• Question: Will mankind end because of the Corona Virus ?

    Asked by oliviasands on 3 Mar 2020.
    • Photo: Aleksandr Sahakyan

      Aleksandr Sahakyan answered on 3 Mar 2020:


      Of course not! Even, in the highly unlikely worst-case scenario, if the whole human population on Earth catches this disease, only a few percent would find it fatal. Reiterating my answer to a previous question, we are living in a very interconnected world. This means that new viruses have more opportunities to spread, but it also means that information travels much faster than before. With the latter part, you will inevitably hear a lot about this novel coronavirus from TV, unlike, say a person living a few decades ago. This should not, however, cause any concern, since you should also find a great comfort in knowing that all the relevant researchers and public health officials across the world also get their share of news updates about COVID-19, which helps them to coordinate their actions for a much more efficient control over the spread of the disease. With information traveling at a speed of light (quite literally, taking into account the speed of electromagnetic waves), researchers all over the world easily share their research results with each other to tackle the problem together and arrive to an efficient vaccine as soon as possible. In fact, a few vaccines are already in trial stages of development.

    • Photo: Ioana Grigoras

      Ioana Grigoras answered on 3 Mar 2020:


      My best guess would be that probably not. I don’t study virusology, so I don’t know a lot about the coronavirus, but from what I read it really isn’t much worse than other viral infections, like the flu. It is very important that people don’t panic and do everything that they can to keep themselves and other people safe, like not going out in the community if you are ill, washing your hands, sneezing in your elbow or in a tissue that you then throw away. The thing about this virus is that it is new and people still don’t know if and how it can mutate, which is why all these precautions are necessary to keep everyone safe.

      Also, as far as I know, the symptoms children have if infected are minimal, so that is one category of people who would normally be at risk of complications that are not affected that much by this virus.

      As for mankind ending, I think it’s important to realise that other plagues did roam the Earth in history, like the black death, the typus fever or the cholera pandemic (just to mention a few). Mankind has survived them so far. There are people at risk when these kind of diseases come up, like elderly people, who might have other conditions that make them vulnerable. Just because precautions are taken to keep people at risk safe, it doesn’t mean we should all panic.

    • Photo: Kate Mitchell

      Kate Mitchell answered on 3 Mar 2020:


      No it won’t (phew!). There’s still lots we don’t know about the novel coronavirus, but the current estimate is that only about 1% of people (1 in 100) who get it die.

      It is unusual for infectious diseases to wipe out their host because usually if the host numbers become small the disease dies out and then the host population recovers. Just occasionally an infectious disease can wipe out the host population, for example if the infection can survive in the environment for a long time, and if it always kills the host. But that is definitely not going to happen with coronavirus.

    • Photo: Sophie Arthur

      Sophie Arthur answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      I don’t think so. While it is a serious issue at the moment, the fatality rate isn’t that high. That’s the number of deaths reported per number of positive cases. Unfortunately lots of people are dying from the virus but it’s not fatal for everyone. Plus there are loads of researchers around the world working seriously hard to create a vaccine right now

    • Photo: Katrina Wesencraft

      Katrina Wesencraft answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      Based on what’s happened so far, I’m going to say no! Today in the news, the World Health Organization announced that the number of people with coronavirus in China is going down. If other countries are careful to test lots of people and isolate everyone who could have the virus, the number of cases should hopefully start to reduce everywhere.

    • Photo: Samir Hopestone

      Samir Hopestone answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      I don’t think so, because the death rate is about 1%, so even if everyone in the world got infected, only 1% would die.

    • Photo: Nathan James

      Nathan James answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      Think about it from the point of view of the coronavirus. If it’s going to survive, it needs to keep spreading without killing people. Parasites that kill their hosts are bad parasites, because they die too! Eventually enough people will develop resistance to the coronavirus, so it won’t be able to spread as easily. It will evolve, and people might still get infected, but they’ll be better able to fight it off. It will disappear from the news and become much less scary.

    • Photo: Mahrukh Shameem

      Mahrukh Shameem answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      No. I think it is very controlled and we will be okay

    • Photo: Robyn Kiy

      Robyn Kiy answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      I’m not a virologist, but I think it seems a lot scarier than it actually is because of how much we hear about it on the news at the moment! Like the other scientists have said, it’s important to follow NHS guidelines and wash your hands regularly to keep yourself and others safe.

    • Photo: Nathan Kindred

      Nathan Kindred answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      I don’t think so. Don’t panic over it, things likely seem much worse than they are because of the way the media is portraying it.

    • Photo: Lotte de Winde

      Lotte de Winde answered on 4 Mar 2020:


      Of course not! So far, more people have survived the corona virus then died from it. All the survivors have now developed immunity against it, so if they come in contact with the same virus again, there immune system will be able to kill it again. Don’t panic over it, it will all be fine. And for now, just pay attention and wash your hands regularly, especially when you have been in public places.

    • Photo: Nadine Mirza

      Nadine Mirza answered on 11 Mar 2020:


      Just like everyone has explained really well, Corona definitely doesn’t seem to be a mankind ending virus. A lot of people who have gotten it have recovered and are fine now.

    • Photo: Sarah Clarke

      Sarah Clarke answered on 11 Mar 2020:


      No. The mortality rate (the percentage of people who die from it) is around 3%…. put another way that means 97% of people are surviving. That said, its likely there will be changes to the way we live our lives for a while.

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