Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic

January 30, 2020, another normal day, or so I thought. Turned to the news only to see this “WHO declares global health emergency.” The discovery of a very deadly virus recently named Coronavirus (Covid-19).

The first outbreak we heard about was in Wuhan, China. Another foreign virus. Nothing for the USA to worry about. So, we thought. The United States of America has been referred to as a “Powerhouse,” nothing can destroy us. Right?!

On February 26, 2020, ABC News network reported: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms the first case of COVID-19 in a patient in California with no travel history to an outbreak area nor contact with anyone diagnosed with the virus. It’s suspected to be the first instance of local transmission in the United States.”

In mid-April, we found out that the first confirmed death was in Santa Clara, California on February 6th. It makes you wonder how long it was here. Was the government playing a blind eye to this? We may never know, but we do know it was the start of a very grim future for the USA. This is what I like to call Hurricane Katrina of pandemics.

The mutation of this virus started to spread like wildfire. On March 13th, our president Donald Trump declares a national emergency. A couple of days later the CDC warns us about large gatherings and suggests postponing or canceling any events requiring more than 50 people. Little did we know on March 17th, the United States was now affected by this enemy we could not see.

The president and the governors of each state started to determine what businesses were essential and non-essential. Closing all theaters, tattoo parlors, salons, gyms, malls, and restricted restaurants to take out or to go only. The shelter in place soon followed.

Businesses that were considered essential were limited to health care workers, first responders, grocery stores, convenience stores, as well as certain restaurants. The stores that remained open had a limited occupancy. To limit the exposure and curve the spread of the virus.

What we thought was a glimpse of hope. China reported no new infections 14 days after their lockdown was set in place. Little did they know a second wave was about to hit after they lifted such restrictions. March 19, 2020, Italy reports a death toll that surpasses China. Over 4,000 deaths. It led them into total lockdown.

New York is now reported as the epicenter of the outbreak in the USA, to this day they are still on lockdown. The Olympics are now postponed. Popular events started being canceled for this year. State by state the cancelations continued. The world is changing for 2020, yet we are supposed to have a 20/20 vision. Now it’s nothing but a blur.

The USA now leads the world with the most confirmed Covid-19 cases. Over 82,000 people are infected with this deadly virus. Donald Trump signs a 2 trillion-dollar stimulus bill to help businesses as well as financial aid to the hospitals.

What about schools? How is this going to affect our education? There was an article from Brookings Writing, about the risks and opportunities for education during these times.

Two examples of the risks with education are one: Distance Learning. Jim said, “The worst form of learning is to sit passively and listen, and this may be the form that most students will receive during school closures. It serves no one well, especially those who are the furthest behind.” I believe this to be a very real problem.

I know for myself, sitting at home alone, and having to focus on schoolwork is difficult. Taking away real-world learning is an extreme challenge for so many like me. My son who suffers from ADHD was and still is impacted by this. Because he depends on the specialists at school to help him with his academic studies. Example two: The poverty-stricken areas.

What about the students that cannot afford a home computer or access to the internet yet required to turn in schoolwork? They are greatly impacted during these times as well.

Vicki said, “Learning resources need to be available on every kind of device and it means, for kids who do not have access, we still need to find a way to reach them.” We need to be making sure we are keeping all our students on track with their studies so that when schools reopen, they are not behind.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is the top disease specialist, collaborated with several others on an article about Covid-19 and possible vaccine solutions. However, they made it a point that the main goal is the safety of that vaccine, and not create something that could make the infection worse.

They discussed vaccine platforms in which they concluded that “No single vaccine or vaccine platform alone is likely to meet the global need, and so a strategic approach to the multi-prong and ever is critical.” Saying that without a definite vaccine, this will not be controlled. Janssen Pharmaceuticals may have a vaccine that could work. It was shown effective in the Ebola virus.

There are approximately 5.9 million cases worldwide with almost 400,000 deaths. Will there be an end to this? Or even a cure? Face masks, social distancing, no groups larger than ten. Is this our new normal? Unfortunately, yes. At least for a while. With unemployment surging at an all-time high, and our economy crashing.

States are forced to reopen. There are guidelines set in place to ensure the safety of all of us and we just must hope that with all the precautions in place that we will not have another surge in outbreaks. One the other hand, reopening states has created a lot of controversies.

Some believe we need to stay closed for the safety of Americans, while others depend on the businesses to financially support themselves and their families. I never thought in 29 years would I see something so tragic and knowing this invisible enemy is out to destroy everyone in its path with no discrimination.

All we can do now is hope that with all the new technology we have, all the scientists working on this, and all research being done to finally make a vaccine to stop this virus before it spreads any further, as well getting back to a normal life. The life we lived where the only thing we had to worry about was raising gas prices, too much traffic on the roads, and road construction.

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