Pandemic: Today the World Health Organization made it official by using the P-word to describe the spreading coronavirus. Merriam-Webster’s defines a pandemic as “an occurrence in which a disease spreads very quickly and affects a large number of people over a wide area or throughout the world.” Check.
“We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.
Declaring Italy and Iran as the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, guaranteed that other countries will soon be suffering the same level of infection. However, Ryan was quick to point out that the experience of China, South Korea and Singapore in mitigating the spread of this virus shows that ” there is a strong element of controllability in this disease.”
The coronavirus that emerged from Wuhan, China in December of last year spread quickly within the borders of The Middle Kingdom and was soon discovered in neighboring countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January. The next day President Donald Trump issued a proclamation limiting entry into the United States from mainland China and slowed the rate of infection on the US mainland.
Around the world industry, travel and education have been severely impacted by the “controls” being put in place to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection. Public gatherings like sporting events and concerts have been postponed or cancelled to eliminate the contamination of the population through casual social contact. The uncertainty surrounding the long term impact of this coronavirus pandemic is roiling financial markets and spurring politicians to calm the panic and show stability.
Tonight at 9:00 PM EST President Donald Trump will address the nation, and the world, on his plan to win the battle against this pandemic.