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Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 03 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1336

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Still on COVID-19 Pandemic as a ‘COVID Phenomenon’: beyond impact on the goals of sustainable development

The ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’, a ‘Devastatingly Dynamically Ravaging Scourge’, is a ‘COVID PHENOMENON’ [1,2]! The ‘Negative’-‘Positive’ Impacts of the ‘Pandemic’ on Human Existence-Development have been variously exposed [3-8]! The more ‘Difficult Challenges’ task the ‘World Preparedness and Capacity’ to incontrovertibly ‘Weather the Storm’ [3], strategically ‘Identify and Overcome’ the ‘Negative Impacts’ to save ‘Humanity’ from the ‘Ravaging Devastation’ [4,5,7] and programmatically ‘Systematically Optimize-Sustain’ the ‘Positive Impacts’ assuring ‘Sustainable Development’ for ‘Our Common Humanity’ [1,6,8]!

The ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ is disposed as a ‘COVID PHENOMENON’ impacting on ‘ALL 17 Integrated SDGs’ [1,2,9-11]! The strict ‘Definition-Requirements’ for an ‘Occurrence’ as ‘COVID PHENOMENON’ imply ‘Significant Impact’ on ‘Virtually ALL Aspects of Human Existence-Development’ denominated practically as impacting on ‘At least ALL 17 SDGs’ or on ‘At least 70% of the 17 SDGs (12 SDGs) and ‘Other Aspects-Spheres’’ [1,2]! The ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ demonstrably impacts on ‘ALL 17 SDGs’ but the ‘Definition-Requirements’ MANDATES that if the ‘Human Existential-Developmental Impacts’ are SOLELY on the ‘SDGs’, then the ‘Impacts’ MUST be on ‘ALL 17 SDGs’; An ‘ALL OR NONE’ Situation’ and Being ‘At least 17 SDGs’, there could be ‘Other Aspects too (Beyond the SDGs)’!! If the ‘Impacts’ are not restrictively on the ‘SDGs’, then ‘At least 12 SDGs are required BUT ‘Other Aspects (Beyond the SDGs)’ MUST be established to sustain the ‘COVID PHENOMENON’ Status [1,2]!

Concerning the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ as a ‘COVID PHENOMENON’, there are ‘Defining Impacts’ on ‘ALL 17 SDGs’ but there could be impact on ‘Other Aspects’ because of the ‘Definition-Requiremen’t: ‘At least ALL 17 SDGs’! This ‘Communication’ disposes these ‘Other Aspects (Beyond SDGs)’ impacted on by the ‘Pandemic’:

1. Politics: Politics, from the outset, encapsulated the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’! This resulted in ‘Scientific-Factual-Nomenclatural Difficult Challenges’ with the ‘Appropriate Coronavirus Source-Origin’: ‘China’, ‘Outside China’ etc! Also, the ‘Appropriate Coronavirus Name’: ‘Wuhan Virus’, ‘Wuhan Coronavirus’, ‘China Coronavirus’, ‘China Virus’, ‘Chinese Virus’, ‘American Coronavirus’, ‘Virus of the COVID-19’, ‘COVID-19 Virus’, ‘2019-nCoV’, ‘nCoV-2019’, ‘SARS-CoV-2’, ‘Human Coronavirus 2019 (HCoV-19)’ etc [4,12-16]! The WHO named it ‘2019-nCoV’ while the ‘International Committee on Virus Taxonomy’ named it ‘SARS-CoV-2’!! Similarly, the ‘Appropriate Disease Name’ has been an ‘Issue’: ‘Kung-Flu’, ‘Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)’ etc with a plethora of ‘Confusing Literature Documentation’ frustrating an ‘Intelligent-Focused’ ‘Literature Search’ using ‘Keywords’-‘Medical Subject Heading (MeSH)’ etc: COVID-19, Covid-19, covid-19, Coronavirus (Covid-19), Corona Virus!! The ‘Interventions Politics’ is protean: To ‘Intervene or Not’, ‘Interventions re: Content, Magnitude, Duration, Relaxation Time’, ‘Citizen-Compliance or Not’ etc! The ‘Virus Aerosolization Politics’-‘Airborne Transmission’ and ‘Mask Production-Use’ are legion!! The ‘Adequate Performance’ of some ‘Relevant Bodies’ have also not been spared the ‘Politics Brush’: WHO, CDC etc! The ‘WHO Funding’ is also receiving the ‘Politics-Paint and Splash’!! There has also been ‘Politics’ of the ‘Credibility of Reported National-International Numbers/ Data’!!!

