Globally, there are now over 2,721,000 confirmed cases and more than 191,000 reported deaths. With asymptomatic cases growing and many people remaining positive even after recovery, concern has risen. As many countries aim to end lockdowns and resume normal activity, it is imperative that COVID-19 infection rates are documented.
• Dec 31 – The first flu-like cases in Wuhan, the capital of Central China’s Hubei province, were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO).
• Jan 1 – A market in Wuhan was suspected as the outbreak hub.
• Jan 5 – WHO recommends travel restrictions for China and the mysterious flu cases were ruled out as SARS, MERS or bird flu.
• Jan 7 – The virus is finally identified as 2019n-CoV or COVID-19.
• Jan 11 – The first reported coronavirus death was confirmed in Wuhan, China.
• Jan 17 – China reports the second COVID-19 related case.
• Jan 20 – The first case was detected in South Korea, Japan and Thailand and airports in many countries began screening patients with coronavirus symptoms.
• Jan 21 – America reports their first case, meanwhile the cases of coronavirus in China exceeds 300 and scientists begin looking for a vaccine.
• Jan 22 – The WHO declares COVID-19 an international emergency. There are over 500 cases and 17 deaths.
• Jan 23 – China implements travel bans in and out of Wuhan, Singapore announces first case and Beijing cancels Chinese New Year festivities.
• Jan 29 – The white house announces a task force aimed at monitoring and containing the spread of the coronavirus.
• Jan 30 – The WHO announces that the outbreak is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
• Jan 31 – Trump announces a travel ban on foreign nationals who have been in China in the last 14 days.
• Feb 3 – China accuses the US government of spreading fear with travel restrictions.
• Feb 4 – There are ten confirmed cases of coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked off the coast of Japan.
• Feb 10 – Xi demonstrates efforts for containing the coronavirus in Beijing and WHO experts arrive in China in order to assist with the outbreak.
• Feb 11 – The WHO names the coronavirus COVID-19.
• Feb 14 – A Chinese tourist dies in France, the first death in Europe. Egypt announces its first case, the first confirmed case in Africa. The global death toll rises to 1,383.
• Feb 21 – The CDC alters the criteria for counting the number of confirmed cases in the US. The death toll reaches 2,247.
• Feb 25 – The NIH announces a clinical trial to test the efficacy of the antiviral drug remdesivir in adults diagnosed with coronavirus.
• Feb 26 – A confirmed case in California is the first possible US case of community spread. President Trump names VP Mike Pence responsible for government response amid criticism. Death toll passes 2,750 meanwhile recovery rates increase.
• Feb 29 – The first death in Washington state is confirmed, the first death in the US.
• Mar 3 – The federal reserve cuts interest rates in response to the economic uncertainty COVID-19 has caused. This is the first unscheduled cut since 2008.
• Mar 4 – The CDC removes restrictions related to COVID-19 testing. The virus begins spreading globally with more than 93,000 confirmed cases.
• Mar 9 – Italy announces a country wide lockdown.
• Mar 11 – The CDC declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, the first pandemic caused by a coronavirus. Trump restricts travel from Europe to the US for 30 days. Italy tightens lockdown restrictions.
• Mar 18 – Trump signs a coronavirus relief package into law that will provide free testing and paid emergency leave. Death tolls in Italy surge at an alarming rate.
• Mar 24 – Japan and the International Olympic Committee announce that the Olympics will be postponed to 2021.
• Mar 25 – The US government reach an agreement on a $2 trillion-dollar stimulus deal, one of the most expensive measures in the history of congress.
• Mar 27 – Trump signs the stimulus package.
• Apr 2 – 6.6 million US workers file for unemployment benefits, the largest number of claims in history. The total number of cases exceeds 1 million.
• Apr 8 – China reopens Wuhan after a lockdown lasting 76 days.
• Apr 20 – Chile announces that they will be using digital immunity cards as a means to identify those who no longer pose a health risk.
• Apr 21 – The COVID-19 death toll exceeds 170,000 and the WHO speculates the worst is yet to come.
• Apr 23 – The economic toll seems to be getting worse, the GDP reduction is worse than in 2009 and a recession is the best-case scenario.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been identified in humans. The virus first emerged from a food market in Wuhan, China and has been named SARS-CoV-2. It has been declared a pandemic due to its incredible fast transmission speeds. The infection is not likely in those that have not been in close contact with an infected person. Read on to find out more about COVID-19.
What Causes a Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses originate in animals first and then transfer to humans. In order for this transference to occur, a person needs to come into close contact with an infected animal. Once the virus develops in humans, it can be spread from person to person through airborne mediums such as a cough or sneeze. If the droplets in the air are inhaled into the respiratory tract then an infection can occur.
What are the Symptoms?
As the situation develops, healthcare professionals learn something new about the virus daily. What they do know is that symptoms can remain undetectable from 2 days up to 2 weeks. Some symptoms that have been linked to COVID-19 include:
• A cough that gets more severe with time
• Loss of taste
• Shortness of breath
• Low-grade fever that gradually increases
• Aches and/or pains
These symptoms can become severe in some cases. If you notice any severe symptoms in your family or close friends be sure to consult with a doctor or call emergency services.
How Does COVID-19 Compare to the Flu?
Due to the lack of knowledge on this new coronavirus, medical professionals cannot be sure if the coronavirus is more or less deadly than the seasonal flu.
It’s difficult to determine because the number of mild cases that are unreported are unknown, but it is thought that the coronavirus has a higher mortality rate than the flu.
It’s estimated that only 0.04 – 0.2 percent of people who contracted the flu during the 2019-2020 season in the US died. However, the rates for coronavirus are approximately 5.4 percent.
Who’s at Risk?
Everyone is at risk of contracting COVID-19 if they come into contact with someone who’s a carrier, but there are a few groups who may be at higher risk. If you’re not taking preventative measures and are living with someone who’s contracted the virus, are providing care for someone with the virus or have a partner with the virus.
Older people and those with preexisting health conditions are also at increased risk for contracting the virus. Some of these conditions include:
• Lung issues such as COPD or asthma
• Heart conditions
• Immune system issues such as HIV or lupus
• Kidney disease or liver disease
It’s also important to note that pregnant women show risk of complications from other viral infections, and although there have been no connections to COVID-19 it’s important to stay vigilant.
Are Treatments Available?
Currently, there aren’t any treatments for COVID-19 and there are no cures for infection. Medical professionals from across the globe are fervently searching for a vaccine or any treatments. Although there are no treatments or vaccines, you should contact your doctor if you are showing any symptoms as there may be treatment options for any complications that may develop as a result.
Complications of COVID-19
While there are numerous complications associated with the coronavirus, pneumonia is one of the most serious and has been named coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP).
In addition to NCIP there are a few other complications in those who have COVID-19:
• Heart damage
• Irregular heartbeat
• Muscle pain
• Acute respiratory distress
The most effective way to prevent the spread of coronavirus is by avoiding contact with those who are infected. Aside from that, good hygiene and social distancing are good practice for preventing the spread.
Here are a few useful tips:
• Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
• Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth when your hands aren’t clean
• Stay inside if you’re feeling sick
• Stay 6 feet apart from people
• Clean objects that you touch often
• Wear masks whenever possible
Although COVID-19 has affected the world in more ways than one, there’s no need to panic. As long as you take the necessary precautions and protect yourself from being exposed to the virus there’s no need to worry.