On March 11th, 2020 the World Health Organization declared a severe respiratory illness, known as COVID-19, which was caused by a novel coronavirus, to be a pandemic. The virus first appeared in Wuhan, China in December 2019 with symptoms that included fever, cough, headache, fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of taste and smell. Transmitted by air contaminated by droplets from breathing, the highly contagious disease led to critical symptoms for many, especially those with pre-existing health conditions and the elderly. Complications included pneumonia, viral sepsis, kidney failure, acute respiratory distress, pulmonary fibrosis, and long COVID. With an estimated 500 million cases to date worldwide, over 6 million people have died -- in the United States alone, roughly 965,000 persons.
WHO worked to report and brief governmental agencies, public health authorities, health care workers, and communities on COVID 19, offering technical guidance and practical advice on how to deal with global pandemic. Despite political tensions and resistance, with the former President Donald Trump accusing WHO of conspiring with China to conceal the danger of the disease and threats to withdraw American representation in the agency, efforts continued, among them: closure of in-person schooling and businesses; transition to remote education, employment, and services, including tele-health; modified operations; restrictions on travel; social distancing; mask mandates; required testing; and eventually vaccination.
Science raced against time to develop vaccines, with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, and other pharmaceutical companies competing to introduce approved safe and simple ways to protect humans from the harmful disease. Two years on from the declaration of the pandemic, advice continues to change as officials work to identify and control variants, including Omicron, which was reported by South Africa in November 2021.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- WHO Warns Against COVID-19 Complacency: New Infections Around the World Surpass Those in Mainland China. (2020, Feb 28) The Irish Times
- Explained: WHO Declares COVID-19 a Pandemic. What Is a Pandemic? (2020, Mar 11). Indian Express
- Ferguson, K. K. (2020, Apr 04). Finding Joy In the Little Things: COVID-19; Taking Out the Bins and Hanging Up the Laundry Have Become Thrilling Activities in Berlin. The Irish Times (1921-)
- Thompson, S. (2020, Apr 28). So, Who Is Immune To COVID-19 and How Can We Tell?: Until a Vaccine Is Developed Antibody Testing On a Massive Scale Is the Only Way We Will Know Who Has Immunity. The Irish Times (1921-)
- Bray, J. (2020, Jun 12). WHO Envoy Urges Wearing Face Masks On Public Transport: Coronavirus Crisis; Expert Tells Committee Face Coverings Should Be Part Of Overall Strategy. The Irish Times (1921-)
- Freyne, P. (2020, Jun 27). Generation Covid: Medically, They Were Spared the Worst Effects Of COVID-19. Economically and Psychologically, Ireland's Young Will Suffer Huge Consequences From Coronavirus. The Irish Times (1921-)
- Hayden, S. (2020, Aug 06). African COVID Cases Near lM Amid Fears Over Testing: South Africa's First Case Was a Man Who Returned From Italy. The Irish Times (1921-)
- Paul Cullen, H. E. (2020, Oct 17). Covid-19: The Vaccine and Its Sceptics: Demand For a COVID-19 Vaccine-- When It Arrives-- Is Likely To Be Strong But It Will Be Accompanied By a Robust Debate, As the Pandemic Breathes New Life Into the Anti-Vaccine Cause. The Irish Times (1921-)
- McCarthy, S. (2021, Mar 12). One Year On, Race To End the Pandemic Hinges On Roll-Out Of Vaccines. South China Morning Post
- How We Coped with COVID: Life As We Knew It Stopped March 11, 2020, When the Pandemic Took Hold. (2021, Mar 21). Palm Beach Post
- How Pandemic Unfolded: One Year On: How COVID-19. (2021, Mar 24). Stirling Observer
- Cookson, C. (2021, May 13). COVID Report Criticises Global Response: Pandemic Expert Review Lashes Out at WHO and Governments In Call For Urgent Reform [europe region]. Financial Times
- Fisher, Marni E. Lessons from the Transition to Pandemic Education Across the US Education System During COVID-19 : Analyses of Parent, Student, and Educator Experiences. New York, New York: Routledge, 2022. e-book
- Gavin, Francis J., and Hal Brands. COVID-19 and World Order The Future of Conflict, Competition, and Cooperation. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020. e-book
- Journell, Wayne. Post-Pandemic Social Studies : How COVID-19 Has Changed the World and How We Teach. New York, NY: Teachers College Press, 2022. LB1584 .P665 2022
- Levin, Jeremy M. Biotechnology in the Time of COVID-19 : Commentaries from the Front Line. New York, New York: RosettaBooks, 2020. e-book
- Schneider, Jason., and Gregory. Wise. The COVID-19 Handbook : Navigating the Future of Healthcare. Morrisville, NC: Relias LLC, 2020. e-book
- SARS-CoV-2, Globe, Created by Philippa Steinberg, Courtesy of Innovative Genomics Institute
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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