When 2020 began, none of us had heard of Covid-19 or novel Coronavirus. Eight months into the year, it has seared itself into the National psyche and upended hundreds of thousands of lives.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on August 17 that 5,382,125 cases had been diagnosed in the United States, and 169,350 Americans had died from the novel Coronavirus. Every digit in these statistics represents a patient who is sick or dying and a family whose life is forever changed.Read More »
That would mean that Covid-19 is now the No.3 cause of death in the US, only exceeded by heart disease and cancer. Covid deaths are now outpacing deaths from accidents and injuries of all descriptions.
In an attempt to get our bearings on where we are today with this pandemic, it would be helpful to know about its origins and what exactly is known about Covid-19.
Origins of the Novel Coronavirus
Covid-19 was first identified in Wuhan, China, a major cultural and historical center as well as a vast financial hub. Wuhan is the capital of the Province Of Hubei with a population of 7.9 million.
Coronavirus Cases in Wuhan, China
On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that, according to Chinese health officials, dozens of people were being treated for a lung disease similar to pneumonia in Wuhan.
The sickness was believed to be an animal-to-human transmission because many of the patients had visited a Wuhan live animal market prior to becoming symptomatic. There was no indication of person-to-person spreading at the time.
On January 21, 2020, the state media of China reported the first death attributed to the novel virus. The 61-year-old man who died had reportedly visited the live animal market in Wuhan.
Dates and events that document the progression of Covid-19 include:
- Enforced lockdown began in Wuhan, China Jan. 23, 2020
- World Health Organization declared a pandemic (“Public health emergency of international concern”) Jan. 30, 2020
- The first case of community transmission in the US (with no travel to virus hot spot or exposure to person with the virus) Feb. 26, 2020
Beginnings of the Novel Coronavirus in the US
The United States confirmed the first novel Coronavirus diagnosis on January 21, 2020, a Washington State man in his 30s who had returned to the US from Wuhan, China the day before.
On February 29, 2020, the US confirmed its first Coronavirus-related death. A man in Kirkland, Washington who had not traveled to China died on February 28.
An April 21 autopsy report on a patient who died on February 6, 2020 revealed the cause of death to be Covid-19, making this the first known virus-related death in the US.
Two nursing home residents who died on February 26, 2020 were found to have tested positive for the virus as well.
Statistics that Reveal the Accelerated Rate of Infection in the US
- March 13, 2020: National Emergency declared by President Trump
- March 17, 2020: All 50 states have reported cases of Coronavirus
- March 20, 2020: New York City declared epicenter of US outbreak
- March 26, 2020: US has more confirmed cases of the virus than any other country with 82,000+ diagnoses and 1,000+ deaths
- April 4, 2020: New York State sets new one-day record with 12,000 new diagnoses in a day
- May 27, 2020: US deaths total 100,000
- June 11-17, 2020: Accelerated case numbers in Florida, South Carolina and Arizona following rush to reopen economies
- July 12, 2020: Single-day record broken in Florida with 15,000 new cases in one day
- July 26, 2020: Florida becomes new epicenter for virus with 423,855 documented cases
How to Protect Yourself and Others from Covid-19
As novel coronavirus sweeps across our nation, public health officials have outlined measures we can all take to protect ourselves and others. These include:
- Maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people (social distancing)
- Stay away from people who are sick
- Wash your hands frequently, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds per session
- If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer
- Should you develop Covid-19 symptoms, contact your healthcare provider about testing
Public health experts at the CDC and WHO recommend wearing a face mask to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 to others in case you have contracted the virus but are asymptomic and do not know you have it. Other face coverings such as face shields that are widely used by medical personnel are available to the public and can offer extra protection from viral spread.
For maximum effectiveness when wearing a mask, follow these recommendations:
- Before putting on mask, wash your hands
- Cover your nose and mouth, and secure mask under chin
- Try to make mask fit securely against your face
- Check to be sure you can breathe easily
- Do not touch the mask or pull it up on your forehead or push down under chin
- Remove mask by ear pieces after returning home
- Keep reusable masks clean by washing in washing machine
Some people need to wear a mask at home if family members are sick or elderly. Conditions like diabetes, cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s put people at higher risk for catching the Coronavirus and make recovery harder.
In summary, heed the advice of your healthcare provider, public health doctors, and infectious disease specialists.
Do your research. Stay informed. Stopping the rampage of Covid-19 will take ALL of us working together. For yourself, your family, and your fellow Americans, be vigilant in the fight against the deadly novel Coronavirus!
Explore Games and Apps