COVID-19: ONE YEAR LATER: Tomb or Womb – the choice is ours
by Mike Burnard
“Auschwitz is an opportunity not for recovery, but for discovery, the way you respond rather than react.” – Holocaust survivor, Dr.Edith Eger
On 17 November 2019, a 55-year-old individual from Hubei province in China was the first person to have contracted a disease caused by the new coronavirus. Since then the virus has become a household name and a global tipping point, determining the outcomes of elections, economies, conflicts, and faith.
Today, exactly one year later, our challenge is not only one of recovery, but of discovery – our choice being, figuratively speaking, between a ‘tomb‘ and a ‘womb‘. We can focus on recovery that will be determined how we react, or we can focus on discovery and the way we respond. If we react, 2020 will ultimately turn into a “tomb” – the year that dreams, ambitions, and visions were buried. If we respond, 2020 can become a “womb” – the year that dreams, ambitions, and visions were born. The choice is ours.
Here is a timeline of the COVID-19 pandemic:
November 17: a 55-year-old individual from Hubei province in China was the first person to have contracted a disease caused by the new coronavirus
December 15: One month later and the total infections, still limited to China, now reaches 27.
December 20: Daily cases increase exponentially with the case count now reaching 60.
December 27: Dr. Zhang Jixian, head of the respiratory department at Hubei Provincial Hospital, reported to health officials in China that a novel coronavirus was causing the disease; by that day, it had infected more than 180 individuals.
January 4: WHO reported on social media that there was a cluster of pneumonia cases – with no deaths – in Wuhan, Hubei province.
January 13: Officials confirm a case of COVID-19 in Thailand, the first recorded case outside of China.
January 20: The first case of coronavirus is reported in the U.S., a 35-year-old Washington man who returned from China days earlier.
January 30: WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
February 1: The number of infections has now grown to 12,032
February 26: The CDC in the USA confirmed a case in California with no reported travel connection to China or exposure to another person with COVID-19. This marked the first possible instance of community spread—the spread of an illness with an unknown source of infection.
March 1: The number of infections has now grown to 91,015. The world is starting to react.
March 11: Deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction, WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a GLOBAL PANDEMIC.
March 13: There are now nearly 148,000 cases globally and more than 81,000 cases in mainland China, with cases on every continent except Antarctica.
April 1: The number of infections has now exceeded the 1 million mark and stands at 1,013,177
April 9: The number of COVID related deaths passes the hundred thousand mark with 103,112 that have died of the disease
May 1: The number of infections has now tripled over the past month and stands at 3,433,002
June 25: The number of COVID related deaths passes the half-million mark with 503,971 that have died of the disease
July 1: The number of infections has reached the ten million mark with 10,751,249 now being infected
August 28: The WHO releases a document explaining the following milestones and events that relate to COVID:
- The Director-General and Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Programme have held 90 media briefings.
- There have been 28 Member State Briefings and information sessions.
- WHO convenes international expert networks, covering topics such as clinical management, laboratory and virology, infection prevention and control, mathematical modelling, seroepidemiology, and research and development for diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, which have held frequent teleconferences, starting in early January. These networks include thousands of scientists, medical and public health professionals from around the world.
- The OpenWHO platform has had more than 4.2 million total course enrolments, with 123 courses available to support the COVID-19 response, spanning 16 topics and 39 languages.
- The Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) has met 41 times. STAG-IH provides independent advice and analysis to the WHO Health Emergencies Programme on the infectious hazards that may pose a threat to global health security.
- EPI-WIN, WHO’s information network for epidemics, has convened 70 technical webinars, making available 376 expert panelists to more than 21,000 participants, from 149 countries and territories, with representation reaching as high as 935 organizations.
September 25: The number of COVID related deaths passes the million mark for the first time with 1,002,082 that have died of the disease
November 7: The number of COVID related infections passes the 50 million mark with 50,278,895 that have now been infected.
November 17: One year after the first suspected case of COVID 19 and the numbers are as follows
- Coronavirus infections: 54,893,770
- Deaths: 1,325,404
- Recovered: 38,183,988 (97%)
- Currently Infected Patients: 15,384,378
- in Mild Condition: 15,285,532 (99%)
- Serious or Critical: 98,846 (1%)
- Cases which had an outcome: 39,509,392
- Recovered / Discharged: 38,183,988 (97%)
- Deaths: 1,325,404 (3%)
- Total Cases per 1 million people: 7,042
- Total deaths per 1 million people: 170