Part 1- THE GLOBAL STAGE
It was in the late December that we the world came to know of an influenza like disease spreading all over China killing hundreds. It was believed to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and later the cluster was localized to be an animal market there. The modern Chinese medical infrastructure was ramped up, the genome of the causative organism was sequenced and was found to be similar to the corona virus of 2003 which caused SARS outbreak and WHO named it as novel corona virus or Covid- 19.
There was repeated denial from both China and WHO regarding the human to human transmission potential of the Virus, intially, failing the world to prepare and caution themselves for a pandemic and preventing them to take precautionary restrictions. By the end of December, the first case outside China was reported in its neighborhood of Thailand. By January, cases started reporting from Italy, a country which maintains close ties with China and soon the spread of the disease accelerated.
The whole of Europe including major economies of UK, Spain, Italy, France was swallowed by the virus and people were in shackles. All of them followed the authoritarian invention of “lockdown technique” , an extreme form to maintain social distancing across their countries.
Italy faced the brunt of the disease count in Europe and started grappling inspite of its well equipped health system. Soon, with the overwhelming number of patients, led to the collapse of health system and thereby increasing the fatality rate, transforming the world famous romantic destinations into graveyards of loved ones. High case fatalities were recorded all across Europe with epicentres of death changing from Italy to Spain to France and finally to UK, where even the PM of UK, Boris Johnson contracted the disease.
In US, by the time a few localised clusters were being reported, the numbers were slowly climbing up and the President Donald Trump was in denial and hesitant to take stringent measures for the containment of the disease. He continued his hate speeches and blabbering in the White House press briefings switching opinions within no time. He participated in the Namaste Trump event in India on Feb 26 where lakhs participated both local and foreign. The contours soon changed when the epicenter soon changed, post mid march to the US global city of New York, where the disease spread like wildfire and by the time there was nothing he could do. The doubling time was so less and fatality rate too climbed up devastating the mostly privatized health system of US.
To be continued….
In Part – 2, the Indian Conundrum