Global Spread

Global Spread by Peter Negrea

A novel coronavirus (COVID-19) appeared in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province, China in December of 2019. The virus gets its name ‘corona’ from the latin word ‘crown’ for its circular shape with spikes surrounding it. COVID-19 is shorthand for Coronavirus Disease of 2019.

The total number of confirmed cases globally (as of March 13th) is 137,445. Of those 137,445 cases 69,779 have already made a full recovery, while 62,558 remain infected. 5,088 deaths have been attributed to the disease. However, health officials have stated that these are only confirmed infections and deaths– not necessarily the total number of infections and deaths. The number of confirmed cases do not include those who have been infected and did not go to a hospital to be tested, so the total number of cases is suspected to be higher. If someone dies at home and was never tested, it is possible they may be left out of WHO and CDC statistics, although this is likely much less common. For someone to be included in the 130,000+ official cases, they must be infected with the virus, contact a healthcare provider, be administered a test, have the test return positive, then have the CDC or WHO alerted to the presence of a new case. Due to the series of steps that must be taken, there is an undetermined lag time between an ill person being tested and that person being included in any statistics.

Additionally, many people with very mild symptoms may never realize their illness is COVID-19 at all. There is also some concern that countries with less developed health care systems, as is the case in parts of Africa, Asia, South America and Central America, do not have the infrastructure to diagnose or test large numbers of people. Cases in those regions may go unreported for some time.

Closer to home, in the neighboring state of New York, 328 people had been confirmed to have COVID-19 as of March 13. In New York City, as of 2:45pm on Wednesday, March 11th there were 48 cases with 2,000 people in voluntary isolation and 30 people in mandatory quarantine.

Due to the substantial number of New York City commuters living in Greenwich, as well as those who commute into Greenwich to work, it is safe to assume the Global Spread has or will reach Greenwich.

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