The chain of impacts of the coronavirus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and on the life of the people

Some people keep thinking that the world health crisis faced with the coronavirus is accentuated by the media to distract their attention from other issues. Some think that the coronavirus is a fake news. Some also often joke on coronavirus on social media or spread false information. Instead, they should have a look at the reality of the data and the facts that happen in other countries, because sooner or later their countries will be reached.
Maybe, some people estimate that a death rate of 3,4% is acceptable for them.

Those people are scared, refuse to admit it or are not even aware that they are scared because their inner alarm is not red yet, meaning that joking or passing false information is a way for them to stay in their zone of confort. Indeed, the use of the jokes or the denials are two very well-known techniques that the human brains use to protect when they face hard realities with potential dramatic consequences. In these cases, their brains are deceptive, then the people should listen to their hearts…

Indeed, this situation of the coronavirus pandemic must be seen taking into account four axes…

Axe 1: the disease

For many people, as long the virus was contained in China, this coronavirus was a distant disease. The people heard about the outbreak in China, saw it on the news in a more present way each day, until the day, the virus was exported with the first cases mostly in Italy and Iran, and now the coronavirus spreads all over the world with 93 countries, on this day of the 6th of March.

The level of 100 000 infected people is reached today. The cases in Iran are blooming with 1234 new cases today (4747 cases at total in a period of 2 weeks of time). Italy reaches tonight 4636 cases (197 deaths since the beginning of the epidemic).


In its previous article, written on the 4th of March and called “Slowing the propagation of the coronavirus and ensuring the continuity of education for the children with the on-line school”, the IMEDD showed that:

  • 15 countries had passed the level of the 50 cases of coronavirus
  • 11 countries had passed the level of the 100 cases of coronavirus
  • The first human loss generally occurs when the level of 100 cases is reached (for most countries, though, the first death can happen before the 100 cases for a very small number of countries)
  • Once the 1000 cases are reached, the death rate starts to rise.

Let’s compare those data listed two days ago, to the today’s data:

  • 22 countries passed the level of the 50 cases of coronavirus
  • 15 countries passed the level of the 100 cases of coronavirus
  • In Norway, Canada and the U.S.A, three countries, still in the low numbers of contamination, see their numbers of deaths, rise up to 7% for Norway, 5% for the U.S.A (in decrease) and 23% for Canada (with 48 cases and 11 deaths on the 6th of March which is much higher than the other countries). Canada and Norway are still between 50 and 100 cases. The U.S.A overpassed the 230 cases.

We then see that the penetration of the virus in certain countries, in the early beginning of their national epidemic, follows a tendency of causing the first deaths, when 50 cases are reached. The measures of prevention and containing are very highly recommended, as we already see that those countries face higher death rates.

So, it has to be understood that the death rate varies depending on many factors, and even though for the first 100 000 world cases, the death rate reaches 3,4% on the 3rd March, it doesn’t mean that it can forever stay at this level and for many reasons:

  1. Death rates in some countries happen at the early stage of the penetration of the virus (under 50 cases).
  2. The health infrastructures, globally speaking, are not dimensioned enough to face the size of the epidemic, meaning that some patients won’t be cured as they should normally be.
  3. All the countries are not equal in terms of the financing of medical researches, pharma infrastructures, vaccines testing/production and putting onto market, underlining the fact that even if a vaccine is produced someday and is accessible in certain countries, it won’t be the case for all or in a small proportion. That means that the disease could continue to spread in the countries that don’t have vaccines, even though some other countries use a vaccine, and there is no proof today that the people can’t be contaminated several times by the coronavirus.
  4. It seems that some countries “test some existing products” on cases in very advanced and critical stage of the disease. It was reported from Thailand that a HIV vaccine had been given to fight the coronavirus.
  5. It seems that the component of the coronavirus is able to evolve and that it is able to adapt to the specificities of the populations, as the General Director of the Health Department of the French Government explained, there is a “French coronavirus”. That leads to the following question: what about the French who live abroad in the most critical countries? Will they need the French vaccine or will they be able to have the vaccine from their host country abroad?

Hundreds of points could be added to explain why this period is called “world health crisis” and why the international organizations call the governments and the people to quick action.

  • Yes, there are many questions on which everybody would like a response => We have no time. The spreading goes too fast…
  • Yes, things are not clear => We all know, the virus is too new. Everybody works to provide more and more information for a better understanding of all.
  • Yes, the curve of cases and the curve of death rate are exponential => Exponential means that once it starts to grow it takes unconsiderable proportions that nobody can master. This is a fact that needs to be accepted.

Below the exponential growth of the coronavirus.
The orange line concerns China and shows that the country is in the phase of stability.
The yellow line concerns the rest of the world and shows that all the countries (apart from China) are at the very early stage of the growth of the propagation of the coronavirus.

It is very sad to say it, but the world community is not anymore in the moment of asking itself questions about the why, who, when, how… Each country faces a counter of cases.
Some countries even already have a daily death rate counter.

On the 3412 deaths until today in the world, 90% of them are from China. After 2,5 months of strong epidemic, China seems to see a stability (maybe even a small decrease) in its daily number of cases.
It also means that none of the other countries of the world has yet started its terrible growth curve of the death rate, apart maybe from Italy and Iran, but the other countries will unfortunately follow.

