World Health Organization declares coronavirus a pandemic

By Jackie Salo, NY POST

A healthcare worker in a protective coverall, gloves and glasses is pictured during the Covid-19 response exercise for the employees of the Zaporizhzhia Regional Laboratory Centre, Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine.
A healthcare worker in a protective coverall, gloves and glasses during a COVID-19 response exercise in southeastern Ukraine.Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Coronavirus was declared a pandemic Wednesday by the World Health Organization as cases spread to at least 114 countries.

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding that it “therefore made the assessment that CVOID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

The virus, which first emerged in Wuhan, China, has now reached on Wednesday more than 118,000 people, causing at least 4,291 deaths.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we expect to see the number of COVID-19 cases, the number of deaths, and the number of affected countries climb even higher,” Tedros said.

Tedros Adhanom, inspector general of the World Health Organization
Tedros Adhanom, inspector general of the World Health Organization

Tedros has previously said that a health situation reaches the pandemic level when there’s “large-scale severe disease or deaths,” as well as “uncontained global spread of the virus.”

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death,” he said Wednesday.

March 11, 2020 | 33 Comments » | 450 views

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  1. “What we have now is really two epidemics. We have an epidemic of the coronavirus, but we also have an epidemic of fear based around a narrative that is not necessarily keeping up with scientific reality,” Shiller argued. “This narrative has been quite striking.

    “It’s a dangerous time for the stock market.”

    It makes sense that Shiller has made this connection given his background in studying behavioral economics, which looks at how emotions weigh on financial decisions.

    [Economist Robert] Shiller thinks the effects of these two epidemics are already showing — and it’s going to lead to a recession.

    “It’s highly likely now that we’ll have a recession,” he said. “It’s already disrupting business. It’s already causing people to pull back. We’re not going to see creative new investments blossom in this environment.”

    This is from the Money and Markets website, quoting an interview with Nobel Laureate economist Robert Schiller.

    The “epidemic of fear” is clearly much worse than the coronavirus epidemic itself. Never has FDR’s line, ‘we have nothing to fear except fear itself,” been more relevant .

  2. CORONAVIRUS VIRIONS ARE COMMITTING SUICIDE BY THE GAZILLIONS AT THE WALLS OF BAGHDAD!

    Happy belated Purim.

  3. CORONAVIRUS VIRIONS ARE DYING BY THE GAZILLIONS AT THE WALLS OF BAGHDAD!

    Happy belated Purim.

    You have nothing to fear. This thing only kills people over 50 🙁

  4. “Sell-offs ensued as Wall Street mounted morning losses with ever-steeper declines throughout the day. The Dow ended up losing 1,464 points, officially dropping it 20.3% below its record high of 29,551 set Feb. 12.” From money on markets. I can’t reproduce it here, but Money and Markets also has an image (meme??) showing a 5 dollar bill with Lincoln’s head covered by a face mask.

    P.S. if you own stocks and live or work on one of the upper floors of a high-rise, time to jump out.

  5. @ adamdalgliesh:Actually the wise investor is realizing that there will be some excellent buying opportunities at a certain point. This investor is figuring out were they are going to allocate funds.

    Time to be patient and not panic!

  6. @ adamdalgliesh:

    Hi, Adam.

    Seriously, get a grip!

    As a starting point, believe me when I say that it is never time to jump out of a tall building. My great-grandfather hung himself a week after the 1929 crash, and he wasn’t anywhere near rich. He was 70 years old, and out of work He had come to the US 22 years before that, hoping to become a saloon keeper. Then Prohibition cane, driving his business literally underground. My great-grandfather never lived long enough to see things really getting bad, which they did. He just got depressed because, at age 70/71, he had lost his job and could no longer support his family.

    Perhaps a big problem in 1929, was that the ’20s had been so free-wheeling and riotous (even without legal booze), people were starting to expect a chicken in every pot and a car in every barn, and many thought the good times would never end.

