How COVID-19 Impacts Tourism

Living With The Coronavirus

Humans have a natural wanderlust; a desire to travel around, and “see the world”. Perhaps, one of the major advances of our time is the conversion of this wanderlust into a billion-dollar industry. Every year, millions of people around the world spend billions of dollars on flight tickets, hotel reservations, and various other costs just for the experience of travelling.

These experiences involve visiting game reserves and historical monuments, taking memorable pictures, and immersing in a totally different culture by either trying out their dishes, language or taking souvenirs back home.

The Pandemic Sets In

Unfortunately, the tourism industry has been crippled by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With countries on lockdown, most people cannot even leave their homes let alone travel to other countries for tourism. Popular sites like the Eiffel Tower in France, the sinking city of Venice and many others are deserted and uncharacteristically empty at times when they would have been teeming with visitors.

How exactly has the Coronavirus affected the global tourism industry and what are the possible ways in which the face of tourism will change after this? We examine these below:

Dropping Revenues

 This is the most obvious effects of the pandemic. Nearly all sectors of the world economy (perhaps excluding internet companies and tech generally) have felt the adverse effects of the pandemic. Tourism is not left out of this. With no travellers to buy plane tickets, no hotel reservations being booked, no entrance fees being paid, revenues are at an all-time low.

A good number of travelling and tourist agencies are likely to fold up; since zero income means the inability to pay staff and keep their businesses running. Beyond private organizations, the inability to issue tourist visas also means a drop in revenue for governments of countries with investments in tourism.

What Next?

The future of the tourism industry depends on how the COVID-19 pandemic ends.

The first scenario, which we all hope is true, is that a vaccine or cure shows up soon. If that happens, then the outlook for the tourism industry is very positive. Lots of people will gladly book trips to destinations they had planned to visit before the outbreak, and the industry will see revenue numbers shooting right back up.

Unfortunately, it is not very likely to play out this way real soon. Vaccines typically take years before they can be cleared for mass usage. What is likely to happen is that this becomes the new normal, and we all learn to abide by social distancing rules. In that case, recovery for the tourism industry will be quite slow as there will be a limit on how many people can be granted access to tourist sites at once.

Perhaps it is time for the tourism industry to adopt technology in doing business in a post-COVID world. Virtual Reality tours that can give tourist immersive experience of various tourist destinations without leaving their homes, might become strong alternatives even though they’re not the same as an actual trip.

Whichever the case, we are all curious to see how this plays out.

Best Practices for Shopping in A COVID-19 Period

The Shoppers’ Tips For Safe Shopping

“Stay home and stay safe” These might just be the 5 most popular words in the year 2020. The COVID-19 epidemic has ravaged countries, leaving death, pain and sickness in its wake. To nip its spread in the bud, we all have a responsibility to stay indoors as much as we can to avoid contact with others. However, there are times when going out becomes unavoidable for a very important reason- shopping.

Groceries, snacks, toiletries and other essentials are critical to achieving “stay home.” And no matter how much you stock up on these, you’re sure to run out of supplies at some point. Even before running out, we all have those moments when we forget something and need to dash back out to get it.

The question now is, how do you shop safely amid a pandemic? Below are a few pointers:

Order online and take deliveries

For a little added cost, you can order practically anything over the internet and have it delivered to your doorstep. Lots of e-commerce sites offer this service while most stores even have their in-house delivery team.

Most delivery companies, or the delivery staff at big stores, have been trained to take all necessary precautions, so you can be sure your delivery is safe. To be extra sure, you may even disinfect the package after delivery; one cannot be too careful.

When shopping physically

If for some reason you cannot use online delivery and have to go out to do your shopping, then be sure to do the following:

Contactless Payment: Actually, this applies to online delivery as well. Touching and exchanging cash puts both yourself and the cashier at risk of exchanging the virus as well. Instead, use a POS, swipe your card, or even make payments via a mobile app or internet transfer from your phone. The less physical contact, the better for all of us.

Social Distancing and other rules : You already know these, but to reiterate:

*Maintain a distance of 6 ft. from other shoppers.

*Wear a nose mask.

*Keep your hands to yourself: You never can tell who has just touched a surface, doorknob, or even the handle of a shopping cart. The virus can survive for hours on any of these surfaces.

*Avoid touching your face.

*If you have to touch your face, disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer first. Also, do this in case you touched anyone or surface.

*Wash your hands with soap after you return.

*Also, any exposed items such as the bags in which you carried the groceries should be washed.

*The clothes that you wore to the store are another possible source of contact with infected people so you should either wash them or spread them out in the sun.

*Wipe your doorknob and any other surfaces you touched before washing your hands with methylated spirit.

*Wipe your phone! You touch it almost unconsciously every time and you never can tell. Best to wipe it down with some disinfectant or some other alcohol-based liquid.

Remember, it’s better to be too careful than to end up being infected with the virus.

Stay safe!

Is COVID-19 Treatable? Here Is What We Know

What we know: How Covid-19 is treated at present

Before talking about how the virus is treated, we would start by pointing out the things that do not work. Perhaps due to the anxiety surrounding the existence of this disease and the desire to return to regular life, several medicines and “magic” treatments have been flaunted as a cure for COVID-19.

It is important to keep in mind that none of these so-called cure has actually worked as advertised, and for emphasis, below are a few of them:

Alcohol: While Alcohol is useful for wiping surfaces and as a component in hand sanitizer, drinking alcohol will neither cure nor prevent COVID-19.

Hydroxychloroquine: This drug, commonly used to cure Malaria in the past, has repeatedly being touted as a possible cure or even preventive measure against Covid-19. While there were a few positive cases, it has been shown to also be accompanied by side-effects – sometimes as severe as heart problems. More importantly, the trials conducted on this drug were not conclusive enough for it to be adopted widely as a viable cure.

There are a lot of other ineffective options that have been touted as cures, but they are not the main focus of this post. So, how are Covid-19 patients currently treated?

Just like with other viruses, the most effective way to fight it is by boosting the immune system and allowing your body to defeat it on its own.

Therefore, to treat Covid-19, a two-pronged approach is adopted which includes boosting the immune system, and treating whichever symptoms show up. Below are the ways through which this is achieved:

Immune System Strengthening

Diet: Immunity to diseases is achieved through a healthy diet. Covid-19 patients under treatment are fed well-balanced meals with proteins, vegetables and fruits while avoiding unnecessary sugar intake and junk.

Sleep: Sleep-deprived people are particularly vulnerable to being sick, hence, COVID patients are confined to getting as much bed rest as they can.

Exercise: There’s a limit to how much exercising can be done by someone who is critically ill. However, as much as possible, light exercising like yoga and stretching can be useful in keeping the body fit to fight.

Water: It cannot be overemphasized how important it is to keep the body constantly hydrated.

Vitamin C: This is administered via fruits and drug supplements and is a critical component in keeping the immune system in top shape.

Tackling The Common Symptoms

Pain Relievers: This is used for symptomatic patients who are feeling body pain and need some sort of relief.

Cough syrup and other medication: Coughing and sore throat, as well as respiratory difficulty, are common symptoms of the virus and syrups and other medication can help to assuage them.

Ventilators and Respirators: These are expensive equipment that becomes necessary at advanced stages of the disease when patients have difficulty breathing.

Conclusion

nterestingly, the recovery rate from the virus is quite high provided treatment is sought early, and symptoms are promptly attended to.

Spreading COVID-19: The Red Flags

How is Covid-19 Spread?

Working from home, online classes, online religious meetings, contactless payments, ordering products online rather than buying from physical stores… All of these have rapidly become regular ways of life in the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

While everybody hopes that things will soon return to business as usual, there is a very strong possibility that this isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Somehow, we need to get used to the fact that our present realities are slowly becoming the new normal.

If we have to learn to live with this disease, then it’s important to understand how it is spread to appreciate the reasons for the various precautions being prescribed. Below are the presently known ways through which the Coronavirus can be contracted:

  • Human Contact

This is the riskiest way of contracting the virus. Coming in physical contact with an infected patient either by hugging, shaking hands (and touching the face with the hands) or more physical contact such as kissing or sex will definitely put a person at risk of being infected.

It should be noted that not only people showing symptoms can transmit COVID-19 through human contact. Asymptomatic patients can equally pass the disease along hence, the need for social distancing.

  • Suspension of droplets in the air

When we sneeze, aerosol like droplets, often not visible to the human eye, are expelled from our nostrils and can stay airborne for a significant period. For people infected with Covid-19, these droplets can be a vector of the disease; infecting healthy people who inadvertently inhale it.

As previously mentioned, asymptomatic people can still transmit the disease, hence the need to stay away from anyone who is sneezing or coughing. When sneezing/coughing, ensure you cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or toilet paper.

Alternatively, health practitioners have recommended that you could sneeze into the sleeve your elbow. Medical nose masks can also help to protect you by preventing you from inhaling the infected droplets.

  • Surface transmission

This is another critical mode of transmission we all have to be wary of. When infected people touch surfaces such as tabletops, doorknobs, car door handles, etc., the unsuspecting public is at risk. The virus can survive on these surfaces for some time and healthy people who touch these surfaces, and touch their faces afterwards can get infected.

To inhibit the risk of COVID-19 infection, it is imperative of you to wipe every surface in your home with alcohol-based products like methylated spirit, etc. Also, be sure to avoid touching your face, and wash your hands after contact with any surface. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers if you do not have access to running water.

  • Faeces

While research is still ongoing about how exactly this works, it is suspected that samples of an infected person’s poop may contain the virus. Hence, not washing the hands properly after using the loo can put other people at risk of contracting the virus.

Adhering to proper hygiene will help to avoid getting sick through this means. Also, ensure to close the toilet lid before pulling on flush as particles can sometimes get dispersed within the bathroom.

In summary, there’s a lot we still don’t know about Covid-19, but by taking precautions, we can keep safe until we are successfully able to fight this.

How COVID-19 Cases Were First Reported Around The World

The Earliest Covid-19 Cases

Coronavirus has become, without contest, the most popular news item in the world over the past 6 months that it has been with us. From live updates and situation reports – to dashboards, case trackers, and scientific reports about cure and vaccine efforts, we can’t seem to want to know enough about the pandemic.

But how exactly did we get here, what were the first couple of cases like? Could we have guessed how serious this could have become? We try to answer some of these questions in this post by taking a look at some of the earliest cases on a geographical basis.

China

It is no longer news that the Covid-19 is thought to have originated from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, in the Hubei province from China. While a particular “patient zero” that is the singular first person to contract the virus has not been identified yet, it is believed that as far back as November 2019, there were almost 41 infected patients.

Their symptoms were described as pneumonia-like and reminiscent of the SARS virus outbreak which occurred in 2002. The cases were officially reported the WHO on the 31st of December, 2019.

Before the official report, some medical practitioners, particularly Dr. Li Wenliang tried to communicate with colleagues in the west and other parts of the world about the strange sickness. He was forced to recant his statements but unfortunately died from Coronavirus on the 7th of February.

Despite closing the seafood market, the disease began to spread even beyond Wuhan and by the 11th of January, the first death from Coronavirus was recorded in China. It wasn’t until the 23rd of January before the city of Wuhan was placed on lockdown and subsequently the Hubei province. Eventually, the whole country had to be placed on lockdown.

Thailand

This was the first country outside China to record a case of the Coronavirus which was from a tourist who had spent some time in China before travelling to Thailand.

Iran

Iran has been one of the worst-hit countries worldwide alongside China, Italy, The UK and the US. Unfortunately, this could have been avoided but a lot of Iranians didn’t believe the disease was real. Videos surfaced on the internet showing some Iranians licking surfaces within mosques to show they weren’t afraid. In the early days of the virus, top government functionaries including the Health Minister and the deputy Prime Minister among others got infected.

Italy

Speculations are that Italy was badly hit as a result of its mostly middle-aged to old population. It got so severe that the military had to help in carrying bodies out for burial as the morgues were filled to the brim. Fortunately, it appears the European country is past the worst of it.

The US and the UK

Despite banning flights from China and some other countries, the US recorded its first Coronavirus death towards the end of February, and has become the epicentre of the virus, recording more deaths than other countries apart from China. The UK has also been hit with the Prime Minister getting infected but recovering afterwards.

We can only hope that things get better going forward for every country around the world. We can each play our roles by taking all necessary precautions.

The Origins of COVID-19

How Did COVID 19 Come About?

The coronavirus disease, COVID 19, caught our world unawares, and the effects have been more than devastating. Currently, there are more than five million people infected with well over 300,000 deaths worldwide. Billions of dollars have been lost both in productive output as well as in palliative and healthcare costs. Our economies are shut down, and once-bustling cities have become ghost towns with everyone having to stay indoors.

It is mind-blowing that all of this has occurred in less than 6 months. The virus has gone from a public health emergency to a full-scale pandemic. In its wake, it has left us scrambling for a cure or a vaccine or both.

There’s a high level of curiosity about the disease: What exactly is this pandemic? How did it come about? Where did it originate from? Some of these facts are still sketchy as there have been different accounts and the trading of blames among the world’s most powerful governments. It’s difficult to know which is fact and what is mere conjecture.

In this post, we’ll just give you what has been known and said so far and leave you to decide which to believe or discard.

When did this start?

The first reports about widespread infections due to an “unknown” virus in Wuhan, China originated sometime in December 2019. It was said to have started from an illegal animal market in Wuhan. The market was known for the trading of animals like bats, snakes, marmots and other animals not legally sanctioned. Despite this theory, the coronavirus has still not been traced to any particular animal.

The Chinese government took action by shutting down the animal market in Wuhan and trying to inspect and disinfect it on the 1st of January, 2020. Unfortunately, it was already too late as the virus had begun spreading among humans and most likely outside the market or even Wuhan by that time. By the 21st of March, WHO medical staff at the Western Pacific Office got infected, and from then, it ballooned into the catastrophic global emergency that it has now become.

Conspiracy Theories, Accusations and Counter Accusations

As is often the case when humans come up against hitherto unprecedented situations, a lot of alternative explanations have sprung up about how the virus came about. Even world leaders and important people are not left out of these sometimes-combative opinions, here are some of the.

Chinese Lab

People in the west, including government functionaries, have claimed that the virus was accidentally released from a lab in China. Others have even gone as far as to claim that it COVID-19 was biologically engineered to attack the west.

American Military

Perhaps in a bid to retaliate against the accusations from the west, reports also emerged from China that the virus came into china via an American military base located there.

Conclusion

Who is right or wrong? We may not know yet, but the world must come together to fight this virus that has morbidly threatened the wellbeing of our species.