According to the World Health Organization, a Pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. And the CDC notes that because there is no pre-existing immunity against the new virus, it spreads worldwide. We’ve seen epidemics, plagues, and heck just a lot of people with stomach bugs or whatever right? Pandemic… it’s a whole different freaking thing.
I’m finding it very difficult to separate fact from fiction in this novel outbreak of Coronavirus 2019… aka COVID-19. One thing I do when I question fact vs fiction, is I start researching… so here’s just a few facts before we move on to help you understand what we’re talking about… or skip the bullet points if you just area sick of hearing about it, but I promise… this actually has some relevance:
- COVID-19 as we have come to know it is caused by a coronavirus.
- Novel Coronavirus 2019 is the name that was assigned to this respiratory disease. COVID-19 for short.
- Novel means “new”, 19 is in relation to the year it appeared, 2019.
- Coronaviruses are actually a type of virus that is common in people and animals.
- But rarely do animal Coronaviruses infect people and then spread among people.
- The coronavirus is started by a betacoronavirus protein… you know… those spikey things you see in all the pics on the news and stuff??? Ok… now we’re getting in to way more scientific shit than I can handle.
- HERE is what important to know about the other types of coronaviruses we’ve seen before, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV
- SARS-CoV spread to more than two dozen countries before it was contained. There were a total of 8,098 cases reported, 774 died. The US only saw 8 confirmed cases.
- MERS CoV was primarily isolated to the Arabian peninsula but travelers carried it to other places like the Republic of Korea. The infection cases numbered 2,519, with 866 associated deaths.
- Our new friend here, is also respiratory related, so it gets the fancy name SARS-CoV-2 (although we all just call it COVID-19).
Ok. So here’s the numbers as of today published by WHO as of 3/19 (midnight)… worldwide there are 209,839 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Over 169 countries. and 8,778 confirmed deaths. Get this, on 3/15, we had 1,700ish reported cases. On 3/16 we jumped that up to 3,500ish. To put in comparison of where we’re at and what the rest of the world has been seeing… China reported over 81k cases. To be fair, we are about the same size as China and have appx 1.1B fewer people.
Want some fun facts and more details worldwide, I highly recommend checking this out… https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/685d0ace521648f8a5beeeee1b9125cd
So how the hell is this shit not supposed to scare us?! People keep comparing it to the flu and holy shit I’m over that. Stop minimizing what’s happening. This exponential growth is terrifying and obviously someone understands something we don’t…. because the response of our government subsequently has been to basically shut our country down. I do not disagree with this decision, however without diving in to all the ins-and-outs of it… let’s just say, it is causing my anxiety to sky rocket.
Schools are closed until April 17th. That is at a minimum. And there’s talk already that they could be closed the rest of the year. The economic impacts, the social impacts, the mental health impacts… are going to be siginificant.
I’m an extrovert. I love being around people. I like going to work and interacting with people. I love going to breweries or on big group rides with friends. My life as I know it is changing, rapidly. And it’s becoming difficult to handle. My daughter will now have to be home schooled (something I never envisioned I’d do). I will be working from home for the foreseeable future. One vacation and trip after another, canceled. I know I’m not alone in this fucking mess, but this is my world. Right now. My home office with just me. And it fucking sucks.
We’re in this together guys. I know I’m not alone. But the dramatic life changes happening are making me reel. I know it will be ok… we’ll look back on this and go holy shit, remember that time we had a pandemic and the world shut down? It’ll be in the history books of this insane experience no one can fathom. I hope. I guess all we can do right now is just try to take it all one day at a time…. anyone wanna FaceTime with me on a trip somewhere??