Coronavirus: from Self-Isolation to Solidarity

By: Rosi Corrado & Megan Sanchez


The only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
General Director of World Health Organization

What are Covid-19 and coronavirus?


Covid-19, is caused by a coronavirus, and it is a viral illness that began spreading worldwide towards the end of 2019.


With its first cases and casualties in Wuhan, China, it was described as being similar to the flu in its initial stage and potentially leading to pneumonia in its last stage.


Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath and experts claim that it is passed on through human contact, including droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.


In the most severe cases, hospitalization and respiratory aids are necessary.


At the moment, doctors are experimenting with drugs of different kinds, such as a treatment for malaria, which seems to be effective and other medicines for arthritis which also can alleviate the symptoms.


Throughout the world, in particular in Israel, USA, UK, Italy and France, doctors and virologists are studying and researching non-stop in order to create a vaccine.


When Did Covid-19 Break Out?


The first reported cases of Covid-19 were said to date back as far as November, 2019 – concentrated in the Wuhan region of China which quickly spread throughout the nation.


Covid-19’s rapid-spreading characteristic pushed it to jump from an epidemic to an officially declared pandemic by the World Health Organization all in a matter of few months.


The WHO declared an official briefing of its pandemic state publicly released on March 11, 2020.


At the moment, Europe is the most affected territory by the coronavirus, with Italy’s death toll outnumbering China’s (4,825 as of March 21, numbers subject to rise) (Davies & Natanson, 2020).


Despite the ongoing challenges that corona virus is triggering, in the beginning of its outbreak, Covid-19 was perceived by nations of the world as an individual “nation-state” problem.


However, after the pandemic was officialized, “responsibility” for this problem shifted from a situation of “individual nation-state blame” to “solidarity across the international community”.

Solidarity during Covid-19: States Begin Mobilizing to Help Other States


On Monday, March 16th 2020, the Chinese Embassy to Brussels offered the EU a total of 50,000 nucleic acid tests kits; 200,000 face masks and 2 million surgical face masks (Valero, 2020).


The Chinese package was directed to the emergency response coordination center.


Brussels decided to send all the Chinese donations to Rome, since Italy currently holds the highest death toll for corona infected countries (4,827 as of March 22, 2020) (ibid).


Other EU member states to receive medical aid from China include: France with (542 death tolls) Spain, (1,326 reported deaths) and Belgium (67 deceased) (Penney, Joe).


Besides helping the EU, China is also donating medical supplies and aid to Iran (1,556 deaths) Iraq (17) the Philippines (25) and the United States (340) (ibid, updates on stats here).


International Community Solidarity to Covid-19


Besides state to state solidarity, the Covid-19 pandemic has also generated concern across the international community – from NGOs to the World Health Organization, each entity has now decisively stepped in for collective support and help.


The Samaritan Purse, an American NGO, has set up an emergency field hospital in Cremona, Italy (Lombardy region) with 68 beds and 20 tons of medical equipment (Samaritan, 2020).


The WHO, the UN Foundation, in collaboration with the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation launched a partnered Covid-19 solidarity response fund.


Its mission is to raise money from a wide range of donors to help countries respond to the corona virus emergency (WHO, 2020).


Citizens may also give their donations to help this cause through the following link:





Cultural Solidarity to Covid-19 through Music Movements


In addition to state to state and international support, the citizens themselves across the world have initiated a cultural movement to deal with the stress of isolation and quarantine, which have become the primary measures enacted by governments to contain the spreading of the virus.


The Chinese people of Wuhan started to talk to each other from window to window, Italians started to sing and play instruments in their balconies, followed in this initiative by other nations, such as Germany.



Private Entities help Nation-State Governments


In addition to state-to-state and international solidarity, prominent private individuals and firms are also stepping up to the plate to pitch in their help.


The Jack Ma Foundation has sent 500,000 testing kits and 1 million masks to the U.S., which will be distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Zhou & Penney, 2020).


Elon Musk, founder & CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has also stepped up to the plate and agreed to produce ventilators and surgical masks to hospitals.


In his own words, speaking to Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, Elon stated:



Tim Cook – CEO of Apple is also making donations within the U.S and abroad as seen by Tim Cook’s official tweets:



Private companies such as Kering & Armani have also reported to donate a significant amount to support the people and the doctors who are working non-stop to fight the virus.

Conclusion:


Although Covid-19 certainly represents a global threat to health and despite all the economic and social challenges that it brings to the table, Covid-19 also sheds light on a never before seen global solidarity in the face of a common threat.


Politically, despite the initial blaming stage, nations are seeming to come together to fight and overcome this illness with China leading the way.

Economically, the post Covid-19 economic society may look promising (in the long-run) as new job opportunities will arise from the ashes of the current stagnant situation.


Socially, friends, family, co-workers and strangers will be able to socialize and appreciate an activity that for so many has been banal and taken for granted.


“Out of every tragedy, comes a new hope
The same way
Out of every destruction, comes a rebirth”

Rosi Corrado holds a PHD in Linguistics and Italian, a Master’s in Italian Language and a BA in Modern Foreign Languages.


From 1999-2005 she taught Italian Language and Culture at Brown University and Boston College.


From 2008-2010 she worked as cultural attachée at the Italian Embassy of Tbilisi, Georgia where, among many things, she organized and managed cultural & writing events.


From 2010-2013 she taught at the Kapodistrian University of Athens through the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Megan Sanchez is Founder and CEO of EVMO News.

She's authored 35 publications, grew up in 4 countries and studied 7 languages.

Her areas of interest in writing focus on: psychology, languages, self-help, art, political science, poetry, marketing and making the world a better place.

Her favorite intellectuals include Freud, Jung, Plato, Derrida, Edward Said, Lera Boroditsky, and Dr. Brené Brown.

She graduated "summa cum laude" in BA in International Relations & Global Politics (2017) and "magna cum laude" in Msc Marketing (2019).


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