President Putin Manages to Divert the World’s Attention from COVID-19 With One Move

In the spring of 1918, just as the tensions concerning World War 1 were just starting to wane, the deadliest strain of influenza known to modern history was spreading among the army ranks and the world as a whole.  While it is true that the first record of this disease ever making the headlines was in May 1918 by Spanish media, there had however been several reports of people coming down with the disease. The first of which was in a military base in Kansas on March 11, 1918. This disease continued to spread culminating in a pandemic known today as the Spanish flu that infected about one-third of the world population. An analysis into the progression of this pandemic showed that the death toll could have been milder and contained if the world was not so engrossed in the war but paid a bit more attention to the flu.

Read Also: Comparing COVID-19 to the 1918 Spanish Flu

COVID-19

COVID-19

Fast forward to the present day Russian-Ukrainian crisis gaining the world’s attention. On the 24th February 2022, President Putin declared a ‘special military operation’ in Eastern Ukraine, including Kyiv, her capital and the cascade of events following this declaration is still a matter of world concern. The war called the world’s attention to the crisis and the parties involved but also drew out that same attention from other consequential matters, especially the still existent Covid19. Can it then be said that Putin succeeded in gaining attention?

Covid-19, our present or past?

The novel human coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China on the 31st December 2019. This disease affects the respiratory tract and presents with symptoms as mild as the usual fever and sore throat, and as severe as difficulty swallowing and loss of speech, in just one month rose to become Public health of Emergency of International concern.

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To slow down the spread of the disease, the World Health Organization recommended certain safety guidelines which were to be adhered to while efforts were being made to develop a vaccine against the disease. These guidelines include:

  • Maintaining a safe distance (at least 1 meter) from others.
  • Wearing a face mask in public, especially indoors or when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Staying in well-ventilated areas.
  • Washing the hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Covering the nose and mouth with a bent arm or elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing.

As expected these rules were strictly adhered to by various countries in the world and eventually necessitated total shut down of schools, religious centers of worship, markets, banks, etc. The world felt the power of a single organism just like it did in 1918.

It is March 2022 and the world still suffers from this disease. Various variants of the SARS-Covid-19 had since emerged and plans are still in place to contain the disease.

Read Also: Russian-Ukrainian Conflict and Its Implications on the Health of Displaced Non-Ukrainians Marginalized Because of Skin Color

Surprisingly, on the 24th February 2022, it seemed like the world forgot the millions of death to Covid-19. It seemed as though the world has turned a blind eye to Covid-19 and instead picked up interest in a new happening, the Russia- Ukraine conflict. Like the Spanish flu of 1918, the news headlines no longer carry warnings of new strains of the Covid-19 but headlines on the new strategies by Putin to pacify Ukraine. With one move Putin the president of Russia has succeeded in diverting the world’s attention from a disease that has so far caused millions of deaths worldwide to a conflict that could take away resources that could be used otherwise to fight and prevent any new variants that may arise.

Conclusion

Is the world on a path of repeating history? Indeed, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has gotten all the attention but at what cost?

Read Also: Russia Ukraine Conflict: Constant Exposure to Negative News Can Raise Anxiety Levels

References

1918 Pandemic Influenza Historic Timeline | Pandemic Influenza (Flu) | CDC

As the 1918 Flu Emerged, Cover-Up and Denial Helped It Spread – HISTORY

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