Masks, new vaccines and social distancing: concepts which are normalised nowadays were unthinkable only two years ago. As a society, we have changed our behaviour as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is still having a great impact on our lives. But, how did this happen? Two years on, almost to the day, seems an appropriate time to look back.
The sudden shift in our lives took place on the 13th of March of 2020, with the first lockdown, but it all started long before. In December 2019, a laboratory in Wuhan, China first discovered Covid-19, and on the 23rd of January 2020 Wuhan and other Chinese cities entered their first lockdown. The Italian government imposed a lockdown soon after, on the 22nd of February and it was not long before other countries followed suit.
With globalisation, the disease easily spread to other countries around the world, the first recorded case in Spain being on the 31st of January. In March 2020, countries started establishing regulations such as wearing masks and respecting social distancing. In April, over 3.9 billion all around the world were ordered to remain at home by their governments.
On the 13th of March of 2020, Spain entered a state of alarm, a moment I am sure we all remember, and that state of alarm lasted until the 27th of March. Online challenges and streaming platforms took up most of our time, when we were not working online. Then, worldwide regulations slowly started being lifted. The de-escalation took place between May and July, so that Summer commerce and tourism would help the economy which had crashed due to the loss of work.
However, due to the lack of Covid-19 mandates during the Summer season, there were new outbreaks at the start of Autumn. And in Spain, the state of emergency was reinstated and England went into a second lockdown during October 2020.
In late December 2020, new vaccines against Covid were approved and soon started being used across Europe. Currently, the majority of the world population has been vaccinated with at least one dose. In the UK, nearly 77% have been vaccinated and in Spain is is 80%.
There was a third major rise of Coronavirus cases around the world in July 2021 because of the new Delta variant. However, mass immunisation helped keep the death toll and hospitalisation low.
During Christmas 2021, there was a new rise, the sixth wave, which is still in decline as we speak.
The whole pandemic came as a shock to most of us. Staying at home, not being able to socialise and the death of loved ones has had a significantly negative impact on people's mental health. Nevertheless, we have become more accustomed to the necessary measures to stop the spreading of the deadly virus which changed our reality two years ago and hope that even these will disappear in the near future. Cayetana R, Year 9