The year 2020 has been challenging for many all over the world. With coronavirus prevailing and spreading like wildfire, it has impacted many countries, businesses, households, and economies adversely. As per sources, it originated from a food market in Wuhan, China, and spread across the globe. Due to which, many got infected, many died while some recovered. It was acknowledged as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) in March 2020.
As of 28th August 2020, there are a total of 24,658,485 cases worldwide, which consists of 836,303 deaths, 17,116,141 recoveries, and 6,706,041 active cases that have 6,644,636 in mild condition and 61,405 in difficult or critical situations.
When dealing with such a virus, one needs to know the symptoms, impact, precautions, treatments, and the status of its vaccines. This will not only help you prepare ahead but also keep you, your loved ones, and society safe from it.
Symptoms of COVID-19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus in a person who is infected with the virus are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other than this, one can have aches and pains all over their body, may have a sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste, and a sense of smell. Some severe symptoms include difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath: severe chest pains, and loss of movement and speech.
The severity of this virus depends from person to person. It is said as per research that it affects the immune system of a person and is likely to be extremely dangerous for those who are over 60 years of age, infants and toddlers, those who have underlying or chronic health issues such as cancer, heart diseases, lung diseases, liver problems, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), etc. It is also hazardous for those who have a habit of smoking, consuming alcohol and engaging in drugs.
When such symptoms arise, it is advised to seek immediate medical help and refer to your nearest COVID testing centers and isolate yourself from others to avoid transmitting it to your family members, friends, and others.
Difference between a Common Cold and COVID-19
Many people confuse a common cold with coronavirus and the other way around due to its symptoms being similar to each other. However, certain differences can be observed that will help you distinguish between the two.
In a common cold or flu, its virus causes mild to severe that includes a runny or a stuffy nose with wet coughs and feverish chills. It affects the person suddenly and goes away much quicker than COVID-19. It can also cause sinus and ear infections in some, but not all.
On the other hand, COVID-19 takes approximately 15 days for the virus to start showing signs and takes a relatively long time to recover. The symptoms, as mentioned above of COVID-19, are sure signs of it. Since this virus is new amongst people, proper medications or vaccines are still under immense research and development.
Saving yourself from this deadly virus is of high priority for everyone.
- To prevent the spasm of this virus and slow the entire process of COVID, one needs to wash their hands regularly with water and soap. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers or wipes that have at least over 70% alcohol content.
- Maintain social distancing—a minimum of 1-meter distance from each other when out in public. Wear a mask over your face and hand gloves when going out, but go out only if it is necessary.
- Cover your mouth and avoid touching your face. Engage in a healthy lifestyle that is free of anything that will damage your lungs and weaken your immune system.
- Follow all lockdown restrictions that have been imposed by the health authorities diligently. It is for your good.
Cures and Treatment
Finding a proper and legitimate cure and treatment for coronavirus is still under the works. The health authorities are currently researching it. Meanwhile, there are many home remedies that people have used to relieve themselves from the pain and discomfort. Such measures include the use of Vitamin C tablets and supplements, lemon juice, pink salt, etc. and sitting in warm places rather than the cold to avoid the risk of spreading it. These are allegedly known to improve the immune system of an individual and increase their chances of recovery if they are contracted with the virus.
On the other hand, there have been rumors and debates regarding the use of Quinine tonic water and Zinc tablets, and many claim that it will either eliminate the virus or reduce its deadly impact. This news has been proven false by many renowned doctors because Quinine is used to treat malaria, and it has not been approved by the WHO or the CDC to be used on COVID-19 patients. The amount of Quinine in tonic water is relatively lower.
Zinc is a proven substance that can boost an immune system of an individual. Still, it has not been declared as the cure of COVID-19, nor has it been known to prevent the effects of it. Overconsumption of vitamins also leads to dangerous health issues. Hence, it is always a better plan to get a blood test that will tell you which vitamins and nutrients you are deficient in.
Every information provided over digital media is not always authentic. One needs to consult a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis.
Impact of COVID-19 on Different Countries Around the World
As this pandemic progressed around the world, it comes as no surprise the negative toll it took on most people and economics. It became a quest for survival where some were able to go out of it while many crumpled under pressure. Some of the notable economies are:
As of today, France saw a total of 277,943 cases, out of which 30,606 have died, 86,177 recovered, and 161,160 active cases. This trend continues to see an exponential rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
Ever since March, a nationwide lockdown was imposed. As it continued to prevail, France saw an overall decline of approximately 8 percent in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which in turn destroyed the public sector and went into a deficit. Many industries faced significant loss – especially small businesses as it was reported that around 90 percent (roughly 2000) convenience stores experienced closures due to lack of profits and funds to keep them afloat. Thus, many business owners are now unemployed.