    They ended. Fifteen years after the Stock Market Crash of ’29, the whole world was at war, killing some 50 million people; and shortly afterward nuclear weapons would utterly destroy two cities in a matter of seconds. My parents came through the war and the Depression, and raised part of what would become the most fortunate generation in the history of mankind; Israel became a nation, after some 1900 years of longing, and an era of international cooperation ensued, led by the UN. There were rebellions and bush wars, yes; but nation no longer rose up against nation in conquest. Polio was conquered, along with measles, etc. Medical miracles began happening: antibiotics, heart transplants, you name it. We entered the Messianic Age of Materialism.

    Now look at humanity. In 2016, half the country became seriously unhinged because their choice for president didn’t get elected. I’m not making this up: It really happened. This year, we face the prospect of a repeat of the same, PLUS “Climate Change:, which will melt polar bears in the flooded streets of New York while childrens’ bodies float by, PLUS the stock market having some major corrections, PLUS lunatics throwing acid on peoples’ faces, hacking people with machetes, mass murders and all sorts of madness, PLUS a genuine pandemic, which has killed thousands and could kill millions…

    After World War I, someone asked the defeated German Kaiser what he planned to do next. He responded that it was a good time for a fine cup of English tea. Those are my sentiments, exactly!

  7. @ adamdalgliesh:

    Hi, Adam. My second post here — the original got gobbled up.

    Seriously, get a grip!

    As a starting point, believe me when I say that it is never time to jump out of a tall building. My great-grandfather hung himself a week after the 1929 crash, and he wasn’t anywhere near rich. He was 70 years old, and out of work He had come to the US 22 years before that, hoping to become a saloon keeper. Then Prohibition cane, driving his business literally underground. My great-grandfather never lived long enough to see things really getting bad, which they did. He just got depressed because, at age 70/71, he had lost his job and could no longer support his family.

    Perhaps a big problem in 1929, was that the ’20s had been so free-wheeling and riotous (even without legal booze), people were starting to expect a chicken in every pot and a car in every barn, and many thought the good times would never end.

    They ended. Fifteen years after the Stock Market Crash of ’29, the whole world was at war, killing some 50 million people; and shortly afterward nuclear weapons would utterly destroy two cities in a matter of seconds. My parents came through the war and the Depression, and raised part of what would become the most fortunate generation in the history of mankind; Israel became a nation, after some 1900 years of longing, and an era of international cooperation ensued, led by the UN. There were rebellions and bush wars, yes; but nation no longer rose up against nation in conquest. Polio was conquered, along with measles, etc. Medical miracles began happening: antibiotics, heart transplants, you name it. We entered the Messianic Age of Materialism.

    Now look at humanity. In 2016, half the country became seriously unhinged because their choice for president didn’t get elected. I’m not making this up: It really happened. This year, we face the prospect of a repeat of the same, PLUS “Climate Change:, which will melt polar bears in the flooded streets of New York while childrens’ bodies float by, PLUS the stock market having some major corrections, PLUS lunatics throwing acid on peoples’ faces, hacking people with machetes, mass murders and all sorts of madness, PLUS a genuine pandemic, which has killed thousands and could kill millions…

    After World War I, someone asked the defeated German Kaiser what he planned to do next. He responded that it was a good time for a fine cup of English tea. Those are my sentiments, exactly!

  8. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, inspector general of the World Health Organization, is an extremely controversial man in Ethiopia suspected of a crime against humanity. Amhara Professionals Union have declared him unfit for his position at the WHO for gross prejudice based on ethnic background. “Dr. Ghebreyesus should be judged based on his role as Minister of Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Minister of Foreign Affairs and politburo member of the Tigray People’s LIberation Front (TPLF), a political party that is the most powerful within the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) led government of Ethiopia…. Of particular importance is the unexplained 2.5 million decrease in the Amhara population under his leadership.” (https://ecadforum.com/2017/04/23/dr-tedros-adhanom-is-an-individual-suspected-of-a-crime-against-humanity/) So, the politically compromised inspector general of the globalist WHO declares the coronavirus a pandemic to create the worldwide panic necessary to shake the world’s economy and bring down the existential enemy of the world’s globalists, President Donald Trump. Disgusting!

