By Ren Busch
Coronavirus Concerns Spreads Globally
As 2019 came to an end and the new year followed, flu season was beginning to run its cycle beginning in December and ending around February. According to Duquesne University, flu season can even sometimes continue into March. They provide different guidelines for how to avoid getting the flu and spreading it. This season, however, was not only affected by the flu, but also a much deadlier virus that the world wasn’t prepared for.
Jan. 15 was the first reported case of coronavirus made public by China. 106 lives have been taken since this first report in Wuhan, China and over 4,500 cases have been confirmed within mainland China. These Chinese cities that have been affected have been put under lockdown, barring people from traveling and attempting to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, within the past 7 days there has been an increasing amount of searches related to Coronavirus and traveling. As more cases get reported, travel bans will become stricter as damage control is done. This outbreak of coronavirus is very similar to the 2003 outbreak of the SARS Coronavirus, so China is doing everything it can to prevent that loss amount from recurring.
5 cases have been reported within the United States, affecting cities like Los Angeles and Chicago. Each case, the person with the virus had been traveling from China. Globally there are more than 70 confirmed cases within 17 different places outside of China, which reinforces the global panic for how widespread this epidemic may come despite the travel bans that have been placed on it.
Australian Bushfires Continue to Raise Climate Change Questions
The bushfires within Australia continue to rage within the continent. Google searches show the affected areas and provide links to donations to help those affected by these bushfires. The fires have claimed at least 31 lives, destroyed thousands of homes, and burned more than 27 million acres of land, affecting a vast amount of the wildlife in that area.
New South Wales is currently being hit with these fires. 3 American firefighters that had volunteered to help extinguish the fires had lost their lives this past Thursday when their air tanker crashed. A memorial service will be held for them on Feb. 23.
According to an analysis of Google search on Google Trends, within the past 7 days there has been a decent correlation between Australia and the search term fire worldwide. With how extreme this natural disaster has been, it can have lasting effects on climate change, which in turn affect the planet as a whole. Although, it was never just an Australian issue, now a global interest in climate change and its effects on the world has grown.
NASA provided a new animation in response to the catastrophic bushfires in Australia to show how this disaster has affected the atmosphere and can globally affect anyone. The animation also shows the effects of Hurricane Dorian, which had taken place from August to September of 2019, as well as some major fires that had affected South American and Indonesia.