It is the first time in the history of
medicine that so many scientists / researchers across the globe focused so
urgently on a single disease in such a short span of time. Looking at the
developments in the past few month, I really feel that COVID-19 has changed how
the world does science together. While the political leaders have locked their borders
to stop the spread, scientists have been shattering theirs, creating a global
collaboration unlike any in history. That reflects the widespread impact of the
pandemic and the fact that, for many researchers, the hotspot is no longer one
particular village / city in the developing world; it is their own hometowns. Most
other laboratory research in different parts of the world has been put on temporary
hold because of lockdowns, curfews, social distancing, or work-from-home
restrictions. As a matter of fact, scientist community today have little choice
but to study different aspects associated to coronavirus if they want to work
at all in near future.
Coronavirus anxiety: Coping with stress and fear?
Due to coronavirus outbreak, for majority
of the people, the day-to-day lives are on a temporary hold while the medical
community is dealing with the deadly pandemic. The constant sharing of
information / news related to coronavirus has clearly lead to more mental
health issues as a lot of people are dealing with anxiety, fear of
uncertainty, and panic attacks. In this time, when the world is practicing
social distancing (a term which was never heard before), I strongly feel that
we should do our best to stay connected. It is important to practice physical
distancing / isolation, rather than emotional distancing.
Beyond the devastating toll on human health, the pandemic is causing significant economic turmoil in majority of the countries across the globe. The virus outbreak has disrupted the manufacturing supply chains and is likely to reflect on growing economic stress as social distancing causes a sharp decline in demand. In fact, corona pandemic has not spared any industry / business, which is a serious matter of concern right now. Specifically, talking about India, the pre-COVID-19 projections of India’s GDP value for 2021 was estimated at around USD 8 billion. There is a school of thought that the lockdown for nearly 30 days would imply a maximum loss of USD 200 billion. Not only in India, the business landscape across all the countries around the world will shift to adjust to the next normal.
Together, we stand and soon this too, shall pass!!
So far, the virus is estimated to have infected more than 1,250,000 individuals, around the globe. Research, so far, indicates that the novel coronavirus may be deadlier than the season flu, which kills roughly one in 1,000 people. At the same time, we must not forget that this is not the first time a pandemic / epidemic has taken toll on humanity in the history of mankind. However, there is no doubt that coronavirus has ignited the scientific community in ways that no other outbreak or medical mystery has ever done before.
As per the recent report published by Roots Analysis, more than 50 therapeutic entities / vaccines are currently under development by prominent players for the treatment / prevention of COVID-19. In fact, more than 100 clinical trials have been registered till date; majority of these trials being conducted in China. Further, close to 250 diagnostic tests are already approved / under development for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in patients with a risk of the infection. Nonetheless, about 259,000 patients have already been recovered from this disease.
In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding
the COVID-19 pandemic, each day seems to bring news that’s worse than the day
before. While countries and scientist community continues to comprehend the
scale of this pandemic, it is undeniable that we are looking at some more
permanent, structural changes to the way we used to live, play and work. However,
I feel hopeful that together, we are ready to fight back this unfortunate situation
and like all good or bad situations, this too, shall pass… !!