As of June 2021, there are 174,502,686 confirmed Corona Virus cases worldwide. The current recovery rate is promising, as about 160,102,272 patients have recovered out of the total number of covid-19 cases. Unfortunately, roughly 3,770,362 persons have succumbed to the virus infection and its aftereffects; the mortality rate is presently lowering from the peaks of May but still high, and case fatality is up to 10% and above in some countries around the globe. As to the vaccination process at a worldwide scale, above 2,156,550,767 doses of various vaccines have been provided to people. The victory over the disease is yet to arrive; however, all the measures to contain and suppress the notorious curve are being taken, with different effects and efficiency by country.
Based on expert research and the latest developments in the realm of novel coronavirus prevention and treatment, the following guide covers the essential aspects of the coronavirus disease, including the symptoms it causes, the impact it has on different groups of individuals, medication, and other life-saving practices concerned. We will share with you various probable scenarios scientists outline for the future of the planet and tell you how to get best-prepared for even the worst of them. Some of the most dangerous myths concerning the COVID-19 are to be busted in the article, too.
While there are tons of bias and misleading news around SARS-COV-2, let alone numerous bizarre conspiracy theories and myths, this article comprises the information gathered from the most relevant and world-recognized sources and serves informative and awareness-raising purposes in the first place.
Origin of COVID-19
Now, as the spread of the virus has been ongoing for nearly a year, the World Health Organization has voiced plans aimed at discovering the origin of the COVID-19 illness. Wuhan, China, is justly chosen as a place where the investigation into the first cases of the illness should start: the city where the disease came out to spread worldwide. The steps aimed to find the origin of the covid will promote disease control and prevention, as well as preparedness for the possible resurgence of the virus spread. The assignment taken up by the researchers of the WHO is a tough one, but the scientists are very well-determined.
A common notion among them is that a bat is the living organism where the virus originated, although the mechanism of its transmission from bats to humans is still undiscovered. Interestingly, the 2002 SARS acute respiratory illness jumped onto humans from raccoon dogs or civets, which caused an outbreak of the illness that year.
The investigation can be very time-consuming and may require decades, coming to no avail in the end. Discussing the question, we should also consider certain political tensions existing between the United States and China, which do obstruct the finding of the truth quite substantially. Despite all this, Joe Biden pledges that he will return the USA to the WHO and hopes for a more positive environment that will accelerate the research.
Long-term planning concerns investigating beyond Wuhan and other China territories. In a study of the sewage of Spain, posted by Nature, there is information that particles of SARS-COV-2 had been discovered in March 2019, several months before the Wuhan’s first registered cases. Above all, it is also liable that more kinds of animals actively participate in the spread of some human coronaviruses, which is becoming a concern of many virologists worldwide.
The investigation into the origin of the 2019 NCOV is purely scientific, and it will surely reveal a lot of facts about COVID-19 and gives us more tools to fight it. As usual, we will wait and see. In the following chapter, we will walk our readers through the information about the worldwide lockdown experience, including one in the United States, Europe, Russia, and China.
Novel Coronavirus Protection Basics
This is essential: the first thing to do if you have not yet contracted covid-19 or have successfully withstood it is to get vaccinated as soon as it is possible. CDC claims it to be the most beneficial option to take. Vaccines differ in their capability to prevent catching the virus afterward and in the side effects, they may entail. Cleaning and disinfecting the house and appliances and face masks’ proven positive impact on the spread of the disease are the fundamentals. Below, you will find other key essentials concerning the anti-coronavirus defense of no least importance:
- The major route for the COVID-19 to transfer from one person to another is via breathing, coughing, sneezing, or simply communicating in close proximity to each other. Your eyes, mouth, and nostrils are the main ways for the virus to enter your organism. According to the latest research, the transmission of the horrid illness can occur via any surface (like your own hands, for example) that has recently been exposed to the virus-containing substances, as a result of direct contact of the surfaces with the most vulnerable body parts, e.g., nose, eyes, or mouth.
- The face had better be covered: the fact proven by the global covid protection experience and commonly underlined by reputable epidemiologists worldwide. An appropriate respirator system can sufficiently minimize the risk of inhaling COVID-19 particles for those who wear the mask and people around. Leaving your house and heading to public places, you should arm yourself with a mask.
- It has been claimed by experts and proven by several pieces of research that closed spaces are a far more pleasant environment for the novel coronavirus to spread than outdoor ones are. Hence, visiting such indoor locations with a possibility to contact people outside of your regular quarantine circle should be minimized if annulled for the best security.
- It is also recommended that people reduce all offline communication, especially indoors, and contact with each other in the distance.
- Besides the mask, another piece of life-saving clothes is protective gloves. While you still have to devote time to cleaning your hands, gloves will let you do it less often, but they need to be changed frequently. And you still have to ensure cutting down on touching your face, eyes, and mouth while wearing gloves.
- An affordable oximeter is among the basic recommendations, as it can allow you to check on your pulse patterns while heeding the lockdown and other restrictive policies.
Read on and find out what ripple effects of the novel coronavirus disease you need to be aware of to be best-prepared.
Private and Public Health Essentials
Before we have dived deep into the details, let us consider the basics we all have to agree upon regarding the approved facts and common sense. The following top-5 list consists of the bullet-points that demand our most attentive contemplation and unquestioned heeding.
- We should never let fakes disorientate us: some claim coronaviruses are no more dangerous than simple flu or other less contagious infectious illnesses, disregarding the World Health Organization (WHO). Some undervalue and despise all the steps taken worldwide (differently, though) to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, including masks, social distancing, reduced commuting, and sanitizing. The scientific community is now on the way to the full realization of the coronavirus disease’s peculiarities; the full picture is yet to become available. However, we should not underestimate the threat the novel coronavirus posed to humanity all through 2020 and well into 2021, but not without optimistic projections, too. Health— both our personal and public health— is not to be compromised, and each of us should take steps to cease the COVID-19 pandemic.
- We should apply all that in our powers not to add up to the ugly novel coronavirus statistic in deaths and become yet another burden down the shoulders of the health workers and the healthcare systems in general. Besides, the global economies, which are the pillars of the world’s stability, are being violently shaken. During the tiring longing for the solidifying of the herd immunity and the further expansion of mass vaccination, we are to make all possible to provide the most secure environment for ourselves and our families. The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, but we surely can accelerate its exodus once we are aware and take steps. Some claim the worst has already passed, but the warm season can bring about the uprising trend in the virus cases worldwide. Hence, providing proper care of yourself and your dear ones and taking preventive measures are only mandatory.
- In 2020, among the most realistic projections as to the time when it all will be over or, at least, become less devastating, scientists and analysts name the first quarter of 2021. As of June 2021, the disease has been still marching around the planet; however, with less confidence. Until this time, all nations and their residents have merge efforts to suppress and break the notorious curve. And the successes of different approaches to bend the devastating curve have been achieved.
- The reopenings and ease of lockdown policies happening on the global scale have turned out to have only fueled the second and the following deadly waves of the spread of COVID-19, with hundreds of thousands of new cases and threatening death tolls nearly shattering the best world’s public healthcare systems and economies. It has been proven that the disease is not as easy to eliminate as it may have seemed in the beginning and requires much effort in analyzing and treatment.
- While some of the approaches to thwart the further COVID-19 outbreak have been successfully adopted by the majority of communities worldwide, new lockdowns and restrictions of traveling are what we have to expect in the nearest future. This can lead people from most countries in the world to the pit of economic collapses, protests, further social distancing, more harsh restrictions on travel, a deficit of food, water resources, and essential medical care in the least developed nations. Regardless of the current political and financial instability registered in the world today, the efforts adopted by governments and the governed peoples continue the combat the pandemic.
