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< Back to question Will coronavirus change the world? Show more Show less

First encountered in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly within China and reached many other countries as well. COVID-19 is highly transmissible, with no vaccine or treatment currently available, and on January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Will the coronavirus lead to an unprecedented global pandemic, as some experts predict? Or are warnings over the dangers of COVID-19 just fearmongering?

Coronavirus will teach the world valuable lessons Show more Show less

COVID-19 will cost lives and resources, but it will also lead to important progress.
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Coronavirus awareness will promote important health policies

People will become more health-conscious due to COVID-19, increasing support for effective policies.
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The Argument

Global public awareness of the threat posed by the coronavirus is high thanks to statements from leading health organizations and widespread coverage by news media internationally. In large part because no specific treatments or preventative measures for COVID-19 were available during the initial outbreak, the outbreak has been a boon to public understanding of and support for traditional public health measures such as hand washing, self-monitoring, and quarantines. COVID-19 has raised the profile of ongoing public discussions about healthcare and infectious diseases, such as the debates over mandatory vaccination policies and universal healthcare. The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, stated in an interview in February 2020 that she believed the most valuable message to come out of the outbreak would be "the importance of universal health care and strong health systems". If COVID-19 motivates long-term improvements to health systems globally, those changes could have a far greater impact than the virus itself.

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    This page was last edited on Friday, 17 Apr 2020 at 11:19 UTC

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