Introduction to Disasters, Humanitarian Aid and Development

Introduction to Epidemiology and Infection

If one glances at the history of the world, it becomes evident that in the past there has been many crises and pandemics where people succumbed to depravity, but none has been as horrific as Coronavirus or popularly known as COVID-19. The time where humans are living currently is no different than some Hollywood movie where we see that a disease had captured an entire area and the people are all affected by it. Even though the vaccine of this virus is still under preparation, yet the current medical expertise and equipment that is available are not adequately available in all countries. In totality, a very large number of population is very much open to danger and at risk of this infection. The 2019 Global Health Security Index, has put on the map the number of 195 countries.[1]The report shows that even the developed countries were not able to provide adequate healthcare facilities to its people and hence they were not ready for such a plague.

If humans were to scrutinize the current status of a global pandemic, there is no country in this world that have not been affected by it. If one is to look at the New York Times, in March 2020, the journal released a report on how the United States has been tackling with this virus. The first state to be affected by this was Chicago and after the expiry of 47 days, this epidemic became a pandemic. Around 110 million Americans were ill, leading to 7.7 hospitalized and 586000 dead.[2] Sources reveal that a file named ‘Crimson Contagion’ had the records of a pandemic that was supposed to outburst in America during the last year from January to August.[3] However, this was not paid any heed to and was simulated by the Department of Health and Human Services of Trump's government. This is just on this year. For the past 4 years, the American government, with two administrations been into power, had researched on what would a pandemic be like. For this, they must scrutinize the shortcomings and seek out possible actions to it. This was not something which was done with utmost sincerity.[4]

It is the view of most of the health experts, that the biggest outbreak of COVID-19 is the US was due to its lack of testing and delay in it. Dr William Schnaffer, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, also supported this view that America was behind than most of the countries in testing.[5] It is the view of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the federal government agency who was responsible for public health and safety, made their own testing kits and not the ones recommended by WHO. This resulted in longer time in giving out results and were not even accurate.[6]

Coming to the social factors, Professor of Epidemiology, Krys Johnson at the Temple University of Philadelphia, said that one of the other reasons were that not all people were being tested due to high medical costs and lack of health insurances amongst people.[7] He mentioned an example of a person who returned to Florida from China and had some flu-like symptoms. Agitated, he went to the hospital to got himself tested of the virus but his health insurance wasn't covered for such tests and he was charged with $3270 for the medication and visitation.[8]

It is undisputed that at times like these, countries like India helped out many Asian countries to battle this virus with the common vaccine named hydroxychloroquine. This is a generic medicine which was used to combat the flu-related problems which is now very much helpful in combating this virus. With no attested vaccine been launched globally, people are facing it themselves in the best way they can.

Conclusion on Epidemiology and Infection

To conclude, the outbreak of this pandemic has made humanity realize one thing beyond doubts and if one messes with nature, nature when replicates that no artillery, no armed forces, no machine guns and the accumulated super-power that each country has gathered could stop it. Humans themselves the best armour at times like these.

Nevertheless, one needs to think about what is the use of gathering such extreme power and allocating so much of a country’s resources in defences. What are the humans planning to protect themselves from when the enemy is invisible. To have control over all the odds, all countries must work together to eradicate such pandemic and not play a blame-game which is happening now. Calling this virus a specific country virus is not going to give any solution. Even their people have died and have been affected since. Right now the humans are seeing and hearing is that countries are strong-arming against China and trying to pressure it from all ends. Not all humans have risen up from this mess and all of them are entering into another one, which is war. The international organisations have as usual been silent and helpless to have any co-ordination globally. Be it now or the time when World War II broke out.

So yes it was the viewpoint of countries because it is presumed that the enemy is going to be visible and hence we need to prepare ourselves. But not always can you see the enemy and then not your resources help you through that but the people do.

References for Epidemiology and Infection

D’Amours, J. K. (2020). Coronavirus: How prepared is the United States? Not very. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/06/coronavirus-how-prepared-is-the-united-states-not-very/

Fischer, K. (2020). Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media. Retrieved from https://news.temple.edu/news/2020-05-20/highlights-recent-stories-featuring-temple-media-5-18

Haider, N., Yavlinsky, A., Chang, Y. M., Hasan, M. N., Benfield, C., Osman, A. Y. & Kock, R. (2020). The Global health security index and joint external evaluation score for health preparedness are not correlated with countries’ COVID-19 detection response time and mortality outcome. Epidemiology & Infection, 1-18

Sanger, D. E., Lipton, E., Sullivan, E. & Crowley, M. (2020). Before virus outbreak, a cascade of warnings went unheeded. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-outbreak.html

Tanne, J. H. (2020). Covid-19: Cases grow in US as Trump pushes promise of a malaria drug. BMJ, 368, 1.

[1] Haider, N., Yavlinsky, A., Chang, Y. M., Hasan, M. N., Benfield, C., Osman, A. Y., ... & Kock, R. (2020). The Global Health Security index and Joint External Evaluation score for health preparedness are not correlated with countries’ COVID-19 detection response time and mortality outcome. Epidemiology & Infection, 1-18.

[2] Sanger, D. E., Lipton, E., Sullivan, E. & Crowley, M. (2020). Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/19/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-outbreak.html

[3] Tanne, J. H. (2020). Covid-19: Cases grow in US as Trump pushes promise of a malaria drug. BMJ, 368, 1.

[4] Ibid 1

[5] D’Amours, J. K. (2020). Coronavirus: How prepared is the United States? Not very. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/06/coronavirus-how-prepared-is-the-united-states-not-very/

[6] Ibid 3

[7] Fischer, K. (2020). Highlights from recent stories featuring Temple in the media. Retrieved from https://news.temple.edu/news/2020-05-20/highlights-recent-stories-featuring-temple-media-5-18

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