COVID-19 has Killed Over a Million People



Coronavirus spelled out in white dice

Tomas Sanchez Jurado, Reporter

On September 28 the world reached a tragic milestone, 32 million confirmed cases, and one million deaths. According to the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center, there have 1,016,050 global deaths, but public health experts believe that the true death toll is much higher.

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses, some of which cause disease. SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19 is the cause of the worldwide pandemic. The virus originated in China in 2019 where experts say it mutated in bats. COVID-19 made the jump from animals to humans on Wuhan’s open-air “wet markets” where customers buy fresh meat and fish, including animals that are killed on the spot. The wet markets also sell wild or banned species like cobra, wild boars, and raccoon dogs. The crowded conditions of the markets let viruses from different animals swap genetic material, which may then mutate to such an extreme that humans can catch it.

As COVID-19 spread in China, it infected people who had no contact with animals. This made the virus spread with velocity and eventually infiltrated to other countries, eventually reaching the whole world.

11 months after the birth of COVID-19 we are living in a strange new world. The coronavirus has traveled to all populations on the earth, crippled entire economies, increased poverty, and caused the highest suicide rate in the U.S since 1941.

Nations around the world are struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact. The stock market plummeted in March, The FTSE, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nikkei all saw huge falls as the number of COVID-19 cases grew. In response to the pandemic, central banks in many countries slashed interest rates, hoping to encourage spending to boost the economy. Many have lost thousands of dollars and many lost their jobs. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in the United States, the proportion of people out of work has hit 10.4%, signaling an end to a decade of expansion for one of the world’s largest economies.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. In this pandemic, we have had to isolate and quarantine ourselves. Looking at past pandemics, quarantine exudes depression and anxiety. Similar effects are expected of COVID-19. Anxiety might arise from fear of contagion and inadequate clarity around social distancing guidelines, often made worse by unreliable sources heightening confusion.

Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19, but many researchers have been making efforts to successfully create and test one. Vaccine trials are on their way, there is hope for this pandemic.