Do not fear, for I am here! Tired of all the coronavirus articles that start every day off with big numbers and zigzagging lines? Let me change that around for you. Here’s some fun facts about the coronavirus that has become the global topic recently:
Naming of the coronavirus
The official name for the virus is SARS-CoV-2, as announced on WHO (World Health Organisation)’s website. The coronavirus may be referred by most mainstream platforms as “the Covid-19 virus” or “the virus that causes Covid-19” to prevent unnecessary consequences such as widespread panic, especially amongst people in the Asian regions who were most affected by the disease in 2003. However, WHO has clearly stated that these designations do not replace the official name of the virus: SARS-CoV-2. The virus is named this way because it is genetically related to SARS-CoV, though both are different viruses.
Disease: Covid-19, named by WHO
Virus: SARS-CoV-2, named by ICTV
Who suffers from the Covid-19 outbreak?
1. The sick patients. Previously, the new cases ranged between 2000-3000 every day, with about 100-200 deaths. I am glad to hear that the numbers have dropped to below a thousand yesterday (22 Feb)! Let us pray for those still battling the disease, and mourn those who have passed.
2. F&B (food and beverage) industries. Physical outlets such as restaurants have been affected, but more significantly in China, especially during the 14-day quarantine. No one wants to go out in such hazardous conditions.
*Of course, when KFC had their 20.02.2020 RM20 snack box promotion, all was forgotten. 😛
3. Retail outlets and shopping malls. Naturally, there will be a general avoidance of crowded areas. People still need to eat, so F&B can still survive… but shopping for clothes isn’t exactly a necessity around this time! Shopping malls are air conditioned, which means “used” air is being circulated… it’s an absolute no-no for many.
4. The stock market. Finally, HERE’S when it starts to get a little more interesting. As an 18-year-old who doesn’t know much about trading, the only way I know the stock market has been severely affected is by my father’s horrified yells. “IT’S DOWN ANOTHER (insert complicated statistic with decimal places)!!! SELL NOW!!” Followed by pounding footsteps toward the telephone.
5. Global economy. China supplied a large portion of global demand. Retailers haven’t been able to restock on many of their products on sale, and this due to many suppliers having difficulty obtaining raw materials from manufacturers in China! This is the best example of the chaotic chain reaction caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Who benefits from the Covid-19 outbreak?
1. Pharmaceutical companies. Demand for masks, hand sanistisers etc have soared. However, this has caused a shortage in these items and a struggle to meet the demands, since China supplies two-thirds of global demand.
2. Healthcare centres, especially in China. It may not be a nice way to think about it, but there have been a massive number of patients coming in for treatment everyday – too many, even, until only recently when the numbers were reversed.
3. Medical R&D (research and development). It is a cold fact that when there is a loss, we push ourselves harder, and therefore advancement moves faster. China’s astonishing pace at both identifying the genetic sequence of the new coronavirus and the building of the thousand-bed hospital has set new records for research.
4. Online food delivery apps. You might not have thought of this one! 😛 More and more people are staying at home and avoiding the crowds, so apps like Foodpanda and Grabfood are thriving. This has compelled some people who were previously illiterate in online apps to learn how to use them, leading to an increasingly digital era – of course, with its own pros and cons.