HIV/AIDS Pandemic
You may have heard many misconceptions or perhaps stories regarding how HIV/AIDS first spread. If you have not, then here is one for you. Some people believe that it resulted from an individual having sexual contact with monkeys. However, some scientists did a study and concluded that it resulted from humans eating chimpanzees with the HIV strain. Whatever the case is, we truly know that this disease has proven to be one of the deadliest diseases, killing millions of people since its discovery. The first case of a person with HIV/AIDS was discovered in Congo in 1976. During this era, we know that medical technologies were not as developed as they are today. Hence, before individuals could understand how it spread, how it behaved, or its signs and symptoms, millions of people had already perished.
Pandemic Fear Arising from HIV/AIDS
The disease hit its peak around 2005 and 2012. During this period, millions of people lost their lives from this fatal disease. However, today, the number is reducing because thanks to scientists and medical researchers, we know how to prevent ourselves. Similarly, we also have Antiretroviral (ARVs) available. HIV positive people consume them to help reduce the replication of HIV. Nonetheless, it is not to mean that individuals are still not living in fear about this pandemic. They are. The only difference is that the discovery of the ARVs has kept them hopeful of the development of a treatment drug.
The Corona Virus Pandemic
In early December of 2019, the first case of the coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, China. Initially, no one thought the disease would have the dire effects that it is revealing today. The coronavirus, which has now been shortened to COVID-19, is spreading rapidly. The little cough or sneeze by an infected person is enough to transfer the virus to an uninfected individual. The disease is callous given that in less than six months, almost half a million people were infected with the disease. Therefore, in March of 2020, the condition was termed a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Should We Panic?
In less than a year, we have seen millions of people worldwide become infected with COVID-19, and thousands die from it. The disease does not take into account age, sex, culture, or any other attributes. Instead, it kills any individual without a robust immune system. This is one aspect that is resulting in pandemic fear. It leads us back to our question, ‘is it time to raise the pandemic fear alarm?
Well, I am on the fence with this one. Although people are taking the necessary preventive measures, questions are still circulating all over about the future. Dozens of businesses, companies, schools, parks, restaurants, and other institutions have closed down for months. People are washing their hands and practicing social distancing, but the disease continues to spread like wildfire. It makes me want to panic.
However, looking back at all the epidemics and pandemics that we have fought gives me hope that we should not panic yet. We have found cures and preventive and mitigation measures for the rest, why not this one? I mean, look at how we dealt with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Although it took long and is still a health concern, the mortality rates have been mitigated thanks to medical intervention. Thus, I do believe that there will be a coronavirus cure found either sooner or later. So, we keep practicing the set preventive measures and hoping for the best. For how long, I cannot answer. Only time will tell.
Let me know what you think about the future based on where we are in this pandemic. Should we panic or leave it to the medical researchers and scientists to solve this puzzle for us? Let me know in the comment section!
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