- As to traveling the world nowadays, some countries keep their borderlines shut while others open to meet the long-awaited tourists, a major influx into the economies of many. CDC recommends that travelers should receive the full dose of vaccination before considering an international journey. The drawbacks can exacerbate a not entirely normal situation with the spread of the virus. The vaccinated are still required to wear masks and take all other needed precautions to meet the demands of the travel company. Those who, for various reasons, don’t wish to get vaccinated, should take viral tests and set to self-monitoring and avoiding close contact for around 14 days of stay in a country of your destination. Besides, as the restrictions imposed vary by country, one should check the local ones to have a safe and non-complicated trip.
Novel COVID-19 Side Effects
Also known as ‘ripple effects,’ these are poetic only in their name: no less devastating than natural disasters, the economic downfalls, and essential supplies shortages go hand in hand with the COVID-19 pandemic. It turned out that even the world’s richest nations had next to zero levels of preparedness when the outbreak started, not to mention those countries at the bottom of the financial food chain.
- As is projected by most authoritative sources, the pandemic’s major drawback is the financial vulnerability of individuals and businesses. Low to medium-income households and owners of small enterprises worldwide struggle through perhaps the toughest times in their lives as the lockdowns, suspended or forbidden events, the highest-in-history rate of redundancies, and firings across the globe have reached far beyond the figures of the Great Depression times. The best idea is to be stockpiling not only water and food supplies: cash is the best parachute in this turbulent epoch. Those who have unpaid mortgage and credit card debts should do everything to reduce or pay off all the debts until the more hard times come.
- It is highly suggested that households have sufficient amounts of all things essential for normal life should sudden quarantine measures be imposed by governments. Experts recommend us to have enough supplies to sustain our household and its inhabitants for at least two weeks in a row. However, the the-more-the-better rule applies in the case, too. In the event of food shortages in local supermarkets or the too-sudden measures taking, one can experience an acute deficiency of vital resources. That is why one should stockpile smartly, and a lot: three months’ worth of supplies is a perfect plan.
- Don’t neglect things helping you maintain your proper health and hygiene condition, like soaps and washing powders. Prep medications and products you need on a daily basis: there might be no opportunity to get them when you wish to.
- Planning and strategy are essential at war. And the war with the coronavirus disease we have been into for nearly a year is not an exception. We should learn from past mistakes, avoid making the same ones and be aware of the latest developments in the prevention and treatment of the COVID-19.
To embrace the objective approach and connect all the dots correctly, we can look back now and observe the struggle from its start. Now, let us trace back the spread of COVID 19 and turn to the very first coronavirus cases in modern history. But first, let us consider the history of the research concerned.
COVID-19 Research Milestones
- As described by the Common Cold Research Unit’s scientists in Wiltshire, UK, as “not related to other viruses of the human respiratory tract,” the human coronavirus came on stage back in 1965. The virus was cultivated from a person with a seemingly cold and was entitled B814.
- In 1966, John Procknow and Dorothy Hamre—both from the Chicago University, reported finding what they named 229E, a virus acquired from a person with a respiratory system related condition.
- Two years later, in 1968, Nature received a letter from a group of eight scientists with groundbreaking research results that stated that B814, 229E, OC43, and other newly-discovered viruses could be determined as a principally new category due to the solar corona shape of a particular ‘fringe’ of microscopic projections. Hence, the name.
- After several decades of virtually no news on the coronavirus disease research horizon, in 2003, an international group of scientists proved that a novel coronavirus had been the cause of the 2002 Chinese epidemic of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
- Following up, in 2004, Erasmus Medical Center scientists acquired a new kind of coronavirus. This time, the patient was a child and had pneumonia.
- Hong Kong of 2005 became the site of another coronavirus’s discovery: HKU1 was isolated from two persons with bronchial pneumonia.
- MERS-CoV was identified and named by Erasmus Medical Center scientists. Patient—a person from Saudi Arabia who had kidney failure and acute pneumonia. It was in 2012.
- In 2019, Wuhan, China, a city with a population of over 11 million residents, became the epicenter of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic we are all to cope with, at least, for the nearest future. Years 2020 and 2021 have seen a major breakthrough in understanding the particularities and variations of the covid-19 disease itself, together with the solidification of the means to contain, treat, and prevent the contraction of the virus. Most efforts of researchers nowadays are aimed at finding a solution that, by stopping the spread of the virus through mass vaccination, will entail gradual recession of covid-19 and grants the so-called herd immunity. WHO continues to update people on the development of the most effective vaccines on their official website. As of now, the population of people who got one dose of the vaccine is hovering nigh 900 million, with about 450 million fully vaccinated persons worldwide.
World Health Organization Response to SARS-COV-2
Let’s briefly look at the list of steps taken in terms of disease control and prevention by the World Health Organization from the beginning of the SARS COV-2 outbreak and a year after.
- During a brief press conference organized by WHO, the company officials made a statement that the potential for human-to-human transmission in the 41 confirmed cases in the People’s Republic of China could take place: “It is certainly possible that there is the limited human-to-human transmission.” Afterward, in a tweet, the World Health Organization mentioned that an investigation organized by Chinese authorities had discovered “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” Therefore, “to ascertain the presence of human-to-human transmission,” organizing an extra investigation was only essential.
- On 13 Mar 2020, Europe was declared the epicenter of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 spread by the Director-General of the World Health Organization. This time, the death toll and caseloads in Europe exceeded those in the rest of the planet, excluding China.
- On 13 Jun 2020, more health information about new coronavirus cases was provided by Chinese public health officials regarding the situation with a new release of the coronavirus disease 2019 in Beijing.
- World Health Organization (WHO) stretched out a helping hand, offering assistance—human and technical resources and medications— to China to help them suppress the rising curve of the new COVID-19 cases. Along with the offer, the WHO requested some updates regarding the peculiarities of the local communities outbreak and asked for details of the investigations concerned.
- On World Humanitarian Day, UN partners and the World Health Organization merged to honor the effort of healthcare professionals, clinicians, and all healthcare workers fighting with the novel coronavirus COVID-19 to suppress the spread of the disease in all countries hit by growing numbers of the new coronavirus cases and other related respiratory illnesses, as well as Ebola healthcare workers saving patients in response to the viral infection, including the elderly, women, and children. The World Health Organization is closely monitoring the situation with the new coronavirus outbreak, and you can get more related information on their official web-page.
- The first two quarters of 2021 have seen a rise in the research activity by WHO. In February, it was suggested that COVID-19 could have come from bats. Soon afterward, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine was authorized by the WHO for emergency cases.
- In March, notions concerning the laboratory origin of the virus were deemed highly unlikely. Later on, on 12 March, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine Ad26.COV2.S was authorized as appropriate for emergency use.
- The Sinopharm, one more effective vaccine, was authorized by the WHO in May 2021.
Coronavirus Research and Testing Now
Let us consider the latest developments in testing and research ongoing, updated by April 2021. Among the major milestone, we have enlisted those with the most global impact:
- On 30 April, scientists from the UK found that a person’s risk of contracting and transmitting the covid-19 disease can be reduced by half with the help of a single dose of AstraZeneca. However, youth under 21 are said to have a high probability to contract the virus. However, the 50 percent decrease in disease transmission is good news.
- Taking swabs individually can significantly accelerate the process of detection and containment of the virus, Steven Riley and Paul Elliott of Imperial College in London revealed. The vast campaigns aimed at people’s testing have proven to be effective to handle the pandemic and slow down its march.
- Based on an mRNA, the vaccine can prevent the spread of COVID-19 disease by nearly 87%, as researchers report.
- On 23 April, Nature posted based on research studies that previous infections can have a positive impact on the covid development. The authors say that the T cells, which are provided by the human immune system, provide solid protection against the symptoms of covid-19.
- Another study in April revealed that medicine prescribed to people with asthmas can reduce the timespan of the disease.
- Earlier in April 2021, scientists expressed concerns as to the effect of such vaccines as Sputnik V and others produced by the same pattern. Researchers think the vaccine might be of less efficiency against variations of SARS-CoV-2.
