The fear of the unknown

about 28 days ago
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WHO declaring the Covid-19 as pandemic has triggered a sense of panic. The feeling of the unknown supersedes every other emotion. But the question is how does anything change when WHO says it’s a ‘pandemic?’

Well, for one, the moment WHO presses this panic button, it propels Govts into action – it brings to the fore a sense of urgency to deal with this. WHO said that the Govts were not acting as required and probably that is at the core of this declaration.

This is not the first time this has happened – other times when it was a pandemic - the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, HIV (1981), Spanish flu (1918), bubonic plague (1347) and smallpox (1870) are all examples of pandemics.

With WHO calling this a pandemic, it will now have to release funds from its $320 million pandemic bond, which was set up after the Ebola outbreak. The fund is designed to help developing countries respond to a crisis like this—although the bond won’t pay out until 12 weeks after an outbreak begins, which is end of March.

A quick revision of what the various ‘mics’ mean:

Endemic - a disease that exists permanently in a particular region or population. Malaria is a constant worry in parts of Africa and India

Epidemic - outbreak of disease that attacks many peoples at about the same time and may spread through one or several communities.

Pandemic - when an epidemic spreads throughout the world

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