Pandemics and their Consequences – How Will the World Change After the Corona Virus Outbreak?


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It is already clear today that the coronavirus pandemic will change our lives: schools and educational institutions have been stopped in many countries, social events have been canceled and entire cities have been quarantined. By March 16, 63 CoVID-19 infections had been officially registered in Russia, and this is most likely just the beginning. A pandemic as a global phenomenon will affect everyone. Immediately before our eyes, the streets of densely populated cities became empty due to the outbreak of the corona virus and the work of large industrial companies was stopped. Experts warn that in the future it may be normal not to meet, travel, and shake hands. However, the consequences of the pandemic will not stop there. But is it possible to predict what to expect?

Many experts believe that we have to get used to the outbreaks of new diseases – they will occur more often

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1 Spanish flu pandemic
2 Economic impact of the Spanish pandemic
3 Three lessons from past epidemics
4 What do scientists say about the consequences of the CoVID-19 pandemic?
5 What do the Italians say about quarantine?
6 What to do now?

Spanish flu pandemic

To get an idea of ​​the impact of the pandemic, let us remember the story. The Spanish flu of 1918 was the last truly global pandemic. Various health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) appeared after the Spaniard (the so-called Spanish flu). The Spanish flu killed at least 50 million people. For comparison: During the First World War, 9 million people died in hostilities. About 2-3% of those infected with the Spaniard were likely to die, and most deaths were due to complications such as pneumonia. Influenza occurred in waves and most deaths occurred within a week of each outbreak. The last outbreaks of the disease were reported in 1919, a year after this influenza strain was first discovered.

Influenza spread around the world due to the special circumstances in which it first occurred: World War I had just ended, entire armies were being demobilized, and soldiers were returning home sick. As a result, outbreaks spread along important transport routes. Due to war and famine, most of the world's population was already weak and susceptible to infection. To make matters worse, governments were in no hurry to provide information and war censorship remained in effect.

We remind you that we have gathered all the known information about the CoVID-19 pandemic for you in our special material, which is updated regularly

The Spaniard's victims were mainly young people between the ages of 15 and 40. In addition to these deaths, exposure to the flu has serious long-term effects on the physical and mental health of many survivors. The pandemic also had a negative impact on the economy. The urban population was particularly vulnerable to this influenza, in part due to pollution. Researchers recently found that in 1918, more people died in more polluted cities than in less polluted urban areas, suggesting a direct link between air pollution and the flu virus. It is logical to assume that the mortality rate was even lower in villages.

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The economic impact of the Spanish pandemic

The economic consequences of 1918 were caused by a panic about the spread of influenza. Large American cities, including New York and Philadelphia, were virtually quarantined because the population was bedridden. As in Italy, bars, restaurants and shops have been closed, sporting events have been canceled and private gatherings, including funerals, have been banned. The economic consequences of the Spaniard include labor shortages and higher wages as well as the wider use of social security systems. According to The Conversation, economic historians cannot agree on the bulk of GDP lost because the effects of influenza are difficult to separate from the effects of World War I.

Farewell to the deceased because of the Spanish flu, 1918

The long-term consequences were terrifying. Studies have shown that people born during a pandemic were less educated in adulthood, poor health and lower socio-economic status than those born immediately before and after an influenza pandemic.

Three lessons from past epidemics

The lessons from 1918 are tough. One of the main reasons why the 1918 pandemic claimed many victims was that the heads of state neglected the disease at the start of the outbreak. Their actions have led to a wider spread of influenza. Probably the main culprit was the repatriation (return) of troops to their homeland. Today we know that guidelines for communicable diseases work. Quarantine and isolation of cities, countries and people are the best solution. Scientists found that American cities that made efforts to reduce human contacts at the beginning of the 1918 outbreak had significantly lower peak mortality rates than cities that later introduced quarantine policies.

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The second lesson is that public awareness is the key to fighting a pandemic. We are already seeing the terrible consequences of silence about information in Iran – at the time of writing this article, more than 14,000 cases of infection and more than 700 deaths were registered in the country. We must not forget that the truth always comes out – if you hide it, nothing can be achieved.

The third lesson shows that we have to be prepared for the consequences of CoVID-19. This pandemic is a shock to both supply and demand. The labor costs associated with implementing the recommended 14-day self-isolation for suspected infected people have serious economic consequences. Quarantining entire regions or countries, such as China and Italy recently traded, will undoubtedly lead to a recession – a slowdown in economic growth and a financial crisis.

What do scientists say about the consequences of the CoVID-19 pandemic?

