As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on, the world’s battle against COVID-19 has largely been pushed to the backburner.
But that doesn’t mean today’s grim milestone should pass us by without recognition.
On this date two years ago, the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic, triggering a seismic worldwide chain reaction of closures, postponements, cancellations, guidelines, new mandates, and medicine.
According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, the global COVID-19 case count has reached more than 453,000,000, and the death toll has eclipsed six million, 24 months into the pandemic.
the long-lasting impacts on many individuals’ mental and physical health are yet to be fully measured
On January 30, 2020, the WHO reported that COVID-19 was a “public health emergency of international concern” and six weeks later, proclaimed it a pandemic.
On 30 Jan 2020 we declared #COVID19 a Public Health Emergency of Intl. Concern, highest level of 🚨.
6 weeks later (11 Mar), we described it as a pandemic.
6+ million people have died since.
The cases & deaths are declining, countries are lifting measures, but it’s far from over. pic.twitter.com/KAYkg0Isy5
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 10, 2022
Then on March 11, 2020, the WHO said COVID-19 “could be characterized as a pandemic.” Two years later, the world still has many unanswered questions, the biggest of which relates to the origin of the virus.
The virus first emerged in Wuhan (China) in late 2019. Early in the pandemic, an international team of scientists and health experts were permitted to investigate the city but struggled to establish the origins of COVID-19.
Experts believe the virus originated from an animal.
Fast forward to March 2022; major global economies have begun to reopen, with countries around the world learning to live with the virus. Public health has remained consistent that the pandemic is not yet over.
The WHO’s Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Thursday that “although reported cases and deaths are declining globally, and several countries have lifted restrictions, the pandemic is far from over.”
“COVID-19 will not be over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” said Ghebreyesus, still stressing that experts and scientists are continuously studying how the virus spreads and evolves.
Over 2 years ago…
“On 30 January , we were telling the 🌍 there’s going to be a flood”-@DrMikeRyan
WHO raised its highest alarm🚨 then, by declaring the #COVID19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of Intl. Concern.
6 weeks later, the outbreak had become a pandemic. pic.twitter.com/TmpDTzwZ0g
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 11, 2022