During World War 1 the German Army developed anthrax, glanders, cholera, and a wheat fungus specifically for use as biological weapons. They allegedly spread the plague in St. Petersburg, Russia. Smallpox has also been used in history as a biological agent. In modern history going back to 1981 AIDS was first identified. The worst diseases in history are listed as Cholera, Bubonic Plague, Smallpox, and Influenza. Outbreaks of these across international borders are called pandemics. The Ebola Virus which has been contained to Africa is only considered an epidemic. The bird flu, or Avian Influenza, is considered a pandemic as well. So as we go in to 2020 we are hit with yet another such virus, the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
The World Health Organization stopped short of calling the Coronavirus a pandemic despite the origin in China and the deaths in Washington State. The criticality of the virus, however, is listed as very high. Cases in the United States are going to require an increase in public health measures, said Dr. Peter Rabinowitz, professor of environmental and occupational health sciences at University of Washington. Some safety tips on the virus are as follows: 1. Wash your hands frequently. Use an alcohol based hand rub for better disinfecting. 2. Watch your social distancing. Respect the distance between you and those who are coughing and/or sneezing. 3. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Maintain good respiratory hygiene (cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing). If you get a fever, have difficulty breathing, and regular coughing seek help.
The Coronavirus scare has far reaching impacts. As a security professional many travel plans for security and their clients have been cancelled. The economic disadvantages are extreme. Here in Utah a 6,000 attendee conference was just postponed. Financially, thousands of people and companies are out money for the time being. Local restaurants, bars, and hotels are economically impacted by this virus and will lose thousands of dollars in revenue. Financial markets are in turmoil nationwide as is the global economy. Having said that this too will pass.
As we go on with our daily lives we must always remain safe and vigilant. This includes our health. It is up to us to remain optimistic and positive and keep our motivation moving forward.