October 20, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic refers to a situation in which COVID-19, an infection of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019, is spreading around the world. The World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and raised it to a pandemic or global pandemic in March. As of September 19, 2021, there were more than 228.1 billion confirmed cases and more than 4.68 million deaths. Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, shortness of breath, loss of smell, and loss of taste. Pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome may appear as complications. The incubation period is about 5 days, but various cases have been reported from 1 to 14 days. Several types of vaccines are under development, and in some cases, vaccination has been started in several countries, including the United States and Korea. Efforts are being made to develop a treatment for COVID-19, but an alternative treatment is being implemented as it has not yet been developed. For prevention, social distancing and wearing a health mask are socially emphasized, indoor ventilation and air purification, hand washing, coughing/sneezing with mouth covered, putting antiviral materials such as copper on buttons, people exposed to the virus Self-quarantine is being widely attempted. Governments around the world are exploring various measures such as travel restrictions, out-of-bounds controls, lockdowns, and restrictions on access to facilities. Efforts to strengthen infection testing and contact tracing are continuing. The global social and economic impact is enormous, and it is considered the largest recession since the Great Depression. Numerous events have been postponed or canceled, and supply cuts due to panic buying have occurred worldwide. Agriculture was also heavily damaged, and factories were shut down. As a result, emissions of greenhouse gases and pollutants have also been reduced. Educational facilities were also closed. Conspiracy theories and disinformation are spreading, and xenophobia and racism are taking place against Chinese and other East Asians.