Because of the COVID-19 pandemic’s urgency, there hasn’t been enough time to find a consensus, iron out discrepancies, and reject wrong turns – and has posed a number of challenges. Owing to a lack of more robust data, provisional non-peer-reviewed results have been given more weight than they merit. Single divisive voices have been exacerbated in some cases. Scientists with legitimately opposing viewpoints have debated on the airwaves for all of us to hear. In the meantime, some of what we thought we learned a year ago has modified, some has grown, and some remains a mystery.
What We Know about COVID-19
Here, we have come up with the knowns of coronavirus unfolded owing to the rigorous work of scientists so far.
♦ Wearing Masks Matters
Since there was no hard evidence, some governments, such as the United Kingdom’s, were hesitant to prescribe masks at first, while others did so anyway. The cautious approach prevailed. Masks have proved to be a quick and efficient way to stop the spread of illness; face visors, on the other hand, are ineffective.
♦ Covid-19 Affects Individuals Differently
In addition to age gaps, the virus seemed to affect men more severely than women, and some ethnic groups were more susceptible than others. Some people also have an enigmatic hidden immunity that they could have developed well before the pandemic.
♦ Ventilation Indoors Matters
The value of preventing airborne contact with the virus indoors has increased as the evidence has strengthened. Cleaning surfaces, wearing masks, and washing hands are still essential, but so is providing fresh air to indoor areas.
♦ Handwashing Matters
In the midst of the panic over localized lockdowns and social isolation, another critical aspect of the coronavirus war was in danger of being overlooked: handwashing. While it is now thought that transmission through inanimate surfaces is impossible, there is evidence that the virus may be found on the hands of infected individuals, suggesting that they may pass it on to others.
♦ Death Rates Vary across Countries
There are a variety of explanations for this, including the way deaths are recorded. It can be hard to measure death rates across countries as a result of this. Such variations in the way deaths are counted are far from exclusive to Covid-19 when an outbreak occurs.
♦ Covid-19 Affects Organs
Despite the fact that Covid-19 is a respiratory virus, it doesn’t only affect the lungs. Scientists have learned it can infect blood vessel cells and affect a variety of other vital organs, including the heart, brain, kidneys, liver, pancreas, and spleen. Also in young, low-risk individuals, the effect has been discovered. Nobody realizes how long the disabilities will last or whether they will ever go away completely.
♦ Covid-19 Spreads Exponentially
People who are vulnerable to this “exponential growth bias” are less anxious about Covid-19’s spread and are less likely to support interventions like social distancing, hand washing, or mask wearing, according to a slew of reports.
♦ Safe and Effective Vaccines
Vaccine scientists focus at breakneck speed and under extreme pressure. They have produced healthy, effective vaccines that have been thoroughly tested in trials, despite the weight of global demand.
♦ Herd Immunity Happens Via Vaccines
Herd immunity is a form of illness resistance that develops in a population as a result of the accumulation of individual immunity. However, contrary to what you might have believed during the pandemic, there are many explanations why this is not normally accomplished by deliberately allowing a virus to spread. Many scientists now conclude that doing so would have resulted in unacceptably high death rates. Herd immunity, on the other hand, may be acquired by vaccines, which cause much less collateral damage and can offer superior protection against natural infections.
♦ Most Vaccines won’t Prevent Transmission
The new Covid-19 vaccines were evaluated based on their potential to prevent people from developing symptoms and becoming sick, rather than their ability to prevent the virus from spreading. While further research is needed to see whether the vaccines will also prevent virus transmission, there are some early signs that both the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine can minimize transmission. Some vaccinations may be able to completely avoid it, according to early indications.
What We don’t Know about COVID-19
The research is still underway, and we’re constantly learning new things about this virus. Here’s a list of a few unsolved mysteries that researchers expect to learn more about in near future:
♦ How the Virus is Mutating
The coronavirus collects subtle variations to its genetic code each time it spreads from individual to individual, but scientists are beginning to find trends in how the virus mutates.
♦ What the Next Pandemic could Look Like
Which illnesses are most likely to be the source of the next global pandemic? The timespan of last few weeks has been spent over investigating six of the illnesses most likely to trigger the next one, as well as the work being done to prevent them.
♦ The Long-Term Effects of the Virus
How long will Long Covid-19 patients be negatively impacted? What would the virus’s epigenetic effects be? (Or, to put it another way, will its consequences be passed down through the generations?) Not to mention the social and economic consequences.
♦ The Virus’ Environmental Impact
While short-term emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants fell sharply at the start of the global lockdowns, they quickly rebounded over the course of the year. In total, CO2 emissions decreased by just over 6% in 2020. However, environmentalists wonder if our Covid-19 crisis-response mode might help model our response to climate change, because there’s a possibility the pandemic will have a longer-term effect.