"If anything kills ten million people over the next decade, it is more likely to be a highly infectious virus rather than a war. Not missiles but microbes."
-Bill Gates(TED talk 2015)
At a time when the life-threatening Ebola virus had wreaked havoc on a majority of the African continent, Bill Gates stood on that very stage and delivered a soul-stirring speech that was received with a standing ovation by the listeners. The crux of his many statements on that day almost mirrors the situation that we face today. As the menacing coronavirus has gripped onto many innocent lives, numerous countries all over the world(which have been forced into complete shutdown) have descended into an imminent state of emergency. And what has been the only prevention devised so far?QUARANTINE.
ORIGIN OF THE WORD
Ironically, the word quarantine has been derived from Italy, which to date is one of the worst affected countries in the world by averaging close to 600 deaths a day at its peak. The word quarantine dates back to the plaque in the 14th and 15th century which had wiped out a tenth of the population of Europe. When many prominent European countries caught wind of this pandemic it pushed them into a state of straight-up turmoil. To combat this pandemic, Italy proposed that all the ships(carrying sailors suspected of being vectors of the disease) which arrived at its harbor must be docked there for a total of forty(cuarentento in Italian) days to block the spread of this growing pandemic. Subject to different pronunciations in different countries the word 'quarantine' stuck in the English language.
ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL IMPACT
COVID-19 has directly or indirectly affected every single country in the world. China's industrial production has fallen by 13.5% in the first two months of the year, left millions unemployed across the European continent and crumbled worldwide travel and airline industries. With the WHO labeling COVID-19 as a pandemic on March 11, panic-stricken countries have begun unveiling plans after the proposal to contain this virus. Take for example the United Kingdom which had its first case detected on 28 February 2020. With an unforeseen growth, it now stands at close to 50,000 cases with about 4,800 deaths. In this testing time of quarantine, no one has been spared the wrath of this virus. Not even Boris Johnson(the PM of the United Kingdom) and VERY ironically the health minister of UK, Nadine Dorries.
THE BRIGHT SIDE
On a much lighter note, the internet has been functioning at full throttle. There is a sudden influx of memes, texts, and weird videos, and short clips on TikTok (oh i am gonna regret saying that word). This quarantine period has allowed people to pursue a new hobby or given them enough motivation to scroll through their Instagram/Reddit/twitter all day or just set out on a discovery of one's self. Also(on a personal note), the ICSE exams postponement has caused a lot of anger in most students so shoutout to all of you suffering out there :). By the way, I swear I am not this boring in real life, but I am not interesting either so yeahhhhh... At the outset, I hope you all have a wonderful quarantine. :)
PS: this was my first attempt at a blog post so if you did enjoy it please do feel free to promote it, means a lot(i am sorry for the shameless plug :/).