- Meanwhile, the Moderna vaccine has been proven to have a long-term (at least six months) effect on antibodies. The company organized three types of tests which revealed that all participants showed good results in antibodies half a year after the jab.
- New mutated variants of COVID-19 have been spread through international traveling, researchers claim. Scientists expressed caution as to the ability of most people’s immune systems to respond to the new variants of the virus.
- In March 2021, a study of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines has shown that the risk of infection can be significantly reduced by mass vaccination with the use of the vaccines.
- Analysts suggest that people of age are at risk twice as higher as younger persons to contract and suffer from the covid-19 disease.
For more updates on the matter, follow the full article by Nature.
Some of the guidelines are just part of regular hygiene routine for many individuals, and others have been recommended by the World Health Organization as essential weapons against the ongoing march of COVID-19. Let us consider them closely in the next chapter of our article.
How to Protect Yourself From Human Coronaviruses
Why You Should Avoid COVID-19 Respiratory Illness
Nobody really wants to get sick with the novel coronavirus COVID-19. While the disease affects children and young individuals less intensely, the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are the main targets of the deadly acute respiratory infection.As of June 2021, the real effects from mass vaccination are only yet to come—some claim it to start hovering soon—and the herd immunity is underdeveloped, too. So the best thing to do is avoiding the infection and direct contact with ill persons by all means and take swift steps once any symptoms of the disease have been detected. Consider the following:
- Lethal consequences are not the only threat posed by the COVID-19.
- You can be reduced to bed regime for months, let alone the overcrowded hospitals worldwide.
- There are dangers of getting severe lung damage, problems with the heart, kidneys, encephalitis, psychiatric issues, and more unpleasant aftereffects.
- Let us also not forget about the yet-undescribed inflammatory syndrome some children have faced.
How To Stop COVID-19?
Below is the preliminary list that can help you avoid catching human coronaviruses and help stop the COVID-19 outbreak. It has proven its effect by healthcare workers, doctors, and essential workers across the globe:
- To prevent getting respiratory infections, being in public places requires wearing masks. There are various types of them, but N95 is among the best. Gauze and medical masks are no less helpful, but they need to be changed on time.
- No matter the weather, stay away from indoor gatherings: they pose a higher risk of getting the virus. The more people gather inside some closed space, the higher the contamination is.
- Proper and timely handwashing increases your safety manifold. There are lots of YouTube videos teaching how to perform hygiene procedures properly without a professional assessment.
- Remember to keep in the distance from crowds of people and individuals outside of your quarantine group.
- To reduce the spread of the COVID virus, you should stay home if you feel any symptoms of the illness, like coughing or runny nose. Even if you don’t have coronavirus, your immune system is weak when you are ill, and clinicians claim that the risk of getting infection or reinfection is higher in such cases.
- You should ensure regular assessment of your blood oxygen to detect the downward trend and take medications timely.
- You should avoid touching your face and other parts of your body susceptible to the virus. You should wipe your phone carefully with some spirit-containing solution.
Embrace Long-Term Physical Distancing
- Wear masks and avoid close communication with unmasked individuals in an enclosed area;
- close your mouth while coughing and ask children and other family members to follow in your steps;
- shelter up for as long as you can;
- replace handshakes for some other greeting to promote your health;
- turn to online shops and support your state or local business entities;
- trust and apply the six-feet rule;
- do not risk your life participating in mass gatherings (there are lots of stories when this was the cause of death both in adults and children);
- Try to maintain the same level of alertness and preparedness for acute respiratory disease by applying planning and heeding the evidence-based recommendations.
Once You Get the COVID-19 Disease
- Live in isolation from everybody.
- Contact a medical specialist and do all the testing required.
- Do not go outside without protective gear.
- Follow the expert’s recommendations.
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Essential Preppers Supplies Against New Coronavirus
The more supplies you are able to stockpile beforehand, the higher the chances to avoid the COVID-19 you have. However, it is not necessary to make your household look like an Intensive Care Unit. Apart from SARS-Cov-2, there are various medical conditions and side issues that might arise, and you won’t be able to purchase the needed medication. Therefore, preparedness is key to long-term survival in any setting. The demand for medical supplies and all things concerned is rapidly growing worldwide, fueled by mortality rates, panic buying, and shortages on state and local community markets in some areas. The global healthcare systems are on the brink of failure due to the augmented numbers of deaths in patients in most hard-hit countries. This is why it is our duty as humans and residents of our countries to provide our assistance to doctors and embark on the preparedness to promote ease to disease control, prevention, and treatment.
You should keep in mind:
- Stocking supplies is a perfect approach to long-term survival: food, water, basics of hygiene, medication. Think of anything you might drastically need but couldn’t get during the lockdown.
- Consider a scenario when one of the persons from your quarantine group or family gets infected with a novel coronavirus: think of the measures to quarantine him or her within your household should the hospital be unavailable.
- For long-term home staying, provide cleaning, ventilation, and, preferably, disinfection of the area of your quarantine.
Have a look at the top-10 anti-NCOV basics we have compiled:
- Hand sanitizer
- Eye protection
- Toilet paper
- Hygiene goods
- Bleach/spirit for cleaning and disinfection.
- First-aid kits
Latest Recommendations on Social Distancing
If your community is experiencing the hit of the new coronavirus outbreak, preliminary measures, if timely taken, will ensure your safety and wellness of the dear ones. Among the essential steps to take to avoid getting the severe coronavirus illness, physical distancing is the first one to take.
Follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization on how to avoid catching a SARS-COV-2 and suppress the curve:
- You should keep in one-meter distance away from others to minimize the risk of getting COVID-19. You can get it while somebody sneezes, coughs, or talks;
- Wearing a mask, especially in enclosed areas, is only essential. They significantly reduce the liability of COVID-19 transmission. The mask needs to be worn properly: your hands should be clean when you are touching it; a mask should be covering your mouth, your nose, and your chin closely;
- Utilize your used masks in plastic bags;
- Wash cloth-masks regularly;
- Avoid using masks with in-built valves.
- Overall, the basics of proper hygiene are not to be neglected, too. Your hands should be regularly cleaned with sanitizers, soap, and water.
- You should try not to touch your nose, mouth, and eyes in order to keep safe from the virus.
- Frequently used surfaces are to be sanitized as well. This will keep the environment you inhabit a more protected place.
- Once you feel the symptoms of the disease, check reliable resources for more information for treatment and other actions to take.
- If the symptoms have become acute, ask for medical help as soon as possible.
- Keep yourself continually updated on the latest research findings and other developments in approaches to prevent, treat, and combat covid-19.
- Heed the local requirements concerning lockdowns, travel restrictions, and public gatherings to avoid adding up to the devastating statistics.
Masks Protect Against SARS-COV-2
Children and Masks
Children of 6—11 years of age are advised to wear masks. WHO and UNICEF have named the factors concerned:
- when a child stays in the area with a high level of COVID-19 transmission
- the child’s capability of wearing the mask correctly
- the availability of masks and means to clean and wash them in schools and other facilities where children reside
- the influence of masks on learning and cognitive abilities of a child
- the circle of a child’s social interaction with potentially ill persons
- underlying medical conditions
The principles of wearing a mask are universal for any age. Below are the 5 key points to consider:
- properly washed hands ( 20—40 seconds depending on the washing solution);
- the right size of a mask;
- the mask should be covering the nose, mouth, and chin;
- parents should teach a child to wear a mask correctly;
- the mask must not be shared.
For more detailed information and answers to your questions concerning wearing masks (disposable medical or cloth face masks), you may refer to the WHO’s official page.
Teachers and other adults do spend time with children. This is why WHO recommended that in regions with a high level of COVID-19, a fabric mask should be worn, and a one-meter distance kept in schools by teachers and students equally.
