For many of us, the Covid-19 pandemic started and took hold too quickly for us to really take stock of what actually happened. There is a lot of misinformation around about what caused it, how it spread so much across the world and how well we are doing in the battle against it.
To help fill in some of the gaps, we wanted to provide a brief overview of what we know so far about it all.
When it First Emerged
Although it was not until January/February that many of us were aware of it as Covid-19, in China, where the virus is believed to have originated, as early as December 2019, according to an article published on January 20th, Chinese epidemiologists stated that there was the first cluster of patients who suffered from a form of pneumonia with an unknown cause.
B the end of December 2019, Chinese authorities had contacted the WHO to inform them of these cases.
There was a lot of secrecy, but on January 11th, 2020, Chinese state media, reported that the first death from an illness related to what became known as Covid-19, had occurred. The first confirmed case was a man who was 61 years old and a regular customer at the Wuhan markets where the virus originated.
First Cases Outside of China
It was only just over a week later on January 20th, that there were reports of the first cases outside China. These occurred in Thailand, South Korea, and Japan. While the following day, the first confirmed case in the United States was reported in Washington State, as a man had developed symptoms following a trip to China, specifically Wuhan.
First Time the Illness Passes Onto Someone in the UK
On February 28th not only did the first British Covid-19 victim die on the Diamond Princess cruise liner, but authorities confirmed that there was the first instance of the illness passing onto another person within the country. In only a few short days, on March 4th, UK officials announced the biggest one-day increase from 34 to 87 total cases and by March 10th, 6 people had died and 373 had tested positive.
As the number of cases rose, the government gradually introduced more and more measures to try and reduce and slow down the increase. On March 13th, several high profile sports events were postponed, such as Premier League matches and the London Marathon and then on March 18th, the UK government announced that most schools throughout the country, including Scotland, England and Wales would close until further notice.
Following that announcement on the 20th, the UK government ordered restaurants, pubs, gyms, and all other social public venues to close, with March 23rd proving to be a landmark time as Boris Johnson addressed the nation stating that all British citizens should stay at home and only go out to buy groceries and essentials, exercise once a day or work if they can’t work from home. Fines were put in place for anyone who didn’t comply with these restrictions.
One Million Cases Worldwide
A lot happened throughout lockdown, with citizens showing their support up and down the nation for the NHS by clapping, cheering, and ringing bells at 8pm every Thursday from March 26th onwards. The government unveiled various financial plans to help people affected by the coronavirus pandemic, whether directly or indirectly.
Sadly, by April 2nd, the total number of cases worldwide reached 1m.
Even more shocking on a domestic front was the fact that on April 9th, the UK recorded its highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic at 938 deaths within 24 hours.
Vaccine Trial Starts
As soon as the pandemic was announced as such, scientists around the world rushed to develop a vaccine that could help. On April 22nd, the first human Covid-19 vaccine trial started, with the world looking hopefully towards Britain.
It would be hard to digest all that occurred, but what was amazing, even if there were a lot of failings, was that within the space of a year, a vaccine was developed and then rolled out to fight this new illness. By March 2021, one year after the national lockdown was first enforced, the UK was slowly returning to normal. Although we still live with Covid-19 and many of the restrictions and regulations that were in place have remained, the vaccine rollout has been considered a monumental success and with testing improved too, there is a lot more positivity about living with Covid-19.