  9. @ Bear Klein: Who is “they?” “Allocate funds” for what purpose? These are genuine questions because Iwould like to learn more about investing–not rhetorical or sarcastic.

    If you can recommend to us some promising investment opportunities over the next several months, I would appreciate it I do know that one can sometimes do very well in an oversold market after a (market) panic, but you have to know where to look.

  10. Just to clarify my position about the “pandemic:” I realize of course that coronavirus is a very dangerous illness, that it is prudent to take precautions, such as regular washing and bathing, cleaning all surfaces in one’s home as often as possible, washing one’s hands after human contact, etc. I am not “in denial.” But I do think there is no need for panic, or for the extreme measures that nearly all governments in the “developed” countries, especially the United States and Israel, are taking. No need to ban air, sea and rail travel, put people on cruise ships in prolonged isolation, call out the National Guard (which Governor Cuomo has done for New York State), ban public meetings and gatherings, etc. These extreme measures cause a whole society to cease to function. They make an economic depression inevitable, and it makes it impossible for a government to function. It makes it nearly impossible to treat people who are sick, including but by no means limited to those suffering from coronavirus. When healthy people and quarantined along with the sick, it inevitably speeds rather than slows the illness, as well as other infectious illnesses.

    Panic always makes problems worse, not better. And what we are seeing now is mass panic, not a rational response to an illness. The fact that world governments are organizing the panic rather than attempting to persuade people to calm down, to see things in perspective, reassure them the great majority of them are unlikely to die of this illness, etc., which is what governments should do. Urging people to take reasonable precautions, such as maintaining good hygiene, is not the same thing as spreading panic .

    So far 4,000 people worldwide have died of this illness. Maybe about 100,000 have become sick with it. Every year, approximately 6 million people die from all causes. Tens of millions suffer from infectious diseases, and several hundred thousand a year die of them. It does not even seem very likely that world’s annual death rate will increase significantly because of this epidemic.

    Governments should be pointing these things out, rather than misleading people into thinking into thinking that the end of the world has arrived.

  11. @ adamdalgliesh:I am not a financial advisor. I have have been an investor for about 40 years and have an MBA but do not make specific recommendations to others.

    Generally speaking some of the indexes (ETFs) that include the major high tech companies will be an excellent investment. For those looking for dividends and are willing to take risks some of the large oil companies are getting killed now and pay large dividends (e.g. Exxon, Chevron,…..)

  12. The Dow futures are down another 1,000 points in New York, to only slightly above 2,200 Down 7000 points in less than three weeks. The coronavirus is not the Black Death of the middle Ages but the panic about it is leading us into a depression that may last many years. The march of folly.@ Bear Klein: You are not a financial advisor, but your suggestions point us in the right direction. A lot of financial advisors are big on certain ETFs at present.

  13. @ adamdalgliesh:
    I think you are correct that this is NOT the Black Death and the vast vast majority of people who contact this virus have only mild symptoms. If you are elderly and have an impaired immune system or were a smoker you are in trouble if you catch the Wuhan Virus.

    Yes the panic may be worse than the disease.

  14. @ adamdalgliesh:
    Hi, Adam et al. You said,

    “I am not “in denial.” But I do think there is no need for panic, or for the extreme measures that nearly all governments in the “developed” countries, especially the United States and Israel, are taking. No need to ban air, sea and rail travel, put people on cruise ships in prolonged isolation, call out the National Guard (which Governor Cuomo has done for New York State), ban public meetings and gatherings, etc.”