Masks and Adults
Adults and the elderly, as well as people with underlying health conditions, are argued to be more susceptible to the novel coronavirus disease. Researchers of the World Health Organization claim that adults over 60 and patients who have heart issues, diabetes, or cancer, are exposed to the highest risk of getting COVID-19. The toughness of consequences the underlying health factors can entail implies that these categories of people should wear a mask undisputedly.
Here is a list of guidelines to follow if you want to ensure sufficient safety from the novel coronavirus in your home.
- Avoid crowds, close interactions, kissing, embracing, and mass gathering in enclosed areas.
- Separately, avoid cafes and restaurants, gym classes, clubs, and bars.
- Ensure the place you are staying at has a proper source of ventilation
- Virus transmission occurs at a higher rate with small respiratory drops or aerosols, so avoid going to concerts and populous parties with singing and shouting people.
- Hold all meetings on the outside: or provide proper ventilation to the rooms.
- Once you are in an enclosed environment with other people, you should open a window, if possible, to boost ventilation.
- Wearing masks is the best option.
- Avoiding contact with COVID-19 patients is only essential.
- But first of all, to maximize your chances to avoid covid-19 contraction raise your awareness of the best vaccines available and decide in favor of the most reliable one. In other words, get vaccinated as soon as possible.
More Items to Stockpile On for Coronavirus Outbreak
If the harm of the spread of the horrid acute respiratory infection forces the world’s authorities to implement measures of social distancing—akin to those imposed in spring 2020—one needs to be well-prepared for any possible scenarios, most importantly, for the long-term lockdown. The essentials to focus on are food, water, and other things that might make your less active lifestyle more enjoyable. The authorities’ notice about the sudden self-isolation measures can be sudden, so you ought to ensure maximum preparedness, snd do it in advance.
Food and Water
Don’t ask why. Just follow the guidelines from the list below:
- You should ensure round-the-clock access to water sources and have volumes of water stockpiled to sustain you for at least 72 hours. This will help you and your families avoid dehydration and hygiene issues. Most likely, utility services will work in a normal regime whatever happens; however, you should be as independent as possible.
- Keep your diet diverse: proteins, carbs, fats, fiber, fruit, vitamins, and mineral supplements should present on your menu.
- Take some practical advice: don’t purchase items in bulk—take a little every time you shop.
- Don’t try anything extraordinary or totally new to you; this may cause a negative response to your stomach.
- The long shelf-life of the products you stockpile is a fundamental criterion in preparedness.
- Consider energy outage and decide to stock these items that need no refrigeration.
- Don’t forget your favorite things like candies or chocolate to enlighten the lockdown time.
- Change the menu to embrace food variability. This will improve your wellbeing and provide diversity.
Other Products to Consider for Utmost Preparedness
Among the items you could choose, in this article, we recommend including at least eight items:
- soups with a high content of fat and protein;
- canned meat or fish like tuna or beef;
- nut and sunflower kinds of butter,
- jams and jellies,
- hardtack or pemmican and other crackers,
- a little candy
You could think of oatmeal porridge, teas, and coffee, milk or dry milk, baking soda, salt, sugar, rice, or other staples, among other essential products.
Healthy Entertainment During Lockdown
Among the essential life-saving factors that we need to mind, like food and water, our psychic, indeed, must be maintained in an appropriate condition. Mental abilities in humans are in correlation with the physical activity and tranquility of the nervous system. For the reasons of keeping your sanity and just to distract from the oppressive coronavirus-related moods, you need to be able to have fun, relax, and unwind your strain-driven spirit. Below are the target points to consider to keep your intellectual abilities and overall wellness in good condition.
- Abstract from the newsfeeds of various social media
- Take measures to minimize anxiety and stress: embrace mindfulness.
- Continue socializing by all means; heed the offline meeting precautions.
- Take an interest in joining some community.
- Plan your evenings and try to add some warmth and excitement to each of them
- Be with your dear ones and have a maximum of quality time together.
- Do watch some movie or play a computer game, or a board game: do everything to distract from the COVID-19 and fatalistic future projections.
As to the projections, let us delve into the details of the most probable scenarios based on the information from the researchers worldwide.
Top-3 Most Probable COVID-19 Scenarios
Let’s walk through the scenarios researchers project for our world’s nearest future, from the lightest one down to the most severity. As of now, the measures people are taking individually and the government programs aimed at accelerating the research and practice in drug production vaccination, antibody tests, and all things COVID-19 will surely have a result, and the data updates every few minutes. While someone underestimates the impact COVID-19 has had and might have in the future, others apply all resources and take all possible steps to embrace preparedness whatever comes our way.
Should the authorities of all nations continue reopenings and lifting restrictive measures, as they did in the summer, we will be facing the new coronavirus outbreak of unseen severity. The virus-related death toll is currently on the rise; however, countermeasures are being taken in terms of medication production and mass vaccination in leading countries of the world’s geopolitical stage.
In some settings and communities, however, the impact of the COVID-19 is scarcely seen: people walk on the outside without masks, leading the usual lifestyle. However, hardest-hit areas will still experience hospital bed shortages, rising coronavirus caseloads, more positive test results, and deaths.
Whatever happens, your preparedness is a must. Below is a list of what you should be ready for, not to add up to the list of new patients with acute respiratory infection:
- New lockdowns and restrictive measures, curfews, and fines, and don’t forget contact tracking and control over your commuting, as they did in Moscow.
- Violent behavior of the hardest-hit groups of people can result in a spike in criminal activity.
- Some individuals will always disregard governmental recommendations, and there are quite many of them.
- Food shortages and empty shelves in supermarkets due to panic buying.
- Closures of public places and suspension of concerts and other mass public events.
- Household product deficiencies.
- Overloaded local healthcare institutions, exhausted doctors and healthcare workers, facing the highest rated risk at work.
- No traveling opportunities around the state and abroad.
- Online working and studying: while it has a lot of health benefits, the very process of studying and working remotely should be redesigned and needs adjustments on the basis of plenty of factors, including the type of work or lesson, the locality, the conditions in families.
- Massive redundancies and firings all across the globe, with acute economic consequences
- The growing rate of hate crime to add up to a not entirely perfect current statistic in the United States.
A more pleasant to consider, another, more optimistic scenario requires our thorough consideration and preparation. While we all will continue keeping social distance, wearing masks, and embracing sanitizing, most events will be forced outdoors to help bend the curve of COVID-19 cases, with luck and appropriately thought and imposed quarantine measures.
However, even a positive scenario does not exclude local COVID-19 outbreaks. Region by region, the healthcare system will suppress the spread of hazardous respiratory illness.
For residents of the United States, the following information will be beneficial:
- Mask is an essential product.
- Long-term queuing in restaurants and bars, as well as medical and other institutions and facilities, can fuel the spread of COVID-19.
- More food and other essential products shortages are to be expected.
- Intermittent deficiency in cleaning and disinfecting solutions comes along, too.
- Moderate lockdowns are to be implemented mandatorily.
- Unpleasant economic fluctuations, unemployment, and the crime rate are all on the rise.
If the luck is ours and the world medical systems find the way out soon, anyway, we will have to be ready for new waves of surges in covid-19 cases and do all possible to boost disease control and prevention.
Now, let’s have a look at the worst-case scenario that might pan out.
If the steps taken to suppress the spread of the virus see no sufficient results, we will have to face outbreaks of more and more coronaviruses of various strains. Some of them might be ongoing in patients without symptoms like runny nose, fever, shaky hands, headache, cough, high temperature, and fatigue.
In the midst of the flu season, the novel coronavirus outbreak looks more ugly in its unfolding. Besides a cold one may catch walking on the outside in cold weather seasons, one may also become infected with the COVID-19. And those individuals with an underlying health condition like type-2 diabetes will face the highest risk. As experts reveal, the worst-case scenario also implies:
- Severe food and supplies shortages
- Civil unrest and protests caused by mass unemployment and other factors
- Serious economic issues at a global scale
- Issues in medical and educational systems worldwide
- Deficiency of medical equipment and qualified personnel
- Declared the State of Emergency
- Serious disruptions in the traveling industry
- Errors in the delivery sphere
- Problems with Internet connection and electricity shortages
- Forced relocation to safer regions
- Xenophobia, racism, violent behavior, increased criminal activity.
