Coronavirus has the world panicked, but it isn't the first time humanity has stared down a pandemic.
CDC Tips To Avoid The Coronavirus:
- Wash your hand often with soap for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- Remain home if you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough.
- Wear a facemask around other people if you are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Something strange is afoot at your local store. Not a lick of toilet paper is to be had, and one can of tuna is left on the shelves. If you’re remodeling your home, forget about getting a respirator—you’ll just have to endure that drywall dust and the risk of silicosis.
What the heck is going on?
If you’ve even a passing interest in the news you know the shortage of these and many more items has been caused by panic around the Coronavirus (COVID-1). First identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the virus has spread globally relatively quickly. At present, Coronavirus has been detected in more than 107 countries, with China (80,900 cases), Italy (12,400) and Iran (9,000) among the worst hit, according to the New York Times. The United States hasn’t been spared, with 938 cases identified at the time of writing (March 11) and 29 deaths by the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention’s numbers. Certainly, there’s more on the horizon.
At a brief glance, the coronavirus is a strain of viruses that affect mammals and birds, and manifests itself as a respiratory tract infection. Generally mild, thought to be the cause of the common cold, rarer forms of the coronavirus prove lethal. Though tagged as Wuhan Flu, the illness is not a strain of influenza. COVID-19, known as a novel coronavirus—or new—is one such example. Making it especially tricky to contain and identify is its long incubation period of up to 14 days. Complicating matters, scientists have yet to devise a vaccine to combat the virus, giving doctors only basic options in treating and preventing its spread.
A serious disease, particularly among the elderly and those already suffering for other maladies—particularly respiratory—COVID-19 is far from the first world-wide outbreak of deadly sickness. Much of the 20th and 21st centuries have been defined by flu pandemics, some of them globally devastating. Our sister publication, OffGrid, has gathered up six of the worst flu pandemics of the past 110 years. While it doesn’t make the outbreak of the coronavirus any less intimidating, it certainly shows this isn’t the first time we as humans have stared down a global plague.
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