Essay on Emergence, Spread and the Socio-Economic Impact of COVID-19
Number of words: 1488
Infections to the respiratory tract and common cold are among illnesses caused by the large family of viruses called the Coronavirus (CoV). Death, dire respiratory issues and pneumonia are elicited when the infections are of a severe nature (Ludovic et al., 2020). There was some ignorance and overlooking directed at these viruses before the SARS outbreak. Nonetheless, the research on the vaccine has been spurred owing to the in-depth study of these viruses after the outbreaks of MERS and SARS. In China’s Wuhan city, there was detection of strange pneumonia cases on the 31st of December, 2019. In what came to be branded as COVID 19 by the World Health Organization (WHO), a novel Coronavirus was acknowledged as the causative agent in January 2020 (Bashir et al., 2020). Over 200 territories and nations of the world have been encroached into by the virus since the first case was reported in China. The virus’s origin is the subject of a lot of debate despite the initial claims that humans contracted the virus from animals according to experts. Practices of good hygiene in addition to the infected person be quarantined in order for the virus to be contained. The world has experienced a profound impact in terms of its socio-economic sphere as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The emergence of COVID-19
The WHO terms COVID 19 (Coronavirus Disease-2019) as the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2). Central to the origin of the virus is the Wuhan area in China which hosts a seafood market (Abuselidze and Mamaladze, 2020). The marketplace which is typically crowded could have initiated the spread of the virus after the sale of an animal believed to have had the disease. One of the potential hosts of the viruses that was originally identified was a snake according to the first studies done on the subject. Bats are widely cited as the likeliest hosts of the virus after it was earlier posited that pangolins could also have been involved in the spread of the virus.
Bats were also suspected of harboring MERS and SARS. The host in the intermediate phase is the dromedary camel in regards to MERS. For a while now, Coronaviruses have inhabited the bodies of bats. It is believed that animal to man transmission is what took place when the Coronavirus first infected the maiden person (Keni et al., 2020). This transmission is occasioned by increased anthropogenic activities that cause an increase in ecological pressure. Just like in Africa, China has had to grapple with forest encroachment by human beings. More often than not, the spillovers of a zootonic nature are commonplace today due to the climate change that results in even more pressures to the ecology. The origin of the net epidemic or pandemic may also have its roots in the above scenario if we do not arrest the current situation. A drift or a shift in the genes causes mutation and this strengthens the instability fact normally associated with viruses.
The spread of COVID-19
The virus’s major clusters, which were the cruise ship and China as a whole, seemed to be able to contain the virus before the commencement of the spread. Within the span of a few months, the virus’s cluster regions shifted dramatically with Iran, the United States and the major parts of Europe becoming the new hotbeds of the virus as of April, 2020. At the time, the cases of COVID-19 that were confirmed had reached an all-time high in the US with densely populated nations such as India doing so well to contain the spread of the disease through the introduction of measures such as a lockdown to keep the Coronavirus caseload at a minimum (Chakraborty and Maity, 2020). The same measures were also introduced in other countries such as the UK, which also benefitted from having low caseloads. The virus’s infection rate was unable to be effectively managed subsequently due to different strains of the virus emerging constantly. Transmission of the disease is through droplets.
Those individuals between the age of 20 years and 50 years are more susceptible to the virus according to reports from India and China. In tandem with this report, it is more likely that this age group will be exposed to the virus since the form the lion’s share of the work force in both these countries (Ficetola and Rubolini, 2021). When contrasting with the nations around them, low fatalities with a huge COVID-19 caseload has been observed in both Singapore and Germany. When the outbreak occurred, Singapore leveraged their earlier laid out plans after past outbreaks and this worked out well for them. At a time when the WHO had not introduced any measures to contain the spread of the virus, Singapore was proactive and swiftly started quarantine and screening of its people before eventually banning all travellers coming from China. Similarly, testing was intensified in Germany in order to get the true picture of the on the ground. Before symptoms had the chance to show, the infected were promptly quarantined and thus keeping the fatality numbers very low.
The socio-economic impact of COVID-19
A potential recession and economic crisis has been reported in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Loss of jobs has occurred as a result of economic sectors reducing the workforce due to the introduction of control measures such as restrictions of travel, self-isolation and physical distancing (Chakraborty and Maity, 2020). There has been a decrease in the demand for manufactured goods and commodities in addition to the closure of learning institutions. However, there has been a considerable increase in the demand for medical equipment and supplies (Keni et al., 2020). The agricultural industry is also facing an all-time level of stress and pressure owing to stock-piling and impulse buying of an already frightened global population.
Key sectors and how they have been affected
The outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic has tested the agricultural industry’s resilience. A drop in the prices of commodities supplied by the industry has been observed as the hospitality sector has remained closed due to travel restrictions.
Oil and petroleum products
The world economy is set to be gravely impacted war on prices between the leading producers of oil and petroleum products. The grounding of flights and the travel ban across most countries of the world have had a significant effect on the demand and profitability of oil products.
For most manufacturing companies, it is not viable for their workforce to work from home as demanded by some of the control measures of COVID-19. Business operations have also been negatively impacted due to the decline in turnover by most companies.
Across most of the countries in the world, at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic, closed down schools across all the levels to curtail the spread of the virus (Bashir et al., 2020). This hugely impacted the education sector with many students not graduating at the appointed time and many having to defer their studies to a later date.
Plans to control COVID-19
The vaccine for COVID-19 has since been manufactured and although the dissemination of the vaccine to all regions of the world is a far cry from what we would like, the progress being made to root out the virus from our midst is laudable. For the vaccine to reach every corner of the globe, the patent rights and copyright restrictions imposed by the initial creators of the vaccine need to be waived in order to have a mass production exercise of the vaccine across the planet.
When COVID-19 is well and truly behind us that is the right and opportune moment to measure the true impact of the pandemic despite the projected impact of the virus on different sectors.
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