The year 2020 was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, probably the worst pandemic the world has known in the last 100 years. COVID-19 has caused more than 75 million cases and 1.6 million deaths worldwide since mid-December. The disease has affected almost every aspect of life, from work and school to daily activities such as shopping and even our closets.
Here are just a few of the ways COVID-19 has changed the world in 2020.
A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told that we must “social distance, “Or stay six feet away so we can”flatten the curve, “or slow the spread of the disease to reduce the burden on the health system. People have even become familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms, such as”basic reproduction number‘(R0, pronounced R-naught), or the average number of people catching the virus from a single infected person. And, of course, the name of the disease itself, COVID-19, is a new term, along with the World Health Organization the official name of the disease on February 11th.
The mandatory fashion item of 2020 was a small piece of cloth to put around your face.
With rare medical masks at the beginning of the year, sewing enthusiasts began to do well homemade masks for their communities. Then clothing companies and retailers got on board, adding masks to their fashion lines. Now, in many parts of the world, you can’t leave your home without putting on a mask.
At first, it was unclear whether wearing cloth masks would protect against COVID-19, but as the year went on, numerous studies showed that BENEFITS of behavior masks, both for carrier and those around.
Anxiety and depression
The pandemic has severely affected people’s mental health in 2020. A study published in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that levels of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts increased against the background of the pandemic.
The study could not determine the reason for the increase in mental health conditions, but may play factors related to the pandemic, such as social isolation, closure of schools and universities, unemployment and other financial concerns, as well as the threat of the disease itself. a role, the authors said.
Another insidious side effect of the pandemic was increases in alcohol consumption. A study published in the journal in October JAMA network open found that alcohol consumption in the United States increased by 14% during the pandemic.
According to the study, women reported particularly worrying increases in heavy alcohol consumption in the spring of 2020.
In addition to a number of negative physical health associations, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to or aggravate existing mental health problems, the authors concluded.
As businesses began to open after the initial blockade, people had to adjust to a new normal to reduce the risk. the spread of the disease in daily activities. Companies have implemented universal mask policies. The table just went outside. Waiting rooms have become a thing of the past. You needed a reservation to go to the gym. And large gatherings and events were completely banned in many areas.
Although there is no way to ensure zero risk of catching COVID-19, officials said taking precautions could reduce the risk of spread. However, as the fall began, many areas became blocked again, amid growing COVID-19 cases.
From the idea that consumption of bleach can kill norovirus to a theory that the virus was created in a laboratory as a biological weapon, the COVID-19 pandemic generated a flurry of misinformation. Indeed, a study, published on August 10 in American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, found that the pandemic has hatched more than 2,000 rumors, conspiracy theories and discrimination reports.
Such false information can have serious consequences – researchers in the new study found that rumors about COVID-19 were linked to thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths.
“Health agencies need to monitor the misinformation associated with … COVID-19 in real time and engage local communities and government stakeholders to disclose misinformation,” the authors concluded.
With orders to stay home as long as possible, many people decided to take a furry friend during quarantine.
The coronavirus pandemic has been an advantage for pet adoptions, especially for dog adoptions. Many shelters, breeders and pet stores have reported an increase in demand for dogs, with demand far exceeding supply, according to Washington Post. Some shelters reported twice the number of adoptions compared to the previous year and had to use waiting lists to meet demand.
This good news is not only for pets who need homes, but also for their people, given that many studies show that there are properties for the mental health of pet ownership, according to NPR.
Closing the school
Children appear to be largely exempt from the more severe effects of COVID-19, but may continue to act as a spreader of the disease. So many schools in the US and around the world have done the decision to close in 2020 and instead opt for e-learning. Questions about how long to stay closed and how to safely reopen they have been the subject of much debate. As autumn arrives, with a number of schools still closed, many children seem to be lagging behind in learning. Nationwide surveys found that nearly 9 in 10 parents are concerned that their children are lagging behind in school due to pandemic closures, according to Educational trust.
Coronavirus blockages, which slowed the normal bustle of cities to a near halt, have also occurred. dramatically reduced carbon dioxide emissions around the world. A study published in the journal on May 19 The Nature of Climate Change found that global daily carbon dioxide emissions fell by 17% in early 2020 compared to 2019 levels. This appears to be one of the largest declines in recorded history. But this temporary decline is far from enough to eliminate the harmful effects of man-made climate change.
“While this is likely to lead to the largest reduction in emissions since World War II, it will barely make a drop in the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Richard Betts, head of climate impact research at Met Office. Hadley Center in England, he said in a statement.
The development of a new vaccine normally takes years to decades. But in an unprecedented feat, researchers in the US and several other countries created a coronavirus vaccine – taking it from the lab bench to the bed – in just 12 months. When 2020 began, COVID-19 and its virus, SARS-CoV-2, were unknown to science. But once the virus was identified, scientists acted quickly to begin developing a vaccine. By mid-March, early human studies had begun, and by the end of the summer, vaccines were ready for more advanced studies with thousands of participants. In December, the United States authorized two Covid vaccines-19, from Pfizer and Moderna, after the tests showed impressive results. Both vaccines used molecules known as mRNA to stimulate a coronavirus immune response, marking for the first time mRNA vaccine has been authorized for use in humans. Vaccines have been touted as a extraordinary scientific advancement, and the first doses were given to US health workers in mid-December.
Originally published on Live Science.