As 2019 came to a close, I was enjoying the New Year festivities with my friends and family in the brisk California winter. Halfway around the world, in the wet markets of Wuhan City, Hubei province, China, a new and insidious virus was taking roots among a vulnerable population. And soon the entire world radically began to change. We were soon made brutally aware that we truly do live in a “global village”, where the fates of one small town in China can have rippling consequences for the rest of the world.
Very soon, this disease was identified as a novel coronavirus, designated 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, as it would soon be called the world over. By the end of January, China reported an outbreak of nearly 12,000 cases. In the United States there had only been six. No one thought there was anything to worry about. They couldn’t have been more wrong. Neither they, nor I for that matter, could have predicted what would happen in the next few weeks.
In the United States there had only been On 11 March, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. There was no doubt. We knew our world was about to change.