6 Months in, and the “Worst is Yet to Come”

A man protects his son as the casket of his grandfatheris lowered into the ground in Maryland, April 13, 2020. Image: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty
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A man protects his son as the casket of his grandfatheris lowered into the ground in Maryland, April 13, 2020. Image: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty

The “worst is yet to come” with COVID-19—and our “divided world” is accelerating its spread, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference yesterday marking 6 months since the first case was announced in China.

A look back at GHN headlines reveals how the virus snowballed into a tragic pandemic—from the first inkling that this could be the big one, to the resignation that the virus would cause the world’s wealthiest countries to buckle:

  • Jan. 2: Mystery Pneumonia Hits China
  • Jan. 6: China’s Mystery Outbreak Isn’t SARS
  • Feb. 3: A Pandemic Looks Likely
  • Feb. 24: Past the Point of Containment
  • Feb. 28: Troubling Flaws In First US Response Moves
  • Mar. 12 WHO: COVID-19 Is Officially A Pandemic
  • Mar. 13: "War-Like" Conditions In COVID-19 Fight
  • Mar. 26: “Apocalyptic Surge” Of COVID-19 Patients Challenge NYC Hospitals
  • May 14: The Forever Virus?

As it became clear the outbreak could not be contained, it forced unprecedented ethical reckonings over the rationing of care, racism in health care, and the protection health workers.

It revealed that humanity needs to do better.

The world has seen “heartwarming acts of resilience, inventiveness, solidarity, and kindness,” Tedros said, but it had also witnessed “concerning signs of stigma, misinformation, and the politicization of the pandemic.”

Through the tumultuous twists and turns, GHN has aimed to distill an overwhelming flood of news—and offer our own take. We've sought out the voices of global health’s most esteemed scientists to inform our coverage—with our “star-studded” Expert Reality Checks series, and exclusives on topics from treatments (COVID-19’s Stop-Gap Solution Until Vaccines And Antivirals Are Ready), to the importance of upholding accuracy amid the break-neck speed of research, to shaping the public health response (“We Need an Army”: A National Plan for Contact Tracing in the US), to our recent look at long-term effects on survivors.

We could never have imagined we’d be at this point—but GHN is in it for the long haul. And we are grateful to all of our valuable readers and contributors.

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