By Coin_seed_dent | COVID-19 Apocalyse | 17 Mar 2020

  • The coronavirus is upending the world in ways we usually associate with war, revolution, or terrifying natural disasters like a volcano.
  • On a global scale, the outbreak is still just beginning. It has been decades since so much of the world has experienced so profound a shock at once.
  • At least in the Western world, perhaps only those who can remember the Second World War have lived through something similar.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


 This week:


  • It became illegal to have a beer with a few friends in Los Angeles or New York.
  • Americans and Europeans can no longer freely visit each other’s countries.
  • The Pope gave a service to a physical congregation of virtually zero.
  • China is sending emergency disaster aid to western Europe.
  • The freedom of assembly was effectively removed in a liberal democracy.
  • School was closed for 750 million pupils in more than 100 countries.


Around the world, people are adjusting to a strange new way of life that has usually only been associated with war, natural disasters like a flood, or huge political upheaval.

In some ways, this is completely surreal. The cause of this chaos and disruption is a virus that, as of March 17, has infected 0.002% of the world’s population and killed 0.00009%.

However, as scientists and governments are increasingly realizing, those very small numbers obscure the enormous human cost this virus is capable of exacting.


An abandoned St Peter’s Square, which would usually be heaving with worshippers for the Pope’s weekly Sunday address, is instead empty on March 15, 2020.

Its ability to spread exponentially – and our capacity to model and comprehend this – is both the cause of the reaction so far, and the only reason we may yet get through without a death toll in the tens of millions.

It is easy to think of other events from the past three decades which we understand to have reshaped the world: the fall of the Berlin Wall, the terror attacks on September 11, 2001, the financial crisis of 2008.

The first two affected relatively few of us directly, but had enormous symbolism. The third affected us all, but was difficult to conceptualize on an individual level.


A banner for the ages. #coronavirus

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The coronavirus is both minuscule enough to penetrate the bronchioles of your lungs, yet enormous enough to eviscerate entire industries.

Modern society – despite its technological advances – is still predicated on close human interaction.

For hundreds of millions of people, that most basic of urges is about to be repressed by lockdowns of unprecedented scope and duration.

It is not quite clear what kind of people we will be on the other side.

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COVID-19 Apocalyse
COVID-19 Apocalyse

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).[10] The disease has spread globally since 2019, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. Common symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat are less common symptoms. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms,[14] some progress to pneumonia and multi-organ failure.

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