    I do not know how far this pandemic will go, before God sovereignly stops it; but on ther trajectory it’s headed at the moment, it truly is a pandemic, and the measures you have called “extreme” are fully warranted. Just look at the data at

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

    especially the graphs. I won’t bother explaining them. Suffice to say that Italy and Europe (where borders do not exist) is in a state where Hubei province was during February. It has already spread the virus more widely than all of China, reaching Australia, Chile and Canada. Iran is not far behind, and other countries are poised to become new epicenters, perhaps including the US. By definition, a “pandemic” is completely out of control, and that is what we have here. Just a few nuggets that might interest people:

    1. United States: NBA suspends its season indefinitely
    2. Italy closes all commercial activities, offices, cafes, shops. Only transportation, pharmacies, groceries will remain open
    3. Germany: Merkel warns that up to 70% of Germany’s population could contract the coronavirus, which would amount to 58 million people (population of 83.7 million people)
    4. Denmark: All public employees will be sent home beginning on March 13
    5. All Travel from Europe to the United States suspended for 30 Days (Ban will not apply to the UK )

    You talked a while back, about death rates. The WHO figures are 3.4%, the last I checked; and in most countries the rates are higher. Certainly, this is colored by lack of testing data. Let’s use an extreme scenario, in which the actual rate is 0.1% (the same as the common flu). The way this coronavirus is spreading, it is on course to infect virtually the whole world in a few months. 0.1% of 7,800,000,000 people is 7,800,000, or 7.8 million — more dead, than died in the Holocaust.

    That should give pause to some here — especially for us old fogies, for whom the death rate is closer to 10.0%.

    My wife and I are not panicking; but the “virus report” has far more influence on our travel and social schedule than the weather report.

  15. “Number of verified coronavirus cases in Israel reaches 100
    91 of verified patients hospitalized, 1 on the way. 5 not hospitalized, 3 have recovered and been released. 2 patients in serious condition.

    “Two in serious condition?” How can that possibly justify the extreme measures taken by the Israeli government? After all, there are thousands of people “in serious condition” in Israel from hundreds of other illnesses, accidents, and criminal assaults. Many individuals die of these causes everyday. So far, no coronavirus deaths in Israel.@ Michael S:

  16. @ Michael S: So far, 4,600 deaths. How can this translate into millions of deaths? In fact, several million people die every day from all causes. Coronavirus accounts for maybe 0.10 per cent of these deaths. Cause for concern, but not for the extreme restrictions on travel, etc. instituted by governments.

  17. @ Michael S: I just checked on the Quora.com web site the number of deaths worldwide per year. It comes to more than 52 million. That is about 13 million since the coronavirus was first detected. The 4,600 coronavirus fatalities therefore amounts to about 1 in 3,000 of the deaths worldwide.

    You and your wife are absolutely right to take every possible precaution. Especially in your age bracket. My objection is not to reasonable precautions by private individuals and families. These are clearly indicated by the health risk. My problem is with the extreme measures, such as severe travel restrictions, restrictions on public gatherings, and massive quarantines institued by governments. These have clearly brought the world to the brink of a worldwide depression. And a depression will kill many, many more people than the coronavirus epidemic. It will leave hundreds of millions of people worldwide without affordable access to medical care, hoousing , and food, the essential requirements for survival. Millions will be forced to sleep in the streets or in unhygienic public shelters. Even the coronavirus toll, along with the toll from a thousand other viral and bacterial infections, will soar uncontrollably. A depression will be the true worldwide pandemic, not coronavirus.

  18. I’ve just found this very interesting article on my old computer (I first found it in 2009).
    The link still works (I am not implying anything about today, I think the article is fascinating):
    http://www.whale.to/vaccine/sf1.html

    BTW all the headlines from the swine flu times are virtual copies of the current headlines including “Israel reports success with the vaccine”.
    Of course, today one of the tasks includes destroying China as the world’s factory and Making America Great Again. China also happens to be the US’ largest creditor.
    .

  19. “Gaetz now joins a growing list of elected officials who attended the annual Conservative Political Action Conference and are now concerned they may have been exposed to the virus. President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were also at the Maryland event. ”

    — Orlando Weekly

    If everyone at that CPAC meeting were to fall seriously ill, Nancy Pelosi would become acting President of the US.

