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Coronavirus The effects of the Covid-1 Global Health Crisis

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The effects of the Covid-1 Global Health Crisis

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Introduction

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Coronavirus (covid-19) disease is a newly emerged type of infectious disease that spreads through saliva droplets or nose discharge when an infected individual sneezes or coughs. People infected with the disease encounter respiratory illness and recover even without receiving special treatment. Old people with underlying medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and respiratory disease are at risk of developing complications. Coronavirus disease has been an issue for nearly two years now; the first case was reported in December 2019 by officials in Wuhan, China. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared covid-19 a pandemic on 11th March 2020. Initially, when the outbreak first emerged, it was easy to contain it as governments used contact tracing to contain it but as time went by, community spared took a toll and the number of cases has been on the rise ever since. Although people of all ages are affected by the disease, people who are over 60 years and with compromised immune systems are at the most risk. This essay explores the issue of the covid-19 pandemic as a double-edged sword. Covid-19 is detrimental as it has led to increased poverty and global economic recession, increased mental health, and domestic violence, and the collapse of the family unit.

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Background

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So far, the disease has no known cure. The best way of slowing down and preventing the disease is to stay informed about how the virus spreads. World Health Organizations has recommended practicing social distancing, washing hands regularly with an alcohol-based sanitizer, avoiding touching your face, and wearing face masks. Historically a lot has been done to mitigate the issue including the development of vaccines namely Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V vaccines. The approved vaccines are in the rolling out stages with 1.06 billion people being vaccinated worldwide. The covid-19 pandemic has affected us socially, economically, and mentally. Because of the nature of the spread of the virus, people are expected to social distance and as a result, many people lost their jobs which affected their livelihood. It also took a toll on business with travel, education, and hospitality being affected the most. Covid-19 is caused by a virus known as coronavirus and the first case of the disease has been traced to a food market in Wuhan city. It is alleged that the virus originated from pangolins or bats sold in the wet market; it may have mutated and jumped from the animals to human beings.

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Coronavirus and Mental Health Issues

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Coronavirus is an issue of concern primarily because it contributes to mental health issues. The pandemic brought economic hardships as many sectors of the economy were affected and as a result, people lost their means of livelihood. This has affected people’s mental health and brought new barriers for people already dealing with mental health such as drug addictions. According to reports, since the onset of the pandemic, 4 in 10 people in the U.S. have shown symptoms of a depressive disorder or anxiety as compared to one in 10 adults recorded between January and June 2019 (Douglas et al., 32). A health poll conducted by KFF found that most adults reported notable negative impacts such as difficulties in eating, sleeping, increased alcohol and substance abuse, and worsening of chronic diseases as a result of stress and worry over the pandemic. People who were at most risk of going through mental health are parents, children, young adults, people that suffered job loss, essential workers, and communities of color. Most young adults were affected by the loss of income and the closure of universities. Losing a job comes with increased feelings of depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and distress. Worth noting, the pandemic placed a barrier for individuals experiencing mental health issues to access help and services such as psychosocial support as a result of the stay-at-home orders imposed in many countries.

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Poverty and Global economic Recession

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Covid-19 has taken a toll on the economies of many countries leading to an economic recession that is threatening the livelihood and food security. The economic and health impacts are very well known. To date, globally, an estimated 100 million people have contracted the virus with over 2.2 million people succumbing to the disease. The International Monetary Fund reports that in 2020, the global economy shrunk by 3.5 %, the deepest recession to be recorded since the Second World War (Kamdi and Meena, 78). If the health crisis is not controlled, it may lead to a long-term economic crisis that will lead to food insecurity and global poverty. According to the 2020 World report on the State of Food and Security, the pandemic has added up to 132 million people to the number of undernourished people in the world. The countries most affected are those without assistance and developing countries with low income. These countries lack resources and have the weak institutional capacity to cushion their economies in the face of a shock.

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The collapse of Family Unit and Gender-Based Violence

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As Covid-19 surged across the United States and many other countries, stay-at-home orders were adopted. Many workers were working from home, others were laid off, and schools closed. With limited movement, people were confined to their homes in a bid to reduce person-to-person spread which left many victims of intimate partner violence trapped with their abusers at home. One in 10 men and one in 4 women go through intimate partner violence which takes various forms. It can be emotional, physical, psychological, or sexual and people of all races, cultures, gender, religion, and economic class encounter it. The restrictions put on public health to help combat the spread of the virus have presented a challenge for alternative housing sources such as hotels and shelters because of lockdown and travel restrictions. With school closed, children are at home which has resulted in increased stress for parents. It makes it difficult for parents working from home to work without disruptions. The increased stress in balancing child care, work, and the children’s schoolwork has led to increased child abuse and with teachers and clinicians having fewer interactions with students, it is hard for them to recognize and report bases of abuse amidst a pandemic.

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Improved Medical Systems

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On the other hand, covid-19 has also led to positive impacts such as improved medical systems in many countries. When the disease emerged, countries had to invest heavily in their health sector to ensure they were well prepared to cater to the crisis that was ahead of them. Countries like china built hospitals to cater to the overwhelming numbers of patients presenting with the conditions. Other countries invested in equipment such as oxygen equipment, ventilators, and hospital beds. The medical systems were improved to sustainable levels and even post the pandemic, the changes will remain in place. Countries invested by employing more health workers to help in the delivery of care and as a result, the quality of care has improved as it is more patient-centered. Furthermore, machinery acquired during the pandemic will help transform and improve public health.

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Conclusion

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Without a doubt, coronavirus presented an unprecedented case that brought about both negative and positive impacts. The pneumonia-like disease is caused by a virus and was first recorded in a food market in China in late 2019. The World Health Organization declared it a pandemic in March 2020. Coronavirus has proved detrimental as it has led to increased poverty and global economic recession, increased mental health, and domestic violence, and the collapse of the family unit. Many people lost their jobs as some sectors of the economy were shut down. Globally, the world had recorded a 3.5% shrink. The family unit is also breaking down leading to increased cases of gender-based violence. Further, the pandemic has taken a toll on the mental health of people particularly young people, adults who lost their jobs, and essential care workers. On the other hand, the pandemic has led to improved healthcare and medical systems in many countries across the world.

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Works Cited

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Douglas, Margaret, et al. “Mitigating the wider health effects of covid-19 pandemic response.” Bmj 369 (2020).

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Kamdi, Payal Sudhakar, and Meena Shamrao Deogade. “The hidden positive effects of COVID-19 pandemic.” International Journal of Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences 11.Special Issue 1 (2020).

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