It is now 100 days since the world was first alerted to the existence of a strain of coronavirus that was bringing death and mayhem to the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Public health authorities warned that this new strain was easily transmitted, brought on severe respiratory issues very quickly, overwhelmed victim’s own immune systems and had a high death rate.
It showed all of the characteristics of being able to spread like wildfire unless its progress was immediately checked.
This war on coronavirus has shown there are those who shine in their finest hour, who act with dignity, serve with humility, help with grace, lead with generosity and give their lives in the service of others
Now, 100 days on, half of the world’s population is living under some form of lockdown or restrictions of movements, the global economy has ground to a screeching halt, international travel is a thing of the past, social distancing is a new norm, there are nearly 1.5 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and the death toll is fast approaching 100,000.
Greatest crisis since World War II
No nation — reports that North Korea has no infections is not plausible — has been untouched by this pandemic that has brought the greatest global crisis since the Second World War.
Health systems face unprecedented pressure as more victims need intensive care beds and ventilators — now the single most important weapon in our war on COVID-19.
This is a virus that has levelled economies and highlighted the disparity between those who have, those who have not, those with access to treatment and those who do not.
It is a pandemic that has touched our collective psyche, forcing a rethink on what is important and what needs to be made over once its tide has ebbed. It will be a watershed where we will ask ‘what did you do before the virus?’
What is clear is that the sharing of information, of data, of best practices, of methods of stopping spread, of testing, of treatments, of possible vaccines — all depends on international cooperation.
And at the top of that pyramid is the World Health Organisation. Now is not the time, as President Donald Trump has suggested, to cut its funding because reporting does not suit his agenda.
This war on coronavirus has shown there are those who shine in their finest hour, who act with dignity, serve with humility, help with grace, lead with generosity and give their lives in the service of others.
This is a time too where shirkers ignore advice and sow disinformation. And when it has passed, how will your war record read?