  20. The Dow Jones industrial index is down 1,700 points at the opening bell, down to 21,000 and some points. A 7 per cent decline when the market has just opened. More than 7,000 point decline in three weeks. Plainly the “market virus” is far more deadly than the coronavirus. Millions may die of it because they can’t pay for medical care, get evicted from their homes and are forced either to live on the streets or in unsanitary public shelters, suffer malnutrition or vitamin deficiency illnesses because they can’t afford a proper diet, etc.

  21. Many, many more people have died of the “common” flu in the United States over the past two months (Since January when the first case was detected in the United States) months than have died of coronavirus. It is not clear just how many people have died of the common flu since then, or even in the past year. It is also unknown how many people have contracted the common flu. THe CDC admits that it does not evenkeep records of these things! Why the CDC and everyone else is so frightened of the coronavirus when it is clear theat the “common” flu spreads far more more rapidly, is contracted by a much greater number of people and kills far more people than the coronavirus. Why , then, doesn’t the CDC declare the “common” flu to be a “pandemic,” whichit obviusly is! Madness!!

    From the CDC’s own web site: “2019-2020 U.S. Flu Season: Preliminary Burden Estimates
    CDC estimates* that, from October 1, 2019, through February 29, 2020, there have been:

    34,000,000 – 49,000,000
    flu illnesses

    16,000,000 – 23,000,000
    flu medical visits

    350,000 – 620,000
    flu hospitalizations

    20,000 – 52,000
    flu deaths

    *Because influenza surveillance does not capture all cases of flu that occur in the U.S., CDC provides these estimated ranges to better reflect the larger burden of influenza. These estimates are calculated based on CDC’s weekly influenza surveillance data and are preliminary.

    This web page provides weekly, preliminary estimates of the cumulative in-season numbers of flu illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States. CDC does not know the exact number of people who have been sick and affected by influenza because influenza is not a reportable disease in most areas of the U.S. However, CDC has estimated the burden of flu since 2010 using a mathematical model that is based on data collected through the U.S. Influenza Surveillance System, a network that covers approximately 8.5% of the U.S. population (~27 million people).

    Limitations

    The estimates of the cumulative burden of seasonal influenza are subject to several limitations.

    First, the cumulative rate of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations reported during the season may be an under-estimate of the rate at the end of the season because of identification and reporting delays.

    Second, rates of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated hospitalizations were adjusted for the frequency of influenza testing and the sensitivity of influenza diagnostic assays. However, data on testing practices during the 2019-2020 season are not available in real-time. CDC used data on testing practices from the past influenza seasons as a proxy. Burden estimates will be updated at a later date when data on contemporary testing practices become available.

    Third, estimates of influenza-associated illness and medical visits are based on data from prior seasons, which may not be accurate if the seriousness of illness or patterns of care-seeking have changed.”

  22. @ Michael S:
    “All Travel from Europe to the United States suspended for 30 Days (Ban will not apply to the UK )”.
    Things like that lead me to believe that it’s mostly pure politics.
    It is a “pandemic” but we shouldn’t insult the British?! How does THAT work?

  23. @ Reader:
    Also, what about travel and “travel” from the “South of the border”?
    Is that OK, too? Or we shouldn’t insult the Hispanics and should freely and lovingly share our viruses?

  24. @ Buzz of the Orient:
    Choice gallows humor. Perhaps you saw the sad face emoji, at the end of his post? I don’t think there is anyone on this site under 50. If there is, please raise your hand. I’m 60, and, so far as I am aware, I’m the baby, here. I have diabetes, among other problems, and I’ve been home since Monday, as the Center for Disease Control recommended, as I read in the NY Post. I suppose I’ll have to go out, at some point. But, I can laugh about it, at least. “East Drink and Be Merry, for tomorrow, we Die,” eh?

  25. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Can you have your groceries and other goods delivered in your area? I don’t know where you are but I went to Walmart tonight to pick up some disinfecting wipes and it was MOBBED (of course, no wipes). Someone actually had to explain to me why! I picked up a couple of things that I needed but I immediately regretted going out.