There has been a fall in hotel occupancy rates as well, which indicates that the tourism industry faced a significant setback. It fell from 84 percent to 50 percent and further down to 1.8 percent. Wearing a face mask in public has been made compulsory throughout the country as it reported 7,379 new cases of coronavirus, and they have declared a health emergency.
2. United States of America
The United States of America has seen the worst case of coronavirus than any other country in the world. As of today, they are in the lead with 6,715,008 total points, with 187,227 deaths, 3,425,814 recoveries, and 2,561,967 active cases. New patients are also emerging rapidly day by day, and it gets relatively hard to contain it.
Social life in the US has been halted and restructured as concerts, parades, games, and parties are being called off indefinitely due to social distancing, travel, trade, and lockdown restrictions being imposed. Unemployment rates are on the rise, with many people being redundant or laid off from work while some are struggling to land a job as well. This is causing a lot of problems as many are now not able to afford proper housing and their day to day expenses due to lack of funds.
Education has been moved to online platforms with schools and colleges not willing to open for students and staff since more than 26,000 coronavirus cases have been reported through colleges and universities. Overall, their economy is currently facing the biggest slump ever seen and is headed towards recession.
Greece is currently doing a little well with only 10,134 total cases as of today, with 262 deaths and 3,804 recoveries. However, starting small, they are now set to see new cases emerging and a sudden spike in the number of positive cases arising.
Due to this, they have now imposed several restrictions to curb the spread of the infection with travel protocols and a strict checking system being implemented since 1st July 2020.
Italy has one of the worst cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the world, with cases increasing rapidly and the death toll being on the rise. They managed to curb the spread of the virus to a large extent by implementing necessary strict lockdown measures and travel restrictions.
As of today, the total cases are 268,218, with 35,477 deaths, 208,536 recoveries, and 24,205 active patients. Its mortality rate was 9 percent higher than that of China during the initial days as it was underprepared for it. There was a massive surge in casualties that were in the form of doctors and nurses and hospital beds running out to cater to the COVID-19 patients.
Recently, Italy sees a spike in the coronavirus cases once again due to the relaxation of their preventive policies when the number of reported cases went down. It is a more considerable spike than reported before, and the Italian government is looking to contain it once again. Businesses have now resumed, and people are still required to wear masks at all times and maintain social distancing. The health care workers are now better prepared if a second wave hits them with continued research and experience. But the real number of infected cases is still estimated to be higher than the official count.
Iceland has been one of the few countries that haven’t seen significant destruction at the hands of the coronavirus, with only 2,107 total cases, ten deaths, and 1,997 recovered with less than five new cases emerging each day.
During its inception, they saw a rapid increase. Still, later over the months, this number went significantly down, and the health conditions continue to improve as we progress further. This improvement was seen due to their tracing teams who spent hours locating the infected people and getting them the necessary medical attention.
They never imposed a lockdown, and only a handful of social gathering businesses like salons, restaurants, and bars were ordered to close down. Voluntary home-based quarantines were developed, and paid leaves were given to those employees who were infected. With clear instructions and laws, Iceland is amongst the very few to overcome the implications of the virus using only preventive measures.
With many doctors, nurses, and other health care staff working round the clock to treat people infected with the coronavirus, there has not been any news of a definite cure as yet.
As per the RAPS.org, only one vaccine has been approved as of now, known as the Sputnik V that was previously known as Gam-COVID-Vac, developed in Moscow, but it hasn’t yet reached Phase 3 of the clinical trials. They are still undergoing many clinical trials, testing, and phases. They typically require years of intensive research and trials before they are made public.
The WHO does not recommend self-medication either the use of any substance that has not been approved by the health board as they could have side effects detrimental to many. There have been claims that the Quinine Tonic Water and Zinc Chelated tablets are preventing coronavirus and curing the infected. However, these claims were denied by many scientists and doctors as they said that it only helps to boost your immunity and not cure the infected person of the virus itself. Boosting your immunity is essential as it fights against the various germs and bacteria that enter your body.
The doctors are hopeful that they will be able to release the vaccines by mid-2021. However, no specific claims and disclosures regarding this particular vaccine have been made yet.