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COVID-19, A PANDEMIC THAT WILL LAST A LIFETIME?

On January 10, 2020, WHO (World Health Organization) began using an unfamiliar phrase that would not only shake up the nations, but the entire world: “2019 Novel Coronavirus or SARS -CoV-2.” What was originally identified as a “cluster of pneumonia” by Chinese authorities in December 2019, swiftly turned into an unprecedented crisis that was felt around the four corners of the Earth.

This respiratory disease began to spread so severely and so rapidly that the world was not prepared for what would happen next — a global health crisis. In short, COVID-19, created significant hardship(s) for people both young and old, from all walks of life, and from around the world that will continue to haunt us, long after the masks are off.

Living, In the Beginning

While uncertainty and fear continued to rise, so did the span of economic consequences, which in turn, beget the COVID-19 recession. Considered the second largest recession in the world, this bubonic plague started to hit the world in waves.

During the first of many tidal waves, there were stock market crashes, major inflation, panic buying and price gouging, government shut downs, food shortages, and businesses failures, ultimately causing businesses to lose 25% of their revenue and 11% of their workforce.

With no vaccine or cure in sight, mortality rates also began to skyrocket, aggressively and abruptly. Within each country and throughout every region, scientists, analysists, and researchers alike attempted to measure and quantify mortality rates and the effects the pandemic had on public health across populations.

According to The National Library of Medicine, 4.3 million global deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 have been reported as of August 11, 2021 to present-day. Although the death toll remains elusive, the mortality rates caused by this severe acute respiratory syndrome is considered dramatically excessive in over 100 countries across the globe and counting!

Now let’s speed up to present-day, shall we?

Outside of the economic deficit possibly quadrupling to $3.4 TRILLION DOLLARS, soaring unemployment rates, ever-so-present income inequality, the world still has bigger problems boiling beneath the surface. Statistics say and studies reveal that COVID 19 has wreaked havoc on one’s overall mental health and well-being. U.S adults have reported experiencing an increase of stress, anxiety, depression, loneliness and suicidal thoughts since the pandemic. In turn, both alcohol consumption and opioid usage has been on the rise amongst teens and adults in an attempt to deal with bouts of social isolation, uncertainties about the future, financial lack, fear of getting sick etc.

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Existing, Living “In The Now”

Needless to say, COVID-19 took this entire generation by storm and by force. Just mouthing “it” makes me uncomfortable. None of us knew how, who, what, when, where this disease came from or why it came to strike the land with such a vengeance! Millions upon millions of lives lost, while their loved ones are left picking up the shattered memories of what was but is no more.

And for the rest of us that “survived” — Where does that leave us? Where do we turn or go from here? Masks or no masks? Are we still in a pandemic or not? Will we ever recover and “go back to normal”? 

It is quite evident that none of us know the answer to any of these questions. Hey folks, I really hate to be the bearer of bad news when I say this, BUT COVID-19 is here to stay. We will never fully go back to living “pre-pandemically.”

By already lasting longer than the 1918 flu pandemic, scientists predict mounds of the omicron variants will linger long into the future. They even fear that the virus will grow in worrisome proportions!

As nations, as people, we must all learn how to deal with this aliment, this deadly disaster lasting past our lifetimes. Saying goodbye to how life used to be and enjoying life for all that it is in the now. Right now.

 

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