  26. @ Reader:
    Yes. Check out instacart and Amazon Prime Now. Though, they are starting to fall behind because of extreme demand. Also Grubhub and Seamless, as well as a local Chinese takeout place that delivers. You can also get stuff delivered online in a couple of days, anyway, particularly through Amazon but there are many sites. You just google what you want and select shopping. I presume you are in the U.S.?

  27. @ Sebastien Zorn:
    Thanks. I used some of these services before.
    I was actually trying to help YOU to stay at home instead of going out to mix with the crowds. Our Walmart delivers also (both groceries and other stuff).
    Of course, one cannot completely avoid going out.
    I was unpleasantly surprised at the turnout at the stores, not realizing that the people were THAT freaked out.
    Most people are stocking up on cleaning supplies, detergents (laundry and dish), disinfectants, paper goods, bottled water, soda (pop), and boxed cereals (and milk by the gallon).
    Some pick up bottled sauces, etc.

  28. @ Reader:
    Thanks. Yes, and I’ve ordered from Walmart before. It comes by UPS. Not perishables, of course. I just came back from shopping at 5 in the morning at a 24 hour gourmet supermarket that’s close by subway. I’m also close to the subway, as well as the bus that stops in front but the buses don’t run as often. There was almost nobody out, except on the subway. I suppose I could have waited for the bus. It would have been emptier. Amazon Prime has no deliveries available and Instacart is now 2 days away. They are both normally same day, within an hour or two, actually, as you know. I most regret not being able to go swimming. I could also have taken a car share but I’m sure the seats aren’t cleaned as often as they are cleaning the subway. Masks seem a little futile but I do carry disposable gloves for when I have to grab onto something. Hand sanitizer is just disgusting, basically slime, though I do use 99.9 percent isopropyl alcohol, somewhat. I actually like the smell, and it evaporates quickly. I read that the slime is necessary for it to stay on your hands long enough to kill the virus but I really hate hand sanitizer. I also don’t like perfumes.

  29. @ Reader:
    Reader,

    Of course politics is involved in every high-level consideration. The US President has been trying for several years, to coax the British into a mutually beneficial; though the UK PM Boris Johnson seems intent on wrecking this by allowing the Chinese to infiltrate his country’s intelligence netword, coddling the Iranians, buying the horrifically costly “Green” pseudo-science, etc. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

    Concerning the coronavirus pandemic, the UK is a minor player compared to the EU, which is likely to suprass China in a few weeks, in its devastating effect on the world. Here’s where the latest cases are being generated:

    Italy ???15113 +2651 (21.3%)
    Spain ???3146 +869 (38.2%)
    Germany ???2745 +718 (35.4%)
    France ???2876 +595 (26.1%)
    United States ???1762 +426 (31.9%)
    Switzerland ???868 +216 (33.1%)

    Allowing Europeans into the US, at this point, is like eating soup laced with the virus (maybe worse — I don’t know how the virus interacts with soup).

  30. @ Michael S:
    I am not advocating allowing Europeans into the US. I am pointing out the oddity of excluding JUST the Europeans and not the British or Latinos.
    Just because their incidence of infection is lower now, doesn’t mean they are safer to interact with.

  31. @ Reader:
    HI, Reader

    I was just answering your question, whether it was rhetorical or not. You are very correct, about no immigrants being “safe”. The horse is out of the barn, with the declaring of a pandemic. In announcing the ban on just Schengen residents, we were momentarily trying to focus our scant resources on the places they are most needed. Other than throwing our hands up in the air (which my wife and I have been doing, in prayer), there’s little we can do.

    Here in Oregon, the veteran’s home near us has gotten infected. The response of the county health director was,

    “I can’t stop it. I can’t stop the virus. I can’t make test kits appear”

    There is a run on masks and other supplies. Our daughter and her family in China and Hong Kong are more concerned for us than for themselves. My daughter’s Chinese sister-in law even asked if she can send us face masks.

    Virtually nobody is being tested here for the virus, and we are left on our own. My wife and I have simply stocked up a little bit, and are avoiding being with people.

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