One news story recently pointed out the impact that Covid-19 is already having on American families by describing the events that led to one breast cancer survivor’s death due to the virus. That story led a lot of people to ask the question: Could women be more susceptible to the virus than men? The short answer is that we just don’t know yet. Covid-19 is just beginning to spread in the United States and the data doesn’t support any conclusions.
That’s because scientists are still learning how the virus is spread. They believe that traces of Covid-19 can survive on surfaces for up to three days, but have no proof that any cases involved this kind of transmission. They also believe that victims who have yet to display any symptoms of the virus can infect others for days before they get sick themselves.
That’s a problem when it comes to preventing transmission.
The United Nations is currently mobilizing its response to the virus that is ripping across Europe. Thousands have already died in Italy, where the number of deaths actually surpassed those in China.
Acting Head of the Health Section of UNICEF Luwei Pearson said, “China is not a conventional recipient of UNICEF aid anymore. However, it is a strategic partner. That’s why we always pay attention to what happens in China… In light of the lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa we are prepared in terms of programs, planning, supplies, and stockpiling of key commodities to deal with common diseases and threats. This preparedness is really critical to allow for timely action.”
Many have pointed out that reactions in Europe and the United States have been blunted by misinformation. For Chinese citizens, this is the third such pandemic that has threatened their physical and financial wellbeing. That’s why they were able to react to it as quickly and efficiently as they did. But Americans and Europeans have utterly failed in that regard, and the virus shows no signs of slowing down or stopping as soon as it did in China.
UNICEF believes that at-home schooling via the Internet is one of the best ways to prevent transmission from child to child. Pearson said, “As early as January, UNICEF — both in China and in New York — worked together to support healthy home learning so that children could continue to interact with others, have a healthy space, and be mindful.”
She added, “And we interact with children on social media on how to deal with stress. So it’s a really important learning curve.”
Hopefully we can all learn about Covid-19 quickly in order to prevent its seemingly inevitable spread.