Someone asked in Quora — Why the coronavirus is happening to the world?

The question has a logical twist. It compels us to think about why it’s happening. Perhaps, the expected answer is — God is angry!

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First of all, the Coronavirus is not happening to the world. What’s happening in the world is a pandemic spread of a disease COVID-19. A species of Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is the culprit that causes this disease.

But it is not the first time the world has faced a pandemic.

Long before in the 1300s, a more severe disease (a plague) termed as “Black Death” spread in Europe and Asia claiming millions of lives. At the time, the cause of this disease and the mode of transmission was not known to people. Research and medical procedure were not established. The only medicine that existed were traditional and orthodox medicine. It took centuries to figure out that the disease was indeed caused by a bacterium called Yersinia pestis. This bacterium spread through infected fleas from small animals, rodents that lived in close association with humans.

When the disease spread pandemically in the Eurasian region, an array of unanswered questions about the disease compelled human beings to go into the depths of research and pinch out the answers. The consequence was the revolutionary medical diagnosis, medicinal therapies, antibiotics, and other methods that were developed to fight against it. Progress in health and medicine followed the pandemic era and is evident to date. It was after this catastrophe, humans better learned about cleanliness, hygiene, and precautions. Thus, a new way of living commenced.

COVID-19, however, has a different story but shares a common handle. Just like the plague, it is transmissible by respiratory droplets. Then was the era when bacteria remain unidentified, this time, it’s the virus.

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A virus is a proteinaceous particle, which has a genetic material enclosed (RNA) inside a small capsid made of lipids and proteins. It is much smaller than bacteria and has the ability to rapidly infect and reproduce inside the living cells. Due to the high rate of mutation and an infinite variability in the structural and biological properties, an exact treatment to control viruses has not yet been identified despite the ongoing researches for a variety of their types.

To date, the most effective method to treat viruses infecting human beings is antiviral drugs and vaccination. Vaccination excites the immune system to produce antibodies against the particular viral particle when they are encountered in the body. Antibodies target them to be killed by the immune mechanisms. Antiviral drugs target a known structure or property of the virus and inactivate it. Moreover, both the treatment strategies for viruses are specific and directed to work against a few known viruses.

But the causative agent of pandemic COVID-19 is a Novel Coronavirus and was not identified earlier than its outbreak in December 2019. Hence, the virus is completely new for its pathogenesis, transmission route, and infection process. That clearly indicates that there are no proven medical therapies or treatment strategies to stop the infection of this virus to date.

It might take a while for the scientific community to come up with a plausible treatment method that specifically targets the infection of this virus and controls COVID-19. As for now, we only have the precautionary methods to control the spread of this virus.

That’s the reason the pandemic disease COVID-19 has spread into the world abruptly, just like the “Great Plague” did. But the picture of the 14th century was entirely different from today.

Photo by Kuma Kum on Unsplash

Our ancestors faced the Pestilence, without any prior-knowledge and methods to control the disease. They didn’t even have an idea about what caused the greatest havoc of the human era. Millions died, but they still managed to survive, learn and evolve. They gathered knowledge to built medicines and managed to continue living by adopting new ways to live. They gradually learned to maintain health and hygiene and resist the disease. Centuries passed before the cure arrived.

Today, the condition isn’t the same. Unlike the human beings of the 14th century, the means to control this pandemic is in our hands and we have learned it. We have basic knowledge of how the disease spreads. We have all the means to control it.

Let’s contribute from our part to prevent its spread for now. Let’s hold the burden for some time and allow science some time to make a breakthrough. This is how we learn to survive the epidemics. It is how we evolve.

In short, the havoc today, the pain, is all about evolving, learning and finding new ways live. Time has arrived for our medical systems to get tested for their ability and expertise to save lives. It is time to find new cures and eradicate the viral threats once and for all. It is time for us to work together to find new ways of survival and to change the way we live.

This is the hour when we should unite and work to heal the global human suffering, instead of fighting with each other for selfish motives in the name of God, religion, ethnicity, and race.

This pandemic virus is a lesson for each one of us to recall our vital purpose, the survival of the human race. With selflessness, adaptation, and unity we stand together to turn a new chapter of evolution.

Together, we will rise again. Let’s begin now.