China's Coronavirus is a Global Crisis
Updated: Aug 24, 2020
As of February 27th, CNN has reported that the death toll has increased to at least 2,800. Majority of them are still in Mainland China, but the rest of the world does not fare any better. The number of confirmed cases now exceeds 83,000, with spikes in South Korea and Europe, hitting every continent except Antarctica.
Even as nations continue to evacuate their people from Wuhan (the epicenter of the breakout) and precautions are being taken by the World Health Organization (WHO) and airports, the virus has still found its way to various places in other countries. There have been confirmed cases in 37 states already, including in big cities like Seattle and Boston. February 27th brought the sixtieth confirmed case in the US, a number much better than those in Italy or Iran. However, the number doesn’t tell the whole story.
A woman in California has contracted the virus even when she did not travel anywhere near China nor came into contact with someone who has. The source of the virus is unknown and the patient is in serious condition. The Centers for Disease Control Prevention’s previous guidelines seem insufficient. New guidelines have been passed in light of a possible “community spread.”
Hong Kong currently has 85 confirmed cases. An apartment block was partially evacuated due to possible contamination through the air ducts running through the building. Up in Europe, two health workers in the UK have also contracted the virus. The cases between the two seem to be linked, and public health officials are doing their best to test anyone who could have come into close contact with them.
South Korea faced a shocking increase in cases on February 20th. The epicenter of the outbreak has been identified as Daegu, where 1,314 cases have come from. Most of those who have contracted coronavirus in Daegu are from the Shincheonji religious group. As of February 27th, South Korea’s coronavirus cases have surpassed 2,000. SK is now the second nation with the most cases, the first being Mainland China.
The Coronavirus does not just stop on land, though; the epidemic has been plaguing the sea as well. Multiple cruise ships have been halted in Thailand, Hong Kong, Yokohama, and New Jersey with possible cases of the virus. There were no confirmed cases on Westerdam (Thailand) and World Dream (Hong Kong) and all those screened on Anthem of the Seas (New Jersey) were cleared. The Anthem of the Seas is now set to sail to Bermuda after 4 possible cases came back negative. Diamond Princess that was docked in Yokohama was not contained properly which caused the number of cases to skyrocket from 10 to more than 700. 42 of them are American.
A couple days ago, the virus had little to no impact on the stock market. As of February 27th, the numbers have taken some of the biggest hits we have ever seen. The market has not performed like this since the 2008 financial crisis. The S&P dropped 500 points, its worst day since 2011, and the Dow dropped 1,191 points, its worst drop in history. Companies, like Chinese search giant Baidu and Weibo, are taking extreme losses and expecting more drops in their stocks.
Korean Air has increased sanitation in their planes. The worldwide K-pop group BTS and their company Bighit have done all their recent press conferences through livestreams, even going as far as to cancel their Seoul concert dates in April. People are questioning whether we’ll even have the Olympics in Tokyo this summer. All schools will be closed from Monday onwards and the emphasis on wearing facemasks will increase.
News about the coronavirus is not new. When the virus only existed in Wuhan, Dr. Li Wenliang, a whistleblower, warned officials about the virus. He stated that it was “SARS-like” and extremely dangerous to the public, urging for it to be contained as soon as possible and be treated as a public health emergency. The officials seemed to have not taken his words of caution to seriously. Li has died of the same coronavirus he tried to warn against in the same hospital he worked in.
Signs of the coronavirus include the flu, a fever, headache, shortness of breath, or even just a “general feeling of being unwell,” according to the CDC. The virus can spread through the air, and person-to-person contraction is possible. As the death toll escalates, the exigency of curing and containing this epidemic intensifies.