COVID-19: What Happened and What to Do Now?

By Meilin Song

The advent of Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus,  has created a new “normal” in our society. With the majority of the nation still in lockdown and wary of relapses, we’re here to provide some comfort and important info on exactly what happened in these past few months and what you can do now. 

Covid-19 first began as mysterious pneumonia-like cases in Wuhan, China. The first confirmed case was in late December of 2019, but the World Health Organization (WHO) hadn’t announced news of it until early January. There were less than 100 cases and at that time, and many people in other countries hadn’t taken the news seriously since it seemed like a minor case. However, by mid-January things took a turn as more cases popped up in Thailand and Japan, causing airports in the United States and other countries to begin screening for the coronavirus. 

At this point, the coronavirus began its rampage throughout the world. The U.S. declared its first case of the coronavirus on January 21st: a man from Washington state who was confirmed with the virus after returning from Wuhan several days prior. The news was declared by China soon after that the coronavirus was transmittable from person to person, and with rising numbers in cases and deaths, China officially put Wuhan under quarantine. Then the WHO declared a public health emergency as the virus was quickly spreading throughout Germany, Vietnam, Taiwan, and many other countries.

Following suit, nations like the U.S. also declared the coronavirus as a public health emergency, deciding to restrict air travel and force travelers into quarantine. February proved to be a terrible continuation of the previous month as the death toll rose and the number of confirmed cases increased exponentially. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicted that Covid-19 would become a pandemic on February 25, and the declaration was made official on March 11th by the WHO. The coronavirus became a national emergency in the U.S., and further travel bans were made to protect citizens. 

March brought an onslaught of attempts at trying to find a cure to this dangerous virus and ways to defend against it. Universities and labs began testing drugs such as Hydroxychloroquine to see if it can prevent an exposed individual from becoming ill or reduce the symptoms of the virus. Countries began issuing stay-at-home orders and the U.S. Senate passed the CARES Act which provided $2 trillion in relief funds for hospitals, small businesses, and governments. Many people out of the kindness of their hearts started donation websites to fund for hospitals all over the world that were in desperate need of more equipment and masks. Other people who weren’t so kind started selfishly buying up all the toilet paper and essentials — much more than they actually need. 

By April, testing centers and at-home diagnostic tests for Covid-19 were becoming commonplace throughout the U.S. Many places were offering free tests for the public and offering results in only a few days. Test trials for drugs to treat the coronavirus were even showing some promise as drugs like Remdesivir proved to give patients faster recovery time. However, this good news was quickly followed by some more trouble in May when the U.S. had reached over 2 million cases and  100,000 deaths due to the coronavirus. 

Then the months of June and July gave promises for a vaccine and a few relapses. Viral videos of people who refused to wear masks or stay inside became the topic of conversation as thousands of people berated them online for their actions. By now countless stories from people who have suffered from Covid-19 have emerged (see below) and the general public has split into two sides: one side focused on staying safe and wearing masks (the majority) while the other goes out without masks and refuses to let go of their “freedom.” Now, we don’t want to judge either side for their choices, but we think you know which side you should be on (wear your masks!) Then, with protests of Black Lives Matter, people showed the world that nothing, not even the coronavirus, can stop them from trying to change society while speaking their minds.

And all of that brings us to today. We are nearing the end of August and most areas of the United States are still under quarantine. Sadly, vaccines for Covid-19 haven’t passed all of the trials yet and we can only hope to continue hearing updates on them. That means for now, students are stuck with zooming their teachers and friends from home- while other countries are reopening schools , the unemployed stay struggling with trying to find jobs, and those who are employed are staying extra cautious of others or accommodating their home to their now-online jobs. 

So what do we do now? 

Well, we keep doing what we’ve been doing for these last months. It’s tough not being able to go visit friends and family in person or going out to eat and shop, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it. It’s worth it because you will be protecting yourself and others from the coronavirus. It’s worth it because slowing the spread of the virus by staying at home will be more important than meeting up with a friend and endangering others. Most of all, it’s worth it because you will be doing your part to save lives. 

Covid-19 Self Assessment (check if you have the following symptoms and learn how to protect yourself):

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult a doctor or trusted professional.

To learn about the virus and other people’s experiences with Covid-19:

To cure boredom, visit some of these websites to find interesting things to do or learn:

To help in other ways than just staying at home, support small businesses by ordering from them online or check out these places to donate:

Need help with school? Visit here:

Sources:

https://www.ajmc.com/view/a-timeline-of-covid19-developments-in-2020

https://www.vox.com/2020/6/26/21300636/coronavirus-pandemic-black-lives-matter-protests

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

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