2. Religion: With the ‘Global Mitigation Measures’ of ‘Social Distancing’, ‘Social Solidarity’, ‘Psychological Distancing’, ‘Self-Isolation’, ‘Mass Gatherings Restrictions’ and the ‘Universal and Specific Precautionary Measures’ (Hand-washing Technique/ Hand Hygiene/ Appropriate Hand Sanitizer Use) with the ‘Government Declared-Enforced Orders’ (‘Stay at Home’-‘Lockdowns-Shutdowns’-‘Shelter-in-Place’), ALL ‘Religious Public Worships’ have largely been ‘Prohibited’! Various ‘Religious Faiths-Denominations-Sects’ have had to, ‘Ingeniously, Imaginatively and Innovatively’, evolve ‘ICT-compliant Alternatives’ to their usual ‘Public Worships’: Live Streaming, Virtual Worship, Social Media Possibilities etc!! With the ‘Pandemic’, it has become clear that ‘Religion-Faith’ and ‘Science-Reason’ are not ‘Mutually Exclusive’! Indeed, ‘Divinity’ is being ‘Universally Revered and Acclaimed’ in ‘Prayers’!! The ‘Cosmos’ is unquestionably under ‘Transcendental Control’ and the ‘Pandemic’ is possibly requiring ‘Divine Transcendental-Immanent Interventions’!!!

3. Science and Technology: Ordinarily, the ‘Integrated Triad’ is ‘Science-Technology-Innovation (STI)’ but ‘Innovation’ is subsumed within the ‘SDG9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure’! With ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’, there is ‘Intense Performance Pressure-Stress for Accelerated Output’ with worrisome ‘Best Practices Production Issues’ in ‘Science and Technology’ re: ‘Screening-Test Kits Production’, ‘Vaccines Production/ Trials’, ‘Treatment Drugs Production/ Trials’ etc! These raise ‘Critical Issues’: ‘Effectiveness’, ‘Safety’, ‘Sensitivity’, ‘Specificity’ etc!!

4. Annual/ Scheduled Meetings-Events: Several ‘Meetings-Conferences-Conventions-Seminars’ (Local-National-International; Multilateral!) have been Cancelled, Rescheduled, Postponed or ‘Conducted with ICT-compliant Alternatives’ including Tele-Conferencing, Video-Conferencing, Webinars, other Cloud-based Technologies etc! Very well-known ‘World Events-Competitions-Championships’ have similarly been affected: Olympics, Regional Football Championships, Tennis Grand Slams, Golf Masters, Boxing Matches, Cricket Tests, NFL etc!!!

5. Migration-Immigration: In a ‘Globalized Borderless World’, there were increasing ‘Migration-Immigration Challenges’ facing several Nations! These have been ‘Confounded-Compounded’ with the ‘Country Lockdowns-Shutdowns’ occasioned by the ‘Pandemic’! This has implications for ‘Population Diversity Conservation’!!

6. Transparency-Integrity-Conflicts of Interest: The ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ has unearthed the ‘Cryptic Traits’ in ‘World Leaderships’ vis-a-vis capacity for ‘Independent Trusted Tested Objective Informed Robust Decisions’ for the benefit of ‘Humanity’ re: ‘Solidarity’, ‘Subsidiarity’ and ‘The Common Good’! There ought to be ‘No Ulterior Interests’, ‘No Conflicts of Interest’ and ‘Honesty-Transparency Palpably Disposed’!!’

7. Emergency Preparedness Capacity: The ‘Pandemic’, with a ‘Knee-Jerk Response’, exposed the bothersome ‘Emergency Preparedness Capacity’ at ALL Levels: Local-National-International! This is ‘Food For Thought’ and a ‘Lesson for Today with an Envisioned Future’!

8. Human History/ Learnable Lessons-Lessons Learnt: The World has an ‘Epidemics-Pandemics Experience Armoury’ but ‘Lessons Learnt’ paled into oblivion with ‘Unacceptable Avoidable Missed Opportunities’ in ‘ALL Aspects’ of the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ [14,17]! Emerging from this, ‘Weathering the Storm’ [3,4,5,7,8], the World with ‘History and Leant Lessons’ MUST eclipse these ‘Missed Opportunities’!!

9. Infodemic: With the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’, there has been a ‘Rainbow of Information Avalanche’ aptly tagged ‘COVID-19 Infodemic’: Misinformation, Disinformation, Myths, Memes, Rumours, Inappropriately Contextualized Concepts, Down-Played Facts, Misleading Communication, Information Toxicity etc! There MUST be ‘Antidote’: ‘Improved World Health Literacy’!

