If you thought the new coronavirus outbreak would be a passing fad soon to be forgotten, you need to think again!
Code-named ‘SARS-CoV-2’ (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrom-CoronaVirus-2) – with the disease that the virus causes code-named ‘Covid-19’ (CoronaVirusDisease-19) – the hydra-headed viral monster has been wreaking havoc across the world in the last three months or so.
The virus has been infecting and killing people right, left and centre across Planet Earth this side of Heaven, leaving behind trails of wailing, confusion and panic.
It even killed the Chinese medic who sounded a warning about the deadly outbreak in late December 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang, 33.
Based at the Wuhan Central Hospital in China’s Hubei Province, the whistle-blower had noticed/recognised symptoms in a patient of the SARS disease that had erupted in southern China’s Guangdong Province in November 2002.
The SARS epidemic spread only to 26 countries – the farthest from the ‘epicentre’ being Canada – infecting upwards of 8,000 before it was brought under control in 2003.
So, when Ophthalmologist Wenliang tried to raise the alarm on December 30, 2019, he was severely reprimanded and silenced on January 3, 2020 – with his employer and the local police accusing him of spreading ugly rumours - and threatening him with fate worse that death... Ye gods!
Then – as the seemingly-tireless Sisters of Fate would have it – our Dr Wenliang just as soon died from ‘Covid-19’ on February 7. [See ‘Chinese doctor, silenced after warning of outbreak, dies from coronavirus.’ New York Times, updated Feb. 7, 2020].
Let’s hit the ‘F-F’ button...
By noon on March 25 – less than three months after Dr Wenliang had blown the whistle on the new coronavirus outbreak on December 30 last year – the malady had spread to at least 196 countries and territories.
It had infected a total of 439,654 persons worldwide – and killed more than 19,744, with 111,941 cases having recovered from the ailment.
Incidentally, those who get infected with Covid-19 and recover can kiss the demon goodbye, as reinfection is generally ruled out. Lucky fellows, should we say? Sheesh!
Covid-19 is breaking all records in History dating back to the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic (Jan. 1918-Dec. 1920) from the H1N1 influenza virus.
Although the data is disputed here, there and over there, it’s nonetheless insisted by diehards that the Spanish Flu infected 500 million people: about 27 percent of the world population of 1.8-1.9 billion at the time.
The resulting death toll from the Flu was estimated at anywhere from 17 million to 50 million – and, possibly, as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history. [World Health, Organization. December 9, 2005].
What bothers me most is why the Chinese authorities did not heed Dr Li Wenliang when he raised the alarm on the conspiratorial ‘SARS-CoV-2’-cum-‘COVID-19’ outbreak last December!
Had they done so – and accordingly taken the requisite measures to contain the outbreak in their backyard – the world would have had no cause to shutdown life’s daily activities.
Countries are closing down schools, sports activities, passenger services, national borders, communal gatherings, shaking hands, smooching – and many more...
All this is bound to play merry hell with economies, social lifestyles... and, indeed, the worst is yet to come.
Talk of Armageddon, the final battle between Good (humans) and Evil (COVID-19) that’ll destroy the world and the human race... Tears, friend and foe alike!