Coronavirus: A Global Threat?

Aaron Jiang ’23

As this new decade unfolds, I am almost certainly sure that most of you have heard of the Novel Coronavirus. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case unless you live under a rock.

Yes, it’s another Coronavirus that’s similar to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which plagued us back in 2002, but, like the name suggests, it’s a new type of virus to science. Unlike other threatening, contagious diseases like Ebola, which we’ve known for many years, scientists around the globe haven’t fully understood the potential and property of this new Coronavirus. Hence, leading researchers around the world have yet discovered the potential cure or treatments for this virus. 

Since it’s a Coronavirus, we do know that it shares similar symptoms as SARS, like causing pneumonia. The victims of this virus will have a high fever along with difficulties when breathing. To battle with the spread of this virus, the Chinese government has made arrangements early on in January to check everyone’s body temperature to make sure no one carries this virus. Although, sometimes a common fever could be mistaken as the Coronavirus, thus that person would be mistakenly quarantined. However, all measures have to be taken and we can’t take any risks on allowing this virus from potentially infecting more people. 

With that being said, situations in China are not very pleasant with most if not all businesses shut down due to the Coronavirus. As a result, this took a major toll on the stock market as well as the global economy. As an investor, I am very positive that you are all irritated by this virus as all of your stocks took a nosedive. You guys have my sympathy. 

The outbreak first initially started in Hubei province of China in the city of Wuhan. The first few confirmed cases back in early December suggests that the victims have all recently been to a nearby seafood market. That seafood market, however, also sells animals like snakes, bats, and other animals we don’t usually eat. Therefore, after some effort, researchers and scientists can conclude that this virus did first originated from these animals. As humans eat these bats or snakes, the Novel Coronavirus moves on to live in the human body. From there on, this virus makes it’s jump from human to human resulting in this catastrophic event now. 

Based on the data and statistics, the number of deaths as time goes on don’t increase at a linear rate, but rather, to everyone’s horror, at an exponential rate. According to a graph by Worldometers, there were only 25 deaths on January 25. However, this amount increased dramatically in less than half a month resulting in over 1000 deaths as of February 11. The number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus shows a similar pattern as the graph shows 579 cases on January 22. However, that number increased to over 46,000 as of February 11. 

As you check on these recent status updates of the Novel Coronavirus from CNBC, USATODAY, or New York Times, these ever increasingly higher numbers and will make you think that hope is nowhere near us. Especially, when the number of deaths has just officially surpassed that of SARS back in 2002. Especially, when the global economy is being impacted as a result, and with more than 27 countries being infected by this virus. Despite this evidence, I don’t think that we should panic(at least not yet). On the positive side, more than 4000 people have made full recovery, which suggests that this Novel Coronavirus isn’t as deadly as SARS. With about 1000 deaths out of over 43,000 confirmed cases, the mortality rate of this virus is quite low compared to SARS: only about 1 percent.   Moreover, I believe that governments around the world are working together to quarantine those who have the virus, hence controlling the spread of it. Since more than 99 percent of the confirmed cases are all in China, this suggests that the efforts were very well effective. Therefore, citizens of the USA should just go on with their daily lives without panicking unless you are paid to spread fear or if this is a Hollywood movie. We should, however, wash our hands at all times just to be safe. Even in China, the government has been spending most of their resources on building hospitals that solely focuses on treating patients diagnosed with the virus. I personally believe that this virus won’t be the next black death despite the damage it has already done in a short period of time. This is the 21st Century after all, and not the 14th Century.