April 27, 2020

COVID 19 and its comparison to past pandemic outbreaks

Every pandemic comes with different life-long lessons for the whole world! It is the time of hardship and adversity, where the entire globe suffers from a greater crisis. Every outbreak challenges the world in a different way, confronting the experts with cerebral tests and trials.

Today, all the people across the world are threatened with COVID-19! The tiny monster named Coronavirus has locked down the whole world. It is spreading among people unstoppably and its daily growth chart has already reached the peaks! At present, it is the hottest topic of study and talks around the world. The worldwide scientific community is putting a continuous effort in controlling the spread and trying to figure out a suitable vaccine or cure, however; it couldn’t succeed yet!

COVID 19 is not the first pandemic to be reported. The world has already seen some of the deadliest pandemics in the past. For instance, the bubonic plague in the mid-1300s, the Spanish flu during 1918, the Ebola outbreak in 1976, the SARS pandemic in 2003, the Swine flu in 2009, the MERS syndrome in 2012 are some popular outbreaks of the past. All of these outbreaks had huge effects on the global health and economy and left an unforgettable image on the history of the world as well.

In this respective article, we present a thorough comparison among COVID 19 and these past pandemics or outbreaks including SARS, MERS, Spanish flu, Swine flu, Ebola, etc. One interesting thing to note is that all of these outbreaks except bubonic plague were caused by viruses and most of them reported respiratory disorders in the infected individuals. The initial symptoms reported are also very similar including fever, chills, cough, flu, etc.

The bubonic plague is famous as “BLACK DEATH”. It is considered one of the most v2astating outbreaks which resulted in the death of 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and North Africa. Second to it is the 1918-Spanish flu which infected almost one-third of the world’s population with a death rate of 3-5%. Later, the world faced the outbreaks of viruses like SARS, MERS, H1N1-swine flu, Ebola and now the novel coronavirus!

In comparison with the past outbreaks, the rate of causalities due to COVID-19 is relatively low. Black Death is the biggest pandemic known to humans to date because it caused the death of almost 30-50 percent of infected people. The drastic effects of such a pandemic lasted for a long long time. However, COVID-19 is nothing like that. According to John Hopkins University, 381,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed and16000 deaths have been reported yet. Countries like China, Italy, the USA, and Spain have been reported with the greatest death rate.

Apart from the death rate, there are many other factors comparable among these pandemics.

COVID-19 is somewhat similar to the past outbreaks with respect to its origin, the behavioral comeback of the society, and its possible outcomes on the global economy. Like other infectious diseases, it has a zoonotic origin of transmission however, its rate of transmission is much greater than the previous pandemics. This is probably because of globalization and rapid transportation across the world.

The social responses subsequent to the present pandemic are very much similar to the past outbreaks. The common human responses towards the disease include denial of the present condition, sense of anxiety, panic, and flight, racism towards the infected people, passing on rumors about the disease, racial intolerance towards foreigners especially Chinese, etc. Some people are taking advantage of the condition and using it as an opportunity for their business. For instance, the protection of masks and sanitizers are being sold at triple prices! On the other hand, there are some people tensed due to businesses closing all over the world. A part of the society is also working to help others e.g. the social welfare societies are setting up camps for the needy ones. A part of the upper class is voluntarily helping the lower class with the basic necessities of life.

One of the most common things about all of these pandemics is the preventive approach towards them. Social distancing has been observed as the best approach to prevent the present infection and the ones reported in the past. Every time, the world faced a pandemic, people are asked to stay home until the condition is controlled. Every pandemic demanded the people to travel less, consume less, and slow down their lives.

This social distancing also led to the global shutdown which had obvious impacts on the economy worldwide. According to the experts, the global economy is always expected to shrink in such unusual times. Almost all the sectors of livelihood are affected. The v2eloping states and countries are always at greater risks due to the declining rate of employment and decreased incomes.

The fallout of every pandemic is always dependent on factors like the time at which it is identified, the extent to which it is fatal or contagious, the lifestyle of the population exposed to the diseases, and most importantly how quickly people find an available cure for it.

Pandemics are not less than wars. In such difficult times, the medical staff of any place works as an army to protect their people and their lives. The same is the case with COVID-19, it has put the medical staff across the world at a great test and they are putting all their effort to combat the disease as well. One such example is the waterloo walk-in clinic. They have developed a COVID-19 assessment center for the people infected with the coronavirus. The Westmount place walk-in clinic has been turned to the assessment center. People can access it through a referral obtained by a physician, walk-in clinic, etc.


  1. WHO (https://www.who.int/dg/speeches/detail/who-director-general-s-opening-remarks-at-the-media-briefing-on-covid-19—3-march-2020)
  2. CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html)
  3. Arizona daily wild cat (https://www.wildcat.arizona.edu/article/2020/03/n-covid-comparison)
April 6, 2020

Two new COVID-19 assessment clinics opening in Waterloo Region

Link to story on CTV News by Jennifer K. Baker – Apr 6, 2020

“KITCHENER — The Region of Waterloo announced Monday that it is opening two new COVID-19 assessment clinics.

One has been set up at the Westmount Walk-In Clinic, at 50 Westmount Road North in Waterloo.

Public Health says the site will serve the communities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich.

The second location is at Cambridge Memorial Hospital at 700 Coronation Boulevard, and will accept patients from Cambridge and North Dumfries.

However Public Health is warning that these sites are not testing centres and walk-ins are not welcome.

Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the acting Medical Officer of Health for the region, says people should only go the assessment centres if they get the go-ahead from their family doctor or healthcare provider.

She says residents should first visit the province’s online self-assessment tool to determine whether they should seek a clinical assessment.

They can then set up a phone or online appointment with their family doctor or walk-in clinic healthcare provider.

If that doctor determines that an in-person assessment is required, they will refer the patient to one of the region’s new assessment centres.

Dr. Wang says this system has been set up for those with moderate symptoms and anyone with severe symptoms should go to their local hospital.”

Jennifer K. Baker CTV News Kitchener Writer-Reporter

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