General, Research, Technology

Pandemics and their consequences - how will the world change after an outbreak of coronavirus?

Today it’s becoming clear that a pandemiccoronavirus will change our lives: in many countries, schools and educational institutions have been discontinued, social events have been canceled, whole cities are quarantined. As of March 16, 63 CoVID-19 infections were officially registered in Russia, and most likely this is only the beginning. A pandemic, as a global phenomenon, will affect everyone. Right before our eyes, because of the outbreak of coronavirus, the streets of densely populated cities are becoming empty, and the work of major industrial enterprises has been suspended. Experts warn that refusing to meet, travel and shaking hands may become a normal occurrence in the future. However, the consequences of the pandemic will not stop there. But is it possible to predict what awaits us?

Many experts believe that we need to get used to the outbreaks of new diseases - they will occur more often


  • 1 Spanish flu pandemic
  • 2 Economic Implications of the Spanish Pandemic
  • 3 Three lessons from past epidemics
  • 4 What do scientists say about the consequences of the CoVID-19 pandemic?
  • 5 What do the people of Italy say about quarantine?
  • 6 What to do right now?

Spanish flu pandemic

To roughly imagine the consequencespandemics, let's remember the story. The 1918 Spanish flu was the last truly global pandemic. Various health organizations, such as the World Health Organization (WHO), appeared after the Spanish woman (the so-called Spanish flu). Spanish flu killed at least 50 million people. For comparison: during the First World War, 9 million people died in hostilities. Probably about 2-3% of those infected with the Spanish woman eventually died, and most of the deaths were the result of complications - for example, pneumonia. Influenza occurred in waves and most deaths occurred within a week after each outbreak. The last outbreaks of the disease were reported in 1919, one year after this strain of influenza was first detected.

Influenza spread around the world due to speciala combination of circumstances in which it first arose: World War I had just ended, entire armies were demobilized, and soldiers were returning home sick. Subsequently, outbreaks spread along major transport routes. Due to war and famine, most of the world's population was already weak and susceptible to infection. To make matters worse, governments were in no hurry to provide information, and wartime censorship remained in force.

We remind you that we have collected for you all the known information about the CoVID-19 pandemic in our special material, which is regularly updated

The victims of the Spanish were mostly youngpeople aged 15 to 40 years. Beyond these deaths, exposure to the flu has had serious long-term effects on the physical and mental health of many survivors. The pandemic also negatively affected the economy. The urban population has been particularly susceptible to this strain of influenza, in part due to environmental pollution. Researchers recently found that more people died in more polluted cities in 1918 than less polluted urban areas, suggesting a direct link between air pollution and the flu virus. It is logical to assume that in villages the mortality rate was even less.

The economic impact of the Spanish pandemic

The economic consequences of 1918 were causedpanic around the spread of influenza. Large American cities, including New York and Philadelphia, were virtually quarantined as the population was bedridden. As in Italy now, bars, restaurants and shops were closed, sporting events were canceled, and private gatherings - including funerals - were banned. The economic consequences of the Spanish woman include labor shortages and higher wages, as well as the wider use of social security systems. According to The Conversation, economic historians cannot agree on the main figure of lost GDP, since the effects of influenza are difficult to separate from the effects of World War I.

Farewell to the deceased due to the Spanish flu, 1918

As for the long-term consequences, theyturned out to be terrifying. Research results showed that by adulthood, people born during a pandemic were less educated, had poor health and lower socio-economic status than those born immediately before and after an influenza pandemic.

Three lessons from past epidemics

The lessons learned in 1918 are harsh. One of the main reasons why the 1918 pandemic caused numerous casualties was that at the very beginning of the outbreak, the heads of state neglected the disease. Their actions resulted in a wider spread of influenza. Probably the main culprit was the repatriation (return) of troops to their homeland. Today we know that communicable disease policies work. Quarantine and isolation of cities, countries and people are the best solution. So, scientists found that American cities, which made efforts to reduce people-to-people contacts at the beginning of the 1918 outbreak, had significantly lower peak mortality rates than cities that later adopted quarantine policies.

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The second lesson is thatpublic awareness is the key to pandemic control. Already today we are seeing the terrible consequences of silencing information in Iran - at the time of writing this article, more than 14,000 cases of infection and more than 700 deaths have been recorded in the country. We must not forget that the truth always comes out - hiding it, nothing can be achieved.

The third lesson shows that we must be preparedto any consequences of CoVID-19. This pandemic is both a shock to supply and demand. Labor costs associated with the implementation of the recommended 14 days of self-isolation for suspected infected people will have serious economic consequences. Quarantining entire regions or countries, as China and Italy recently acted, will undoubtedly cause a recession - a slowdown in economic growth and a financial crisis.

What do scientists say about the consequences of the CoVID-19 pandemic?

