by Alan Chung Ma Sr
Over the past three months and a half, the world has been witness to anew novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, straining healthcare systems around the world; eating up on
stockpiles of medical supplies and overwhelming the capabilities of hospitals and clinics in the
places hardest hit, while also bestowing panic among communities all over the world. With
almost 200,000 confirmed cases worldwide in more than 150 countries, this pandemic may not
be the deadliest in history, but would be remembered as one not favorable to humankind.
As of the time of writing, March 17, 2020, at 4 p.m. (MDT), currently, the hardest hit
country is Italy, with more than 23,000 active cases. Italy’s healthcare system is currently
overwhelmed, operating over maximum capacity, and still seeing exponential growth in the
number of cases even with more than a week of nation-wide lock-down due to the novel
Coronavirus. Italy has been, to the rest of the world bracing for impact, an example of a possible
worst-case-scenario: a modern healthcare system unable to handle the large amount of cases and
seeing high death tolls.
On the other end of the Eurasian continent, South Korea, on the other hand, handled
outbreaks quiet well, actually. South Korea, having had more cases than Italy initially, was able
to lower the number of reported cases per day while being a more densely populated country
than Italy. Many have pointed to the quick response of the South Korean government as the
catalyst to the quick decline of reported cases, while others point to a very well-prepared
population as the reason for it. Regardless, it would be daft of other governments to not look at
South Korea and what they have done, or not done, and try their best to replicate, as they have
been one of the most successful in containing the spread of the disease.
Currently, a large portion of countries where COVID-19 has been spreading rapidly are
located in Europe, which puzzled some people as it is there where some of the supposed “best
healthcare systems in the world” are. However, the lack of preparedness for unique and rare
outbreaks such as the ongoing one were not taken into consideration when judging the systems,
event though they should. Thus, when we are done fighting through this pandemic, citizens
should seek for their representatives and their government to seek to better prepare their regions
for the next pandemic. Even if the next large outbreak were to occur long after the next
generation passes away, there is nothing stopping it from occurring soon after the current one.
Further reading that you may find useful:
https://hgis.uw.edu/virus/ and https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html to track the outbreak
updates-200316234425373.html for latest updates
how to protect oneself.
List of Countries with over 1,000 active confirmed cases of COVID-19:
- South Korea