How Did We Get Here!

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 How Did We Get Here!

The entire world is in the middle of a Global Pandemic!  Most countries are now going through their Second Wave – which just as the experts predicted is worse than the first!

 So, how exactly did we get here?  How did this happen?   Let’s take a look at the time-line building up to this point…

Let’s start with the meaning of a Pandemic.  When a disease becomes a public health concern it is declared as an outbreak and can get upgraded as the disease progresses to an epidemic and possible on to a pandemic. 

An OUTBREAK is when an illness happens in unexpected high numbers. It may stay in one area or extend more widely for example – SARS in 2003.   An outbreak if not quickly controlled can become an epidemic.

An EPIDEMIC is the rapid spread of a disease to a large number of people within a community, population or region.   

And a PANDEMIC is an epidemic that has spread over multiple countries or continents…

Only recently Antarctica the last place on earth that did not have Covid-19 just reported they have  more than 3 dozen cases which now means that this Global Pandemic has now spread to every continent on earth … every square inch of this planet has now been infected with Covid-19!    

This Pandemic was caused by a virus known as a Coronavirus, the name Covid-19 as it is now typically referred to as was named by The World Health Organization (WHO) they simply focused on the type of virus that caused the disease.  Co and Vi comes from coronavirus and the D is for disease, the 19 is for 2019 the year the first case was detected.  

Coronaviruses are nothing new … they did not just recently pop up. They have in fact been around for a very long time.  Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. The new or (“novel”) coronavirus is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.   

But because this virus was still fairly new and very little was known about it or how it acted and with no established immunity from past cycles the experts believe that everybody was susceptible and with no vaccine yet that made it even more dangerous.

While animals are thought to be the original source of this coronavirus, it is now being spread from person to person. What make this new virus so dangerous to people is simply because there was no way to fight it!  It’s not that the virus is more powerful or stronger than other viruses but rather when somebody contracts it –   we had no pre-existing defenses because our bodies don’t immediately recognize it to be a dangerous intruder.

The virus is transmitted mainly by respiratory droplets when people speak, cough, sneeze or exhale.  It’s estimated that on average one infected person will infect between two and three more. 

So, when, where and how did it all start?!  

Is it man-made, was it released on purpose was it December 2019 or earlier??  The conspiracy theorists would say yes to one or all of the above! But the facts just don’t support these theories.   The most probable scenario is that in fact it did begin in Wuhan China in December 2019.

However, it’s still very controversial as to exactly how this whole virus began.  It does appear to have originated in what is known as a Wet Market where wild animals, including marmots, birds, rabbits, bats and snakes are traded illegally.   It’s thought that the first person or people infected with the virus are the stallholders from the market who contracted it from the animals.  

The search for the animal source of Covid-19 is still really unknown, although there are some strong candidates.  A team of virologists (a combination of a medical doctor and a scientist) at the Wuhan Institute for Virology released a detailed paper showing that this NEW coronaviruses’ genetic makeup is 96% identical to that of a coronavirus found in bats.

So, the question is:  could this or more importantly should this pandemic have been avoided? The simple answer is ‘yes’!  The reasons it wasn’t are far more complicated.

However, now that we have several pharmaceutical companies with approved vaccines we can now begin to get the world vaccinated against Covid-19.  That is going to be a huge undertaken by each country, nevertheless once the majority of the world is vaccinated we can begin to get back to what might be best referred to as the New Normal…

Shortly after approved vaccines began to get rolled out all around the world the United Kingdom reported on a new variant of the coronavirus that appears to be 70 per cent more transmittable.  This new variant is now starting to show up in other countries including Canada, France, Japan, Sweden and Israel.

The consensus with most health experts seems to be that the vaccines should be just as effective on this new variant.  Let’s hope so…