Around December 31st 2019, Chinese health officials reported treating dozens of people with pneumonia like cases in Wuhan China.
Pneumonia is a harsh lung infection where the sacs of the lungs fill with fluid, coronavirus does similar things. Attacking the lungs which cause damage, coronavirus causes lung tissue to thicken and break off, which can cause death.
One month later, on January 30th, the World Health Organization declared a world health emergency.
Little did the world know, this new virus from a small wet market in China would shut down the global economy, infect more than two million people, and force large populations into quarantine all within three to four months.
Even before Chinese health officials admitted to dealing with so many cases, the virus had already started its journey around the world.
On December 25th, a man from Toronto Canada was identified as having the virus after returning from Wuhan, the birthplace of the infection. From the 25th to the 19th of February, Canada has already developed eight cases. As the virus spreads and traveling declines, the global economy starts to become volatile.
The last week of February the stock market crashed harder than it did in the 2008 recession, COVID-19 had caused four major dips in the global economy within only a few weeks time.
Oil was one of the hardest hit sectors, going from an average of $1.20/liter to just 59.9 cents/liter.
The economy hasn’t been hit this hard since the Great Depression.
March was one of the craziest months so far throughout the pandemic, one where the wrath of the virus really started effecting all walks of life. With the call to social distance, non-essential businesses to close, and for people and families to go into quarantine mode, leaving only once a week for groceries, normal human life was quickly swept away.
It first started with social distancing, avoiding strangers when out in public, and limiting the number of people at a gathering.
On March 15th, Calgary Alberta had declared a state of emergency. Calgary would later grow to be the epicenter of the pandemic in the province.
The size of gatherings went from a limit of 250 to just five within one months time. With this, primary and post secondary schools all closed for the rest of the school year, forcing students and teachers to finish the semester online.
On March 20th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the United States Canadian border would be shut down to all non-essential travels for at least 30 days at midnight. The boarder between Canada and the States has never needed to be closed, and later the leaders of the two countries would extend the travel restrictions to another 30 days.
Within one month, Canada went from only eight cases, to closing all borders.
Come April 7th, many factories across Canada switch production to making gear for frontline workers. Something like this hasn’t been done since the second world war, making it a historical moment in history.
Non-essential businesses including pools and libraries are called to remain closed until the end of May, and many cities are now even taping up playgrounds to keep people off of them.
As of April 18th, the boarder closure was extended for another 30 days, social distancing and isolation measures are still in full force, and no vaccination has been discovered.
“The reason it’s so important to stay home and help flatten the curve is
because of how infectious this virus is,” said Alexa Gray, a future nurse in
Lethbridge Alberta. “It is incredibly spreadable and people need to take that
Gray breaks down the seriousness of the virus easily.
Alberta has 700 beds intensive care units across the province, and the
population of Alberta is 4.3 million. Best case scenario Alberta alone has 20% of the population infected, with 5% needing an ICU bed. That five percent may seem small, but accounts for 43,710 people.
Alberta only has 700 beds, and these numbers don’t account for the people
using the health care system for other reasons than COVID-19.
Healthcare workers have become the hero’s of 2020, dedicating their lives to saving the population against our newest threat.
As of April 19th, there are 2,394,291 cases worldwide.