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National COVID-19 Day – March 11, 2023

National COVID-19 Day falls on March 11 of each year, as this was the day that the World Health Organization (WHO) declared it a global pandemic. The goal of establishing this day is to take a moment to halt, reflect, remember, and gather together as a community to inspire one another to hope for better days ahead. Nothing speaks more powerfully about the human spirit than resilience — and resilience is what shines through all of the sadness and mind-numbing exhaustion of the COVID-19 pandemic.

History of National COVID-19 Day

The inaugural National COVID-19 Day is observed on March 11, 2021. However, Jamie Aten of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute proclaimed the day a special observance in 2020. The Humanitarian Disaster Institute was able to hold this event by collaborating with global organizations such as World Vision and VOMO. The date of March 11 was chosen since that is when WHO designated COVID-19 a global epidemic. It is a bittersweet observance because it attempts to remember those lost to the epidemic while also bringing together those who survived the waves. Furthermore, this day is notable for its humanitarian attitude, which attempts to express appreciation to all volunteers and service providers who assisted those in need while also continuing to support those who are still affected by the pandemic and its aftermath.

The coronaviruses’ common ancestor lived 10,000 years ago, according to preliminary scientific dating. The virus is carried by a variety of bat and bird species that have evolved over tens of millions of years. There is no evidence that the most recent common ancestor of coronaviruses is millions of years older than earlier studies suggested because the virus evolved with the evolution of these specific species.

In terms of human coronaviruses, the first was found in 1965 in the United Kingdom. At the Common Cold Research Unit in Wiltshire, a virus known as B814 was discovered and produced in a small child with a cold, and it was described as being exclusive to the respiratory tract. In 1966, researchers at the University of Chicago made a similar discovery. During the next two years, more strains were cultivated, and a group of these researchers classified these strains as the coronavirus family in a letter to “Nature Magazine” in 1968.

When the SARS outbreak in southern China started at the end of 2002, it was discovered to be a strain of the coronavirus 2003. Different novel strains of coronavirus were isolated and identified at various stages until the year 2012, particularly in individuals suffering from pneumonia. SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus, was discovered in China’s Wuhan District in the year 2020.

National COVID-19 Day timeline

1960s
Initial Coronaviruses are Discovered

The first coronaviruses are found independently.

1986
An Italian Study Reveals Antibodies are Produced

Antibodies to the virus are found in a study of adults and children who had the virus in Northern Italy.

2003
The SARS Outbreak

The SARS outbreak is identified as a coronavirus strain.

2020
SARS-CoV-2 is Identified as the Most Transmissible

Also known as COVID-19, this strain of coronavirus is highly transmissible, with a mortality rate of around 1%.

National COVID-19 Day FAQs

When was COVID-19 first identified?

The World Health Organization (WHO) initially learned of an outbreak of pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, China, around the end of December 2019. The cause was unknown at the time. Chinese authorities only discovered the virus that was causing this in early January 2020 and dubbed it COVID-19 after the year of the epidemic.

How long have coronaviruses existed?

The coronavirus has a common ancestor known as M.R.C.A., which is thought to have existed since 8000 B.C. According to other research, it may have evolved with bats and birds as far back as 55 million years ago.

What are coronaviruses?

Coronaviruses, or ‘CoVs,’ are a type of virus that causes a variety of respiratory infections and diseases. These can range from something as simple as a common cold to more serious illnesses like pneumonia and other lethal infections. The term ‘novel coronavirus’ refers to any new virus strain (nCoV).

How to Observe National COVID-19 Day

  1. Join a virtual event

    On this day each year, there is an official COVID-19 Day event held virtually, with speakers and even a concert. It’s a time to remember those lost to the pandemic. If you feel particularly inspired to plan an event of your own, that is encouraged by the H.D.I. team, and they have a special register which one can do.

  2. Be resourceful

    National COVID-19 Day is expected to be jam-packed with materials designed to assist with emotional coping, grief, and stress associated with the epidemic. The day has its own dedicated website with access to these tools as well as a common virtual platform for individuals to get together and discuss their experiences. If this has inspired you to build your own resources that can be shared, go ahead and do so.

  3. Participate in a ceremony

    This national day even comes with its own color scheme. In the spirit of unity, the theme is red and white. The official hashtag for the day is #notalone. One particular ceremony of note is a ‘Lightning Ceremony.’ Governments in cities across the globe will light up their important landmarks in red and white lights, to show how truly connected we all are, whatever the magnitude of the pandemic and its after-effects.

5 Pandemic Facts

  1. Large scale loss of life

    More than 6.2 million lives were claimed by the pandemic.

  2. The U.S. had the most cases

    Over 80 million cases of COVID-19 were in the U.S. itself.

  3. The first pandemic since 2009

    The last pandemic to rock the world was swine flu (H1N1), mostly affecting children and adolescents.

  4. Tipped the poverty scales further

    Thanks to the pandemic, the World Bank estimated that 163 million people were pushed into poverty by 2021.

  5. Education took a hit

    The pandemic affected more than 90% of the world's student population, especially in developing nations where very few households have internet access.

Why National COVID-19 Day is Important

  1. It impacted the whole world

    The world as we knew it changed when the COVID-19 epidemic broke out. The onset of COVID-19 changed social conventions all around the world. When exiting the house, masks and sanitizer become as vital as keys, wallets, and phones. Distancing oneself from others became the norm in all public and private areas. Not only was physical health affected, but also social, emotional, and mental health.

  2. It brings people together

    The pandemic's catastrophic impacts have been felt by so many people that it's difficult to identify someone who hasn't been affected in some way. As a result, it is an important day to reflect on the virus's impact on people across cultures and contexts, as well as to mourn those who died as a result of it. Strangers aiding strangers, the power of social media is being exploited like never before, and nations are combating the spread with a united front.

  3. Universal relevance

    The pandemic's experiences of loss, sadness, isolation, and helplessness can be processed collectively on a global level. As a result, we have optimism that we may all move forward together into a future of healing and repair. The new normal does not have to entail a return to the old societal problems. The new normal is a collaborative effort.

National COVID-19 Day dates

YearDateDay
2023March 11Saturday
2024March 11Monday
2025March 11Tuesday
2026March 11Wednesday
2027March 11Thursday

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