COVID-19: What is it?

The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has taken over a million lives in the short span of nine months.

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COVID-19 is a vascular disease that originated in Wuhan, China in 2019. It has since spread across the world, with the U.S. harboring the highest numbers of cases and deaths.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fevers, coughing, sore throats, or other conditions that damage one’s cardiopulmonary functions (heart and lungs).  

The first U.S. case was confirmed on Jan. 20 this year, and the first state to enforce  quarantine was California, exactly two months thereafter. Other states quickly followed as the number of cases climbed exponentially throughout the country. However, many criticized the U.S.’ later response compared to other nations.

Most food  businesses in the U.S. have been affected negatively by the coronavirus. Many restaurants, especially family-owned ones, are failing to make substantial money due to restrictions on dine-in services, and many have shut down as a response. Since all domestic products are being purchased less often, the values of stocks have collectively dropped as well. In March, the Dow Jones market index observed history’s single largest drop in market value, in terms of points. In the Great Depression, the largest observed stock drop was 24.8%. In August of this year, companies like Boeing observed drops of up to 47.2%.The economy is further damaged by the skyrocketing rates of unemployment; the Pew Research Center estimated a loss of 14 million jobs from February to May. 

COVID-19 has proven to be most deadly in the elderly who have contracted it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 are from the older demographic. On Sept. 30, COVID-19 claimed the life of its millionth victim. 

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19, but a few of the nations’ top pharmaceutical companies are in the final stage of testing for vaccines. Some companies, such as Moderna, have promised the production of over 100 million doses. 

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