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A New Outlook on the Benefits and Disadvantages of COVID-19

Author: Max Fan and Anjanette Lin | Updated October 11th, 2020

With a recent resurgence of COVID-19 cases and a catastrophe of a presidential debate, we must look at the bright side of life to prevent sinking into the turmoil. COVID is somewhat of a mixed blessing for most. Many people receive paid leave and more time with their family, millions of people have profited since the stock market crash in March, and the coronavirus is a good incentive for future world leaders to invest in pandemic research and prevention so a larger outbreak doesn’t happen in the future. Although overall, COVID isn’t beneficial for the Earth or its constituents, there are some positive aspects that will advance humanity in the long run.

However, in the status quo for fortunate people, COVID may not seem so daunting, but to the majority of the world, it is more than a nightmare; instead, it’s the harsh reality. COVID has not only mentally and emotionally affected us, it has also physically killed over a million people. The 20.6 million unemployed or displaced, the over 32 million cases worldwide, and the 9 of every 10 unpaid restricted service workers are only part of this tragedy. To the ones who’ve lost their family, friends, and coworkers, a job cannot compare. Furthermore, President Trump recently tested positive for COVID, throwing the United States and more into disarray. The influence of someone well-known adding their names onto the list of those infected easily disheartens us, but we must remember, just as Hussein Nishah said, “I am too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful and too determined to be defeated.”

First, I would like to preface the benefits of COVID with an analysis of how the pandemic could have been handled much more effectively. Firstly, Trump should have acted earlier on the warnings in December/January and quarantined the country earlier. In hindsight, this seems like a fairly obvious decision to make, but Trump won the 2016 election largely due to his management of the economy, so his move to maintaining an open economy was in line with keeping his base happy. Furthermore, Bill Gates gave a TED talk in 2015 about how the world needed to spend more money on pandemic research. If either the Obama or the Trump administration heeded the warnings, we would be in a much better place today.

That being said, COVID could have been worse in many ways. A longer-living pathogen or a higher death rate could have caused much more havoc. COVID is a warning that we need to spend more on pandemic research as the homo sapiens genetic diversification decreases. The chance of a mass outbreak decreases because it can find fewer genes to attack, but the magnitude of a massacre en masse becomes exponentially larger. Pandemic research will prevent these pandemics in multiple ways: from being able to develop better contact tracing, to increase the rate of manufacturing tests, and even to mass-produce a vaccine if necessary. The struggles we are enduring now are a prerequisite for a better future.

Not only has COVID foiled many plans, jobs, and communities, it has also separated yet brought people together with a single emotion: fear. Call COVID cataclysmic, distressing, crushing, and you would be correct; however, call COVID eye-opening, uniting, galvanizing, and you would not be far off either.

So what do you think; how significant are the impacts of COVID?


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