Mindful Choice Of Respirators Against Human Coronaviruses
While the items of the various survival gear are many, respirators and masks are, perhaps, the most used by people worldwide. Different models of respirators can vary in terms of their selling points and weak sides—and there are a lot of low-quality ones out there—below is a list of the essential things to consider:
- N95 or more advanced
- Medical Masks for surgeons
- Avoid Asia respirators due to the faulty design, and their aim is to protect other people from you.
- The demand for respirators against coronavirus has grown recently, leaving the shelves half-empty. When there are none in the supermarkets of your community, any mask will do.
- Stockpile on the respirator filters: they need refreshment quite often
- A gas-mask has proven its efficiency against the spread of the respiratory illness COVID-19, covering your eyes, mouth, nose, and entire face.
- Short-term half-face respirators and eye-protection for them (comes separately)
- Ensure the proper sealing of the mask to eliminate the odds of getting microscopic particles of viruses into your body.
- People with hair on their faces or those individuals with smaller faces (children, for instance) need to find the mask that fits the best to promote proper safety.
If you want to learn more about the means of maintaining your good health during the spread of the covid illness, here is a detailed article concerning the best face masks available on the market today!
Coronavirus Lockdowns Worldwide
As of now, around 150 nations worldwide have taken steps in response to the novel coronavirus, imposing restrictions on unnecessary movement and enforcing social distancing. To round off the peaks of economic fluctuation, authorities in tome countries introduced stimulus package programs.
Vietnam and South Korea followed China in the steps among the first nations and took steps to contain the virus by implementing lockdowns— the measures were too tough at times—while North America, Europe, and Africa seem to have waited for too long to impose containment restrictions. As for China, the measures were eased after two months of mandatory lockdown, and even the epicenter of the coronavirus spread soon became available for tourists. After the resurgence of the COVID-19 many countries in the world started to face serious economic issues due to the necessity of implementing another round of restrictions.
What is the Stringency Index?
A lockdown type varies by country: it will take time until the opportunity appears to propose serious analytical research, compare different lockdowns in terms of their effect, and measure up the policies implemented.
Researchers from Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government are now allocating information about the world’s covid-response practice; they propose an index that sizes up the total stringency of the steps taken.
There is a composite score from 0 to 100 that shows the efficiency of the measures taken around the globe, based on nine various metrics.
In the next chapter, we will find out where things stand now with the lockdowns across the planet one year into the respiratory syndrome coronavirus pandemic.
European lockdown restrictions in the process
As of June 2021, some of the major European economies have changed their lockdown policies, with the high travel season pending. While some experts express concerns as to the possible resurgence of the covid-19 disease, the world’s most developed countries have taken steps to ease the restrictions. Another reason for the lift is a mass vaccination that has been ongoing for several months now.
Let us consider the covid-related changes occurring in 10 major European countries.
- The curfew regime was eased on 9 June 2021. Now, the country residents can safely walk on the outside until 23:00. From 30 June, the situation will go back to normal, according to the national plan.
- Such public places as restaurants, bars, and shops providing indoor service can function with 50% capacity.
- Museums, cinema theatres and other venues can welcome more visitors.
The lockdown measures are being eased in the country that has been locked up for more than six months already.
- Masks are still mandatory in shops and transport.
- People are enabled to visit outdoor venues and concerts.
- Mass vaccination with Pfizer/BioNTech has involved children of the 12—15 age group.
- Around the country, restaurants have slightly opened to welcome a limited number of visitors.
- The currently active curfew measures— 00:00 till 05:00— are to be lifted by 21 June.
- Sports lovers can attend matches at 25% capacity.
- The country lets in all vaccinated visitors starting from 7 June 2021.
- A negative covid-19 test is mandatory for most European visitors to Spain.
- Culture admirers and gastronomy fans can now visit museums and restaurants, with masks on.
- The country has opened its airports to visitors from many countries: they need to provide a negative test or be vaccinated.
- Walking in public places still requires masks.
- Limited companies of people are accepted in bars and restaurants.
- The curfew measures are still on: 00:30—-05:00.
- Outdoor places of public interest like museums and other sights are reopened for visitors.
- The next step of the country’s policy aimed to thwart the pandemic is on the go.
- A company of four persons can visit a private household.
- Both indoor and outdoor restaurant service is available in the country, with 1.5m distance from one another and working hours until 22:00.
- Capacity cuts are still actual for museums and indoor historic sights.
- Further plans to lift restrictions are to be announced.
- Masks are still obligatory around the country.
- The work hours of shops and restaurants have been prolonged. But the maximum number of six people served is still mandatory.
- The new surge of covid-19 cases keeps the government from the further lifting of restrictions.
- The country has let shops and restaurants open in May.
- Indoor venues like gyms and cinema halls are given some ease as well.
- Remote work is required of those who are able to do it while starting from 9 June, employees can come over to the office once a week and fill up the space of their office by no more than 20%.
- The country that didn’t impose lockdown measures in 2020 is starting to ease the restrictions.
- As of 1 June, bars and pubs are able to prolonge their working hours from 20:30 to 22:30.
- Outdoor concerts and sports venues are expecting a rise in visitors, as restrictions ease.
1.5 m social distancing, as well as mandatory masks, are still among the restrictions imposed in the country.
- Shops, hotels, gyms, and swimming pools are to be opened on 6 June 2021, with capacity limits so far.
Coronavirus Peculiarities by Age Groups
COVID-19 Effect on Children
Children can get infected with novel coronavirus—at times, no symptoms are showing. Among the major ones are mild fever, lack of energy, and cough. However, the virus can cause children to have more severe outcomes, but such cases occur rarely. The same as with adults, an underlying medical condition can greatly impact the course of the coronavirus disease.
The multisystem inflammatory syndrome is among the hardest complications coronavirus causes in children: it poses a threat to the heart and other internal organs. Researchers used to compare the syndrome with a certain Kawasaki disease some time ago, but there is a great difference in most cases.
A complication that has more recently been observed in children can be dangerous. Called multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), it can lead to life-threatening problems with the heart and other organs in the body. Early reports compare it to Kawasaki disease, an inflammatory illness that can lead to heart problems. But while some cases look very much like Kawasaki’s, others have been different. Such symptoms as rash, cracked lips, vomiting or diarrhea, long-lasting fever, aching limbs, fatigue, and proneness to irritation are the major indicators of the MIS-C. While such symptoms can be attributed to various syndromes, MIS-C is diagnosed based on the organs’ assessment aimed to check whether or not they are touched by inflammation and work normally. As of now, the majority of kids diagnosed with MIS-C have recuperated.
Older Adults VS Coronavirus
As is stated by the World Health Organization, older adults are in more serious danger of receiving COVID-19, and most experience severe complications. The highest-risk group comprises individuals over 50; the odds of devastating complications still increase in patients of 60, 70, and 80 years old.
Usually, elderly COVID-19 patients need urgent hospitalization, ICU treatment, and artificial ventilation. Lethal cases are not rare among persons of advanced age.
This stated, it has become clear that our common efforts as humans to suppress the spread of the novel coronavirus should be aimed at saving the most vulnerable social members.
COVID-19 Impact on Mental Health
It is not a secret that COVID-19 has seriously affected the overall mental health of earthlings: anxiety, isolated lifestyle, economy breaches, and uncertainty press on the nerves of many these days. Insomnia and addictions are on the rise, too, as well as other mental disorders.
Some coronavirus complications are argued to have a palpable impact on the neurological and mental features of individuals. As it is with other complications, underlying mental conditions of coronavirus patients can be crucial for developing more dangerous syndromes, which can result in long-term hospitalization and fatal outcomes if unattended properly.
