This article is a part of The Ascent Summer Program 2020
By Vir Kamath
When you hear the word “War”, you would mostly think about a war your country was involved in. If you are a fan of history, maybe you would think about World War I and World War II. You are absolutely right because these were brutal times the world faced with most of Europe being a warzone. More than 100 million people died in both World Wars. However, there is one war humanity is fighting and that is our war against Covid-19 or Coronavirus. A war does not always involve the amount of territories that were gained or lost and it does not always involve the military. This is a war being fought by the medical industry to develop a cure to the virus. Scientists and Doctors are racing against time to get this done and it is nothing short of a war.
In World War 1 there were trenches dug deep into the ground filled with corpses, rats and deadly creatures that could easily kill a soldier before the enemy. In World War 2 when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, it caused a devastating number of deaths that included both Japanese civilians and military personnel. The Coronavirus broke loose from Wuhan, China and mysteriously spread from animals to humans. It spread to other countries in February and came to India in March. Due to this virus nearly every country in the world went into lockdown, sports had to be stopped and the economy slowed down too. This can cause much more damage to the world than any war fought in history. The stock market is crashing, many companies are losing money and are forced to fire their employees as a relief attempt to keep the economy alive and kicking. Patients are fighting for their lives and Doctors are battling time to cure patients and find a treatment to the virus.
During World War 1 around 100 countries were involved, 20 million dead (around half were civilians) and a further 21 million wounded after 4 years of bloodshed. World War 2 saw between 80 – 90 million deaths (including civilians) and 25 million wounded after 6 years of war. This war is different. The Guardian states that since the Covid-19 pandemic more than 180+ countries have been affected. The World Health Organization (WHO) claims that 10 million people are infected and nearly 500,000 deaths. This may not seem much compared to both the World Wars. What we do not tend to realise is that World War I and II casualties were measured over the course of 4 (WW1) and 6 (WW2) years. It has been 6 months since the pandemic and half a million people are dead. In the next few months, countries such as India and China are expecting the number of cases to skyrocket. This is a battle to prevent cases as well as deaths.
In the next few months we can expect a second blow in China while India still experiences it’s first. This is a battle like nothing before which is being fought hard. Many new vaccines are being tested by scientists. It is expected that a vaccine will bring things back to normal in 18 months time. Finding a vaccine requires effort, blood, sweat, tears, research, money and time. All that humanity can do till that day arrives is to follow the safety guidelines, practice social distancing and follow all precautions. In spite of the virus (or because of it), we have stood strong and grown closer. This is the first time where a war is not being fought between countries or religions, it is humans vs the virus and during times like these it’s amazing to see the strength and togetherness of everyone in the world. We salute our frontline heroes for keeping us safe. If we continue to learn and unite, we will put this virus in history once and for all. With that humanity will win its biggest and most difficult war.