It’s a question of days now everywhere on earth.
Once the 50 cases are passed, the propogation goes on.

The question is simple.
Is each country that waits to act ready to assume that more of its people will be left behind?
If your own personal response is “no”, spread the word about the effects of the coronavirus, connect to the World Health Organization, the Public Health Organizations of your country/region, share the updates of your region/country on Facebook or the other social media and undertake the safest measures to avoid the coronavirus stay away from you.

Axe 2: the capacity of response of the public health infrastructures

The rapid outbreak of the coronavirus in China showed the difficulties of managing the disease and in the same time, China was very efficient in building mobile structures of testing and hospitals to contain the disease, which seems to have worked as the number of cases slowly is now stable or even starts to decrease.

South Korea seems to bring a good response too as its death rate reaches only 0,6% vs 3,4% in average, meaning that the country benefits some good health measures of prevention and a good health care system.

The other countries (mostly the developed countries) have already announced that even if their healthcare level is good in a normal situation, they will have difficulties to respond to the needs of the population. There are not enough beds in the hospitals, the sanitary workers work all day and night long to maintain a good continuity of the healthcare. The work force fears for the upcoming weeks with the increasing number of serious cases who will need to go to the hospitals for critical state of health.

Beside the coronavirus, the hospitals deal with the everyday health issues. Those patients who suffer from other diseases or even the patients who would need sudden operations could face some very difficult situations in their management by the healthcare system.

It must be understood that in a hospital, all kinds of diseases and cases are found. Sending the entire population to the hospitals would make the health structures become a place of contamination for everyone, and it wouldn’t serve, nor the ill people from coronavirus, nor the people already in the hospital who suffer from another disease.

We also need to think about the Medical Work Force. Are they all equipped with the health protections? How long will they be able to remain safe and not too tired to cure the other people? We need to recall that from the experiences of crisis in the periods of after terrorism events, it is known that the Police and the Army Forces are exhausted because they need to work nights and days. The capacities of the human beings are not extensible on long term. It has to be planned with the recruitment of extra work forces if needed.

Hundreds of points could be added to explain why this coronavirus situation is a threat for the entire world healthcare system, though now that the situation is known and publically said by most of the countries, the time is not anymore to talk nor complain but rapidly understand why the world talks about a health crisis:

  1. for the countries: by deblocking special funds dedicated to the health structures to ensure the best continuity of the care.
  2. for the people: by understanding that the containing of the coronavirus is part of their own responsibility. They are the ones who can act not to catch the disease, while keeping the healthcare system as the tool to use for critical cases.

The question is:
Do we want to have all a public health response when we need it?
If your own personal response is “yes”, undertake the safest measures to avoid the coronavirus in order to delay the moment you catch the disease and need to go to the hospital, or even go through with luck.

Axe 3: the coronavirus must be seen like the Titanic

The goal is not at all to make the people panic, obviously not, though the goal is to make them aware of the how was born this world health crisis and how it can be overpassed using the only international common framework for the countries, the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Let’s make it easy for all… (It’s an example obviously).
Let’s compare the earth to the boat Titanic and let’s say that the populations are the passengers of this massive boat. Now, that we know that our boat, the Titanic doesn’t have enough safety canoes, the time has come to learn how to swim in the sea on our own. Like a fish, the goal is to avoid the oil spills and the tons of micro-plastic.
We have the choice though to live all in a yellow submarine… 

In other terms, more concrete, we all need to learn and navigate with this scourge of virus that decimates our countries. The things need to be called as they are. The coronavirus is a scourge that threatens each person of the earth. We all learnt from the World History that some pandemic had the terrible power to erase millions of people from the surface of the earth.

The question is:
Do we want the story to repeat or have we learnt from the history? If your response is “yes, we learnt from the history”, consider the coronavirus as a world health crisis to make the people aware of the effects of a global pandemic and the incapacity of the whole world system and people to respond. That’s unfortunately what we need to learn from this crisis. We now live in full uncertainty for future.

Axe 4: Impacts of the coronavirus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Why should all the countries and populations rapidly prepare and react to the effects of the coronavirus?

Considering the situation of the coronavirus, the IMEDD made a research studying for each point of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG), the impact of the coronavirus (more information about the UNSDG here: “There is a plan for the earth, the UNSDG”) . Unfortunately, the coronavirus affects all the points of the United Nations Sustainable Development, showing the capacity of a small unknown virus to destabilize the world system in terms of economy, social and environment. Below, this table explains for each point of the UNSDG the impacts of the coronavirus. The strategy of action to resist to the coronavirus is mostly by transfering the world on-line, knowing that everybody is concerned by this scourge called coronavirusthe only question is not “if” but “when”.

Once all this is said, the best is to stay calm, pragmatic and prepare. There are enough serious international information today that send the red warning. The best is to take the safest measures of health preventionconnect on social media to learn and follow the epidemic, wait for the wave of coronavirus to pass while being positive and keeping developing creativity and empowering initiatives on-line for the community.


Read all the IMEDD’s articles since the beginning of the covid19’s crisis in Italy: