(WWLP) – President Trump’s diagnosis is just the latest development in a COVID-19 timeline that covers all of 2020 and stretches back into 2019.
From January to October COVID-19, so named because it started in 2019, has evolved from an isolated disease in a region of China to a global pandemic that killed over one million people worldwide. It has brought countries to a standstill, pushed hospital systems to the brink, dragged the global economy into a recession and now is impacting the campaigns leading up to the presidential election.
On January 9, 2020 the World Health Organization announces there is a mysterious coronavirus-related pneumonia in Wuhan, China.
At this point the W.H.O. still has doubts about how serious the virus is. There were 59 cases so far and travel precautions were already being considered.
On January 21 a Washington State resident becomes the first person in the United States with a confirmed case of the virus. having returned from Wuhan on January 15.
The CDC soon deploys a team to help with the investigation including potential use of contact tracing.
On January 31 with a worldwide death toll of more than 200 and nearly 10,000 cases the W.H.O. issues a global health emergency for just the sixth time.
Human-to-human transmission is quickly spreading and can now be found in the United States, China, Germany, Japan, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
On February 3 the Trump Administration declares a public health emergency and global air travel is restricted.
The month of March is when coronavirus exploded. The W.H.O. declared a global pandemic on March 11th.
Locally, the day before, the Holyoke St. Patrick’s parade was canceled. Local schools and colleges were closed that week and forced into remote learning. Restaurants and malls and businesses closed down.
Some of America’s workforce began to work from home but millions lost their jobs.
The NBA, the NHL, and MLB all shut down. They would all resume their seasons before the end of the summer.
An outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home claimed the lives of at least 76 veterans.
Also in March after first saying that masks for most of us were not needed the CDC recommended that people wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
By the month of May over 100,000 people in the U.S. had died of COVID-19. That number passed 200,000 on September 23 by far the most in the world with more than 7.3 million people in the U.S. testing positive.
Deaths are running at close to 770 a day on average and a widely cited model from the University of Washington predicts the U.S. death toll could double to 400,000 by the end of the year as schools and colleges re-open and cold weather sets in.
More than 200 vaccines to protect against the virus are being developed by scientists around the world in a process that is taking place at unprecedented speed.
But it could take up to a year or longer to roll those vaccines out.