In January, a university biology professorIn retirement, Masier Boni, an epidemiologist with eight years of field experience, wrote in an article for The Conversation that, in his opinion, reports of the death toll from the CoVID-19 epidemic in China do not reflect the real picture. Bonnie believes that mortality from new diseases always looks high in the early stages of an outbreak, so it is likely that data will decrease in the future. However, after 8 weeks, the scientist's opinion has changed. Today, he believes that new data indicating a decrease in mortality may not come.

Recall that at the moment, mortality from coronavirus in China is 3%, and in Italy about 5%

We remind you that masks should be used only if you are sick

Mortality rates calculated using officiallyregistered numbers that include only those who are: a) experiencing symptoms; b) decide that their symptoms are serious enough to seek help; c) choose a hospital or clinic in which they can test for the presence of a virus in the body.

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and TropicalLondon, Imperial College London, and the Institute for Disease Modeling have estimated mortality from infections. The estimates range from 0.5% to 0.94%, which indicates that CoVID-19 is about 10-20 times more deadly than seasonal flu. The data from another large-scale study are consistent with the results. The only potentially good news is that the epidemic in South Korea may ultimately be lower than the epidemic in China. But in truth, this does not beat the real data from China and Italy.

Infection mortality rate (IFR) determines the probability of deathinfected person. Mortality rate (CFR) determines the likelihood of death of an infected person who is seriously ill and can report this to doctors. CFR is greater than IFR, because people who go to hospitals are usually seriously ill.

The consequences for the economy, as Medusa writes withreference to the source will be serious. In early March, the Brookings Washington Research Institute introduced a scenario model that takes into account all the shocks for the global economy. The model is based on a model of a hypothetical high mortality flu epidemic that was created back in 2006. Other forecasters used models of the global economy, taking into account mainly trade and financial flows between countries and international production chains (such as the production of iPhones, which are actually a joint US-Chinese product).

It should be noted that today the epidemic itself,and the fight against it outside of China is just beginning. For this reason, it is not yet possible to accurately predict their extent, but it is already clear that the consequences will be dire. So, scientists consider the least likely scenario soft option: the epidemic will be quickly defeated, China will suffer (or have already suffered), and recovery will take only a few months. And the most likely development of events is called moderate option: many countries will experienceChina passed, but paying a heavy price will stop the spread of the virus. The global economy as a whole will regain growth by mid-2020, and a global recession is unlikely.

Disinfection of rooms, including historic buildings in Italy, looks like this

However, the biggest concern is the fact that the worst are catastrophic options - are considered today seriously. Including those options in which there will be millions of victims in large countries (in Russia, a little less than a million), and the world economy will go into a deep recession.

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What do the inhabitants of Italy say about quarantine?

As residents of Italy told reporters"Jellyfish", it is difficult for society to recognize the virus - this is an invisible abstract threat. The spread of coronavirus is such that medical structures cannot stand it: there are simply no places in hospitals, no orderlies, doctors. The shortage of mechanical ventilation devices dooms many to death, because there are one hundred devices, and 140 patients. In the capital, according to local residents, the situation looks like this: at banks, at the post office, at the supermarket there is a long, stretched line: people are kept at a distance of a meter apart from each other. The person at the entrance - also from afar - controls the situation inside and launches visitors one at a time. In the supermarket, all goods are in place, except for disinfecting hands and napkins. Everything looks as usual, but there are very few people: buyers try not to get close to each other, quickly make purchases and leave.

What to do right now?

According to WHO experts, what we should dogetting ready right now is to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with infected people or infected surfaces — by any means possible. Some people will be less likely to leave home. Others will follow stricter hygiene practices. An extreme measure to reduce people-to-people contacts — including compulsory quarantine, quick diagnostics and isolation, and shutting down jobs and schools — seems to have worked in Hubei, China, where the spread of the epidemic has slowed. In general, the measures taken by China were effective, and history once again reminds us that the best thing that can be done during the epidemic is to stay at home.

The best you can do today is to reduce the number of contacts with other people.

In the meantime, the number of infected in Russiaofficially less than 100 people, you need to prepare for the fact that the next 12 months will definitely look different. You may have to cancel your vacation, and temporarily freeze the gym membership. World epidemiologists also advise purchasing essential goods, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, cereals, canned goods, and personal hygiene products. One must also be prepared for the fact that in 2020 all social interactions will look different. Moreover, due to population growth and climate change, future outbreaks of diseases previously unknown to science may become commonplace.

Read the story of a person who has been ill with a coronavirus. The whole disease is painted by day.

Unfortunately, the situation is that a pandemiccoronavirus will not go out on its own. She is not somewhere in another country and it is not a cold or flu. A pandemic needs to be taken seriously right now to avoid the worst consequences. Be healthy.