Impact on Black and Hispanic Communities
High rates of inequity have been underlined by the COVID-19 worldwide spread. In the United States Of America, economic and social factors in colored communities lead to more complicated health situations. A racial question is a topic of concern of many thinkers and analysts in the country, who highlight disproportions and disparity in a choir.
According to a study, Black people in the USA account for 30 percent of overall cases of coronavirus, while Latinos contribute to the case-loads with 17 percent. While the situation can be different based on the state, the disparity remains in each:
- While Blacks and Latinos have underlying health conditions statistically more often, they are at a higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19.
- People of Black and Hispanic communities may have no insurance or experience deficiency of care, testing opportunities, and lower access to hospital treatment.
- Racial minorities are more involved in essential jobs, which increases their risk of infection.
- Households of this group of residents are usually populous and of a low income.
- Most often, telecommuting and online jobs are out of reach for the members of these communities, as claimed by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
- The issues are based on race and ethnicity, making people of Black and Hispanic communities of the United States more vulnerable in the hard times of the pandemic.
Top-5 Myths Concerning COVID-19. Busted by WHO
1. The Bacteria Causes Coronavirus COVID-19 Disease
Well, the WHO researchers claim quite the opposite: the virus is included in a viral family under the name “Coronaviridae.” While having robust effects against the diseases caused by bacteria, antibiotics show no results with human coronaviruses, the World Health Organization claims. Among the complications of COVID-19, certain bacterially caused infections can arise, and in this case, a health care professional can prescribe antibiotics to treat them.
- Antibiotics Resistance occurs once some contagious fungi or bacteria learn to succeed in fights with medication that once coped with the intruders quite well. This failure forces the fungi and bacteria to breed fast and build up inside people’s organisms. Such germs cause some infectious diseases that are next to impossible to treat. Patients who have tested positive for these infections have to undergo prolonged treatment and hospitalization, entailing financial complications, too, let alone threats to one’s state of health.
- Antibiotic resistance can occur in youth as well as adults and the elderly, which fuels up concerns about the severity of the issue and the urgency of doing away with it. The annual statistics in the United States regarding the matter reveals that 2.8 million residents receive positive tests for antibiotic-resistant fungi or bacteria, with a death toll of 35 000 per year. Researchers say that the risk of getting infected with that kind of disease is hardly avoided. In other words, if more and more people become resistant to antibiotics, public health institutions and people of all countries affected by novel coronavirus will have to face severe threats. The earlier the method to thwart antibiotic resistance is discovered, the slimmer chances the virus will have to spread on.
2. Thermal Scanners can detect COVID-19
It is a ‘no’ again. They, actually, cannot do the thing. While the effect of the thermal detectors in finding people with high body temperature is undisputed, the devices are practically useless in discovering people with COVID-19. Besides, fevers can result from some other infections rather than coronaviruses. Be as it may, the idea to contact your physician asap is a great one.
3. Beware of 5g Towers! They Cause COVID-19
Well, the same here. It is against common sense to suppose that the virus can transmit via mobile phone networks. Besides, some countries which have not implemented the technology suffer from the coronavirus, too. In reality, COVID-19 spreads through tiny respiratory droplets released by the person while sneezing, coughing, and speaking. Washing your hands after touching commonly touched surfaces in public places is another perfect idea. Also, Put your hands off your eyes, mouth, and nose.
4. When it Gets Cold, the Coronavirus disease 2019 Subsides
No evidence has been ascertained by the World Health Organization as to the fact that cold and snow have an inhibiting effect on the pattern of the coronavirus spread. De facto, the human body is an isolated system with a more or less constant internal temperature, regardless of the weather. Hands washing and sanitizing, avoiding indoor gatherings, wearing masks, and minimizing offline contacts are the steps that have as yet contributed to the bending of the curve.
5. Only Adults Can Get Coronavirus
Another misleading thought here. People of any age can get the COVID-19 infection, according to researches in disease control and prevention. Certain underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes, can seriously complicate the illness and obstruct the treatment applied. The World Health Organization strongly advises people of all age groups to heed the official guidelines of their local authorities and take decisive steps to merge the response against the virus.
Where Things Hover Now
As of the middle of 2021, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has rolled over the notch of 176. 6 mln, with over 3.8 mln dead from the virus-related complications and side-effects. On the bright side is the recovery statistics claiming that nearly 160.5 mln individuals have recovered so far. The daily caseload is fluctuating and growing in some countries due to the summer season and lifted restrictions, as well as the new variants of covid-19 discovered. With mass vaccination, the situation seems to be getting better, but the real successes are still yet to come.
Let us have a look at the statistics of coronavirus total cases and deaths in six counties, including the hardest hit and China, the likely origin.
Coronavirus Statistics and Charts
[cvct-rate-distribution-charts title=”Global data” country_code=”all” label-confirmed=” confirm cases” label-recovered=” recovered cases” label-deaths=”death cases” label-critical=”critical cases” label-active=”Active cases”]
According to www.worldometers.info, the situation in the USA, Russia, China, Brazil, and India with the most devastating statistics in total cases, deaths, as well as recoveries looks as it is revealed in the table below:
[cvct-tbl layout=”layout-2″ show=”10″ bg-color=”#444″ font-color=”#ffffff”]
Here are linear graphs with the covid total cases and death rates in six countries, updated by JUNE 2021.
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”US” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”USA COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”RU” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”RUSSIA COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”IN” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”INDIA COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”BR” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”BRASIL COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”UK” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”UK COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
[cvct-historical-charts country-code=”CN” theme=”dark” days-data=”17″ title=”CHINA COVID-19 Cases” width=”100″ height=”350″ font-color=”#ddd” label-cases=”Case” label-deaths=”Death” label-recovered=”Recovered”]
Variants of COVID-19
The Delta variant, another strain of COVID, recently identified in India, is said to be spreading with a devastating speed, and it has so far caused severe symptoms as one contracts it and a threatening death toll.
The Americans, vaccinated differently by region and class, for the most part, are a great soil for the virus to develop and spread further, scientists from the USA and the UK have claimed. The national economy of the US is slightly on the rise due to the lifted restrictions and reopened businesses country-wide. Insider analysts say that can accelerate the transmission of the new deadly strains: the Delta variant and the Alpha strain. The first cases of contracting the latter one were registered in the United Kingdom. Due to its increased proneness to transmit, the delta is said to be predominating among the other strains with less dangerous outcomes registered.
The new caseload of the patients with the identified Delta variant hit a quarter-million cases per day in January 2021, compared to the same year’s June’s 15 thousand per day on average. With the restrictions lifted, the Delta variant has expanded its impact on the public health nation and far beyond worldwide. As of May 2021, CDC claims, around 70+ percent of new covid cases in the United States were the Alpha cases. Later on, the Alpha cases amounted to only 26% of new cases total. In mid-June, as Dr. Scott Gottlieb claims, the ratio of Delta cases is projected to be about 10%.
Will Vaccination Help?
The so-called ‘variant of concern,’ The Delta, has become widely discussed in the epidemiologist community and in public. Most importantly, the effect of vaccination is under might be exposed to threat because of the particularities of the new strain and difficulties it entails in terms of prevention, treatment, and containment of the viral infection. Besides the Alpha and the Delta, there are other no less infectious strains: the Gamma variant of covid-19, identified recently in Brazil; the Beta, found in South Africa, with severe symptoms and terribly of recoveries associated with both variants. All the four variants, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, are the current protagonists on the stage of tracking the new strains of covid-19. Leaders in transmissibility, virulence, and harshness upon the world’s healthcare systems, the strains have triggered a large piece of scientific attention.