10. Cosmopolitan Moments: The World, for any number of ‘Reasons’, may stoutly resist taking/ effecting some ‘Decisions-Interventions’! At some ‘Critical Moments and in some Compelling Circumstances’, the ‘Cosmopolitan Moments’ [18], the World is FORCED to ‘Take and Effect These Critical Globally Impactful Decisions-Intervention’; The ‘Debutants’: New ‘Actors’-‘Changes’-‘Processes’ for ‘Decisions-Interventions’ on ‘An Issue’! The ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ is the 2020 ‘Impetus’-‘Catalyst’ in the 21st Century!!

This ‘Communication’ affirms, once again, ‘COVID-19 Pandemic’ as a ‘COVID PHENOMENON’ with demonstrable ‘Significant Impacts’ on ‘ALL 17 Integrated SDGs’ and further exposes ‘Other Aspects-Spheres of Impact on Human Existence-Development’ that are clearly ‘Beyond the SDGs’!

1. Eregie C. O. COVID Phenomenon: An innovative conceptual coinage in human development and sustainable development in the 21st Century. of 9th April 2020
2. Eregie C.O. Breastfeeding and ‘COVID Phenomenon’: Demystifying the innovative conceptual coinage in human development and sustainable development. of 12th April 2020
3. Godlee F. COVID-19: Weathering the storm. BMJ 2020; 368:m1199 of 26th March 2020
4. Eregie C.O. COVID-19 Pandemic: The difficult unresolved increasing challenges in weathering the storm. of 31st March 2020
5. Eregie C.O. COVID-19 Pandemic: Still on the difficult unresolved increasing challenges in weathering the storm. of 2nd April 2020
6. Kickbusch I, Leung GM, Bhutta ZA, Matsoso MP, Ihekweazu C, Abbasi K. Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down. BMJ 2020; 369:m1336 of 3rd April 2020
7. Eregie C.O. COVID-19 Pandemic: Further perspectives on the difficult unresolved increasing challenges in weathering the storm. of 5th April 2020
8. Eregie C.O. COVID-19 Pandemic: The daunting challenges of assuring sustainable benefits from weathering the storm. of 8th April 2020
9. UNDP. Sustainable Development Goals. Accessed 6th April 2020
10. SDG Index. SDSN Public Opinion Survey: Covid-19 Impacts on the SDGs. of 31st March 2020
11. UNDP. Coronavirus disease COVID-19 Pandemic: Humanity needs leadership and solidarity to defeat the coronavirus. Accessed 6th April 2020
12. Zhu N, Zhang D, Wang W et al. A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China, 2019. N Eng J Med DOI:10.1056/NEJMMoa2001017 of 24th January 2020
13. Gorbalenya AE, Baker SC, Bric RS et al. Severe ARS-related Coronavirus: the species and its viruses- a statement of the Coronavirus Study Group. BioRxxiv 2020 DOI:2020.02.07.937862 of 11th February 2020
14. WHO. Disease Outbreaks. of 12th February 2020
15. Jang S, Shi Z, Shu Y et al. A distinct name is needed for the new coronavirus. Lancet 2020; 395:949
16. Wu Y, Ho W, Huang Y et la. SARS-CoV-2 is an appropriate name for the new coronavirus. Lancet 2020; 395:949-950
17. COVID-19: Lessons and Recommendations. of 12th March 2020
18. Kickbusch I. Governing the global health security domain. 2016. Accessed 10th April 2020

Professor Charles Osayande Eregie,
MBBS, FWACP, FMCPaed, FRCPCH (UK), Cert. ORT (Oxford), MSc (Religious Education),
Professor of Child Health and Neonatology, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria and
Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria.
UNICEF-Trained BFHI Master Trainer and ICDC-Trained in Code Implementation.
*Technical Expert/ Consultant on the FMOH-UNICEF-NAFDAC Code Implementation Project in Nigeria.
*No Competing Interests.

Competing interests: No competing interests

14 April 2020
Professor of Child Health and Neonatology, University of Benin and Consultant Paediatrician and Neonatologist, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Nigeria. Also, UNICEF-Trained BFHI Master Trainer and ICDC-Trained in Code Implementaion. Also a Technical Expert/ Consultant on FMOH-UNICEF-NAFDAC Project on Code Implementation in Nigeria
Institute of Child Health, College of Medical Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.