In January, Masier Boni, a professor of biology at the University of Pensvania, an epidemiologist with eight years of on-site experience, wrote in an article for The Conversation that he did not report reports of the death toll from the CoVID-19 epidemic in China reflect the real picture. Bonnie believes that mortality from new diseases is always high in the early stages of an outbreak, so it is likely that the data will decrease in the future. After 8 weeks, however, the scientist's opinion changed. Today he believes that new data indicating a decrease in mortality may not be available.

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We recall that coronavirus mortality is currently 3% in China and around 5% in Italy

We remind you that masks should only be used when you are ill

Mortality rates are calculated using officially recorded numbers that include only those who: (a) experience symptoms; b) decide that their symptoms are serious enough to seek help; c) Choose a hospital or clinic where the presence of a virus in the body can be tested.

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Imperial College London and the Institute for Modeling Diseases have estimated infection mortality rates. Estimates range from 0.5% to 0.94%, indicating that CoVID-19 is about 10 to 20 times more deadly than seasonal flu. The data from another large-scale study are consistent with the results. The only potentially good news is that the epidemic in South Korea may ultimately be lower than the epidemic in China. In truth, however, this does not exceed the actual data from China and Italy.

Infection mortality rate (IFR) determines the likelihood of death of an infected person. The mortality rate (CFR) determines the likelihood of death of an infected person who is seriously ill and can report this to doctors. CFR is bigger than IFR because people who go to hospitals are usually seriously ill.

The consequences for the economy, as Medusa writes regarding the source, will be severe. In early March, the Brookings Washington Research Institute introduced a scenario model that takes into account all shocks to the global economy. The model is based on a model of a hypothetical flu epidemic with high mortality, which was created in 2006. Other forecasters used models of the global economy, mainly taking into account trade and financial flows between countries and international production chains (e.g. the production of iPhones, which are actually a common US-Chinese product).

It should be noted that the epidemic itself and the struggle outside of China are just beginning today. For this reason, it is not yet possible to predict their exact extent, but it is already clear that the consequences will be serious. Therefore, scientists consider the least likely scenario to be a mild option: the epidemic will be quickly defeated, China will suffer (or have already suffered), and recovery will only take a few months. And the most likely course of events has been described as a moderate option: many countries will experience for themselves what China has been through, but paying a high price will stop the virus from spreading. The global economy as a whole will grow again by mid-2020 and a global recession is unlikely.

This is how disinfection of rooms including historical buildings in Italy looks like

The biggest worry, however, is the fact that the worst – catastrophic options – are being seriously considered today. Including the options that will have millions of victims in large countries (just under a million in Russia) and the global economy will go into a deep recession.

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What measures do you think the government of the Russian Federation should take in connection with the pandemic of the new corona virus? Share your opinion in the comments to this article and with the participants in our telegram chat

What do the residents of Italy say about the quarantine?

As the residents of Italy told reporters from Medusa, it is difficult for society to spot the virus – this is an invisible abstract threat. The spread of the coronavirus is such that the medical structures cannot stand it: there are simply no places in hospitals, no nurses, doctors. The lack of mechanical ventilators leads to death because there are a hundred devices and 140 patients. According to local residents, the situation in the capital looks like this: At banks, at the post office, in the supermarket, there is a long, stretched line: people stay at a distance of one meter from each other. The person at the entrance – also from a distance – controls the situation inside and starts the visitors one after the other. All goods are available in the supermarket, except for the disinfection of hands and serviettes. Everything looks as usual, but there are very few people: buyers try not to approach, shop quickly and leave.

What has to be done now?

According to WHO experts, we should now prepare to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with infected people or infected surfaces – in every possible way. Some people are less likely to leave the house. Others follow stricter hygiene practices. An extreme measure to reduce personal contacts – including mandatory quarantine, quick diagnosis and isolation, and the closure of jobs and schools – appears to have worked in Hubei, China, where the spread of the epidemic has slowed. In general, the measures taken by China have been effective, and history reminds us again that it is best to stay at home during an epidemic.

The best thing you can do today is to reduce the number of contacts with other people.

In the meantime, the number of infected people in Russia is officially less than 100 people. You have to prepare for the fact that the next 12 months will definitely look different. You may need to cancel your vacation and temporarily freeze gym membership. Epidemiologists from all over the world also advise buying essential goods, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, cereals, canned goods, and personal care products. You also have to be prepared for the fact that all social interactions will look different in 2020. In addition, due to population growth and climate change, outbreaks of diseases that were previously unknown to science may be the order of the day in the future.

Read the story of a person who has a corona virus. The whole disease is painted by day.

Unfortunately, the situation is such that the coronavirus pandemic does not go away on its own. It is not somewhere in another country and it is not a cold or flu. A pandemic must now be taken seriously to avoid the worst consequences. Health.