Social distancing measures can turn out to be of no real effect against the new strains, which is another matter of concern of scientists globally. Besides, the efficiency of mass vaccination can be categorized by age of patients and geographically, too. Different regions — with different rates of testing, vaccination, and treatment — can show different results on the scale of effectiveness against the viral infection and its variants.
As the number of covid-related deaths has hit 600 000, the need for vaccination of the rest of the population should become a focal point of the Governmental projects in the nearest future. Full vaccination is the one inevitably needed factor in ensuring the nation finally shakes off the virus. The desire of the majority of earthlings to get the jab of one or another type of vaccine is, however, leaves much of the planet unvaccinated.
Even though campaigns for mass vaccination have been run for months in different parts of the world, the residents seem to not want to compromise on their health for an inoculation, being driven at times by false notions spread over the media and social networks, concerning vaccines and their impact on the human body. In some countries, the restrictions are slowly getting back, with curfews, cut working hours of public venues— outdoor mass gatherings included— and summer festivals cancellation. Businesses worldwide, and in the US in particular, are projected to take a time to recover, at least not until 2024.
As of 18 June, the WHO says the Delta Covid variant has now spread to 80 countries, and it keeps mutating.
Having already spread to more than 80 countries, the Delta variant is also prone to adaptive mutations, the WHO claims. The symptoms can get really severe, and the death rate is immensely high, officials say. The Delta-plus variant is also raising concerns of the scientific community, while the overall number of identified strains of the virus borders on 506 with different symptomatic, spread rates, and origins.
Now, the figures vary: from unbelievable 23 new cases in China to over 9 000 new covid-19 patients in Russia. Meanwhile, the USA, with about half the world’s active cases of coronavirus, is only yet to come closer to thwarting the disease and clear up its long-term consequences.
The scientific community questions the origins of the disease, and special investigations have been initiated in order to prove the natural origin of the virus or the probability of a different scenario of how covid-19 came to existence.
In the US, on June 18, the number of fully vaccinated residents is gradually growing: among the states whose residents have received a full dose of any type of vaccine are Vermont (62%) and New York (51%), while the rate in the least vaccinated states can be as low as 28%. Case in point, the Mississippi state.
The world’s situation is rather unstable, critical in some regions. The worst tolls are located in both the Americas and Europe, with around 70 and 55 mln confirmed cases respectively.
In the South-East Asian region, Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and Western Pacific, the pandemic is less acute. The reasons for the uneven results: the geographical position and the measures taken to suppress the virus. Another wave of the covid-related restriction is coming slowly in force in some countries. The traveling restrictions are, too, being imposed. Mass vaccination, a powerful weapon that can win the fight against the frightening death tolls worldwide, is projected to improve the situation and lead to the fastest recovery of economies and bring back work schedules. The need for the time restrictions to continue is evident: the summer season’s events and gatherings can awfully affect the situation and entail long-term drawbacks for individuals and communities.
Precautions Before Holidays
The year is rolling slowly to the final spot. Full of anxiety and tiresome longing, our precious bodies should be kept safe during the impending holiday times, as well as any other time until the coronavirus disease 2019 is defeated. Below are the major precautions for any occasion, approved by CDC:
- Ask your guests visiting you during the holidays to wear masks or respirators. While communicating with people outside of your quarantine circle, ensure wearing a mask mandatorily. Your mask should fit as tight as possible. Keep the six-foot social distance.
- Singing and shouting in a choir while in an indoor setting should be written off your celebration agenda.
- Proper handwashing should be rule number one. Sanitizers, soap, and water supply should be close at hand.
- Raise awareness among your guests about the essentials of COVID-19 preventive measures.
- There should be an abundance of various medical supplies for all people at the celebration: stockpile masks, sanitizers with 60% alcohol content, paper or tissues, soap, etc.
- Sanitize commonly touched surfaces and kitchen utensils.
- Clean, wash, disinfect, ventilate, and avoid close contacts.
Mass Vaccination Gives Hope
Among the means of disease prevention and other mass life-saving actions, vaccination is an unbeaten winner. Nowadays, the most terrible illnesses, like tetanus, measles, diphtheria, are being successfully suppressed by vaccines. On an annual basis, at least 3 million earthlings owe their lives to mass vaccination.
Not only do vaccines serve as our own protection, but they also protect people we contact with, our families, colleagues, and friends. It plays an important part in containing pandemics. While the adverse outcomes of the first wave of the COVID-19 assault are yet to be calculated, certain drawbacks in perhaps every sphere of life are already showing. One of these is the immunization of children, which decreased in 2020 and can end up causing fatal outcomes from even curable and preventable diseases.
The World Health Organization has advised heeding their guidelines regarding essential immunization measures, no matter the situation in the world. To learn more about the importance of vaccination in combat with the pandemic of COVID-19, read the material.
Four main types of vaccines against COVID-19
Let us consider the main types of the most effective weapon against the spread of covid-19, vaccines: Nucleic Acid, Viral Vector, Whole Virus, and Protein Subunit.
This type of vaccine makes it possible to provide organism cells with a guideline to produce the antigen. For that, the vaccine uses RNA or DNA for the purpose. As to this type of vaccine, the viral spike protein is made. Among the pros are ease of development and low price. The drawbacks include difficulties with regulatory approval. Such vaccines require the temperature of 70 degrees Celsius below zero, which can be problematic for some nations.
This type of vaccine gives instructions to human cells to produce the antigen. These use a non-dangerous virus that differs from the target one and they are able to act like natural viral infections and cause the immune system to respond at a high level. The virus used as a vector can be already contracted by a person who takes the vaccine. This may lead to the reduction of the positive effect as a major drawback of such vaccines.
These use whole viruses as a main cause of immune response. The less strong virus is used in such vaccines that use reliable technology and are easily approved officially. People with a weaker immune system may be exposed to higher risks of the disease. Storing vaccines can be quite complicated for low-level economies due to the need for a cold storage environment.
These vaccines apply small parts of the pathogen to cause the response of the immune system. The side effects can be significantly minimized, but very often, there can be the need to accelerate the effect by adjuvants.
Why Getting Vaccinated against COVID-19?
As is claimed and proved by the WHO, vaccination reduces the risks of getting severe illnesses or complications that can seriously compromise your health. Infections spread quickly today, and there are no borders for them due to the usual availability of travel in the 21st century. There are basically three main goals of vaccination:
- saving yourself
- saving people around
- helping to stop pandemics
Some categories of people cannot get inoculated with vaccines either because of being too young or seriously ill. Here, others play a vital role, getting vaccinated and reducing the risk of getting ill for those who are disabled get the vaccine. It is that simple.
There is no reason to doubt the safety of vaccination. The side effects are usually rare. Vaccines undergo serious research, testing, approval, and licensing mingled with a ton of paperwork, so, in the end, the result is reliable. The data concerning side effects and ways of a vaccine’s improvement are thoroughly monitored by researchers and scientists. In other words, the odds of dying from a preventable disease are way higher than the chances to die as a result of vaccination.
Of course, there can be certain drawbacks, like is usual with any medication; however, they usually subside fast. A lot of people consider vaccination a reason for autism, although they cannot provide legitimate evidence, which makes the notion unfounded and biased.
We as people should do all we can to help spread reliable and truthful information concerning vaccines; it will have a great influence on the fight with the novel coronavirus.
Some nations in the world, including the USA, the Russian Federation, The People’s Republic of China, have proposed the first vaccines to their residents. The anti-covid vaccination has been partly launched. A year into the pandemic, mass vaccination is yet to become our reality. While the richest economies have started to vaccinate the first patients, the herd immunity will take a long time to develop. Besides, a considerable amount of data is to be gathered, digested, and utilized to ensure the safety of the vaccines, write down and assume some aside effects, and find ways to fortify the coronavirus prevention and treatment at a global scale.
According to kff.org, the enthusiasm of Americans to get vaccinated varies by group, as is seen from the picture below.
Tribute to Health Professionals, Doctors, and Essential Workers
A year into the novel coronavirus pandemic, we have so got accustomed to it that even the highest peaks of new cases and death tolls — quite as twice as high as it was, say, in March 2020—are unimpressive for many. Also, we have developed a habitual attitude towards adverse news. While the Chinese wearing masks across the globe at the end of 2019 would uniformly become a trigger to smirking and sighing, now it has ceased to seem at all laughable. The nations of the entire world, tangled and swathed by the coronavirus pandemic, turn their attention to the importance of high-quality healthcare workers, doctors, and essential employees. Although the actions aimed at minimizing risks to get COVID-19 are easy to heed, it is the nobility of the medics and nurses, and all staff down to ambulance drivers who all fight in the avant-garde of resistance, which we need to look up to in awe.
Appropriately provided healthcare services are only essential at sorrowful times of the deadly pandemic. People in authority and social-media influencers unanimously pay tributes to our fellow residents and healthcare professionals working within the country and abroad to honor their resilience and faithfulness they have so far demonstrated being on duty, exhausted emotionally and physically.
The heroic did doctors, nurses, clinicians, and essential workers have performed is to be inscribed into the world’s history of humanistic ideals, magnanimity, and courage. We hope by this article to make our small contribution in the song of honor to the healthcare professionals, and we do hope that the colossal effort they have taken—and will certainly take— will be valued and awarded accordingly by descendants. Take good care and accept our kindest regards and appreciation.
FAQ About COVID-19 to WHO
1. Do weather and climate have a say in terms of the COVID-19 spread?
There is no evidence proving that climate or weather conditions can impact viral transmission. Nations all across the globe are coping with the coronavirus cases now, despite their geographical location. Of course, humidity and temperature can accelerate the spread of the virus; however, the impact is not sufficient, as claimed by the World Health Organization. The contact between the ill person and a healthy person is the most common way of coronavirus transmission. Hence, guidelines concerning physical distancing and proper handwashing deserve unquestionable heeding, regardless of the setting and weather conditions.
2. Does water scarcity affect the spread of COVID-19?
Water and its unobstructed availability are must-haves even in regular life, let alone the pandemic times. It boosts hygiene, embraces infection prevention, and promotes eradicating antibiotic resistance, not to mention that it is only essential for quality healthcare.
Around 25% of the world’s public healthcare facilities experience water deficiency, which influences narrowly two billion persons. Water is scarce in around 80% of the world’s communities. The threat of climate change is now more acutely felt, increasing concerns about public hygiene, medical care systems’ capability, and more.
3. What valuable knowledge do we gain during the COVID-19 outbreak?
All the world is held in fear before the yet unstoppable but not entirely invincible COVID-19 disease. Many of the world’s communities are shattered and lack essentials; drastic changes in climate are to motivate the global policymakers to take steps accordingly before it gets too late. Below is a list of the top-5 most important lessons we’ve learned as humanity:
- Healthcare systems ought to become equitable, perfectly-resourced, and universally available to be able to provide appropriate public protection.
- We should raise our awareness and embrace preparedness for such occurrences in the future, as well as for nature-caused unfortunate events.
- All people should indiscriminately have ready access to such basics as clean air and water, means of sanitation, and nutrition.
- Next time, we will act more urgently to avoid devastating death tolls.
- The gap between social classes is a major obstructive factor; financial and racial inequality and bias are on the rise, complicating the outcomes and aftermath of the pandemic.
4. Is providing contraception and family planning of importance now?
The two topics, e.g., family planning and contraceptive measures, are naturally relevant. While sexual activity has been averagely stable during the coronavirus outbreak, it is only essential to raise awareness in people about the use of contraceptives and mindful planning of families.
Such steps aim at preventing adverse health conditions in girls and women caused by the unplanned birth of a child while reducing the necessity of abortions.
The appropriate use of condoms minimizes the risks of sexually transmitted infections, as well as unplanned pregnancies.
The world’s healthcare systems are on the verge of breakdowns— emotionally, physically, and in terms of supplies— so contraception plays a key role in reducing tensions onto the systems mentioned.
5. Is dexamethasone useful for COVID-19 patients?
According to the interim guideline on the use of dexamethasone and other corticosteroids for the treatment of COVID-19, issued on 2 September 2020, individuals worldwide are recommended to:
Take Corticosteroids (i.e., dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, or prednisone) orally in the course of the treatment against COVID-19 in the critical stage. Therefore, if the case of infection is not considered severe by medical professionals, the use of dexamethasone is not recommended. However, if the medication has been prescribed earlier, and the treatment against some other medical condition has been ongoing, the use can be advised. As to the daily dose, it is 6 mg, while the duration of the treatment should be around 7—10 days. Researchers claim that the mortality rate is reduced by 8.7% and 6.7% in critical and severe cases of COVID-19, accordingly.
6. What anti-coronavirus steps must all workplaces take?
We need to merge our powers to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19, especially in the places where we gather for work in groups. Besides proper hand washing and sanitizing, wearing masks, and following other hygiene and safety-increasing guidelines, traveling, too, if without a valid reason, should be postponed until better times.
Those employees who feel the symptoms of the COVID-19 or any other disease should stay at home and take all possible steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease amongst their colleagues. The virus and antibody testing have been organized by some employers worldwide, a practice worth applying universally. Employees must undergo sufficient training and theoretical clarifications as to the human coronaviruses and ways to control and prevent them.
7. Is pregnancy a high-risk factor in the pandemic of COVID-19?
Women with weight issues, recently pregnant, or elderly, as well as those with underlying health conditions, are exposed to higher risks of getting a severe disease and complications entailed. Treatment of such cases usually requires hospitalization in intense care units.
As the bodies of pregnant women change, as well as their immune systems, respiratory diseases can have a greater impact on them. The World Health Organization is in a constant process of gathering and interpreting the newest information, and you can get updates on the matter on their official website.
8. Is it safe to let a covid positive mother have physical contact with a new-born baby?
Indeed, your good care of the baby in the very first days of its life is only essential and has long-term effects. Consider exclusive breastfeeding as a help to the child’s health. You should follow the rules of proper respiration and ventilation, hold the baby skin-to-skin, and live in the same room with your baby. Hand washing and sanitizing are recommended before and after you touch your infant. Medical masks should be provided to all mothers tested positive for COVID-19 to prevent the spread of the virus among children.
9. What is in COVID-19 mutations for me?
Viruses do change, following the rules of nature. While some changes pass unnoticed, others can have a threatening effect if their origin and spread patterns substantially change. Theoretically and practically, a virus can be so changed as to stop following the usual transmission algorithms and become impossible to combat using the currently available means.
As for now, a year into the pandemic, the SARS-CoV-2 disease has hardly changed principally. So diagnosis and steps to prevent and fight it have been unaffected much so far.
10. How can older adults increase their resistance to the COVID-19?
The steps to be taken for the purpose of self-defense against the novel coronavirus are universal. However, people of older generations need our help and guidance to be certain their safety is utterly ensured. Here are the things people of advanced age should keep in mind:
- Find out about the counter-covid steps taken in the community of your residence and get the phones of all services you might need to contact in case of emergency.
- Make a check-list of essential resources to ensure your sustainability for around two weeks and consider ordering delivery. Your neighbors and family members, while heeding the basics of coronavirus prevention, can be of assistance to you.
- Write down all telephone numbers you might need during a possible lockdown.
- Contact your health provider to find out what kind of treatment you may require and other peculiarities concerning your underlying conditions and overall wellness.
- Think of the details of care and treatment you want to get during a lockdown or while infected with COVID-19.
- Assign a person to be responsible for your caregiving if you fall ill and cannot voice your wishes regarding the treatment and end-of-life conditions
- Ensure living separately from other people in your household: this will reduce the chances of COVID-19 transmission.
- Consider developing and sharing with those you trust an advanced care plan. This way, you will be able to affect your treatment with the help of your proxy in case you cannot do it yourself.