Consequences fo COVID | Teen Ink

Consequences fo COVID

June 10, 2020
By jesssielfisher BRONZE, Mill Valley, California
jesssielfisher BRONZE, Mill Valley, California
3 articles 4 photos 0 comments

COVID-19 has trespassed through millions of bodies and the coronavirus pandemic as a whole has impacted all aspects of our lives in some way or another. Throughout the country, as we find ourselves having reached the climax of this crisis’ story, many are wondering what COVID-19’s falling action may look like and what feelings, strengths, and weaknesses will linger once the story is over.

How is the coronavirus going to effect…?


The Body

Although at the time of writing this, an astounding 55,346 Americans have died of the novel coronavirus, about 110,000 have recovered. As much attention is being paid to those needing intensive care as a result of the virus, the unknowns plaguing recovered coronavirus patients are starting to be investigated. Scientists located in China, the birthplace of COVID-19, conducted a study in which they examined the blood test results of 34 recovered patients. The scientists found that many biological measures had, “failed to return to normal.” The first thing that the study saw was impaired liver function. Next, “heart failure was seen in nearly 12% of those who survived, including in some who had shown no signs of respiratory distress.” It turns out that respiratory distress impacts the heart. The novel coronavirus restricts oxygen production and distribution and when there is not enough oxygen pumping through the body, the heart weakens. But, “‘COVID-19 is not just a respiratory disorder,’ said Dr. Harlan Krumholtz, a cardiologist at Yale University. ‘It can affect the heart, the liver, the kidneys, the brain, the endocrine system, and the blood system.’” This reality is scary. What’s even scarier is that doctors are too busy with new victims of the virus to continue to monitor the survivors. In Hong Kong, 12 COVID-19 patients discharged from the hospital, “were described as having difficulty with activities they had done in the past.” Dr. Owen Tsang Tak-yin at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Hong Kong said that some patients, “might have a drop of 20-30% in lung function” after their recovery. Thus, while Coronavirus survivors are blessed with much to be grateful for, their battle against the virus may be far from over.

The Economy

“When big convulsive economic events happen, the implications tend to take years to play out, and spiral in unpredictable directions,” New York Times reporter Neil Irwin writes. 2007’s mortgage defaults in American suburbs led to a fiscal crisis for Greece in 2010. A 1929 stock market crash in New York contributed to the rise of fascists in Europe years later. Our world is covered in economic webs that connect us. However, the coronavirus pandemic is unique from the examples above. While in the past we have seen one or two links ruptured, “in the years ahead, we will learn what happens when that web is torn apart, when millions of those links are destroyed all at once.” Irwin writes that even damaged links warrant unpredictable results. Trying to imagine what our post-COVID-19 economy will look like is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, many find it plausible that our entire world’s ideology may change because of the pandemic. Countries are quickly learning that they must be able to function on their own. The resources and support obtained from other places are just not reliable enough in times of crisis. Thus, as countries grow less comfortable relying on each other, globalization will change. And who knows what may happen from there.

The Environment

In times of overwhelming uncertainty and fear, it can be difficult to find light in the darkness. Today, as COVID-19 takes lives, separates communities, and hinders the economy, it also indirectly improves the environment. Flights have been canceled. Streets are now empty as nobody commutes to work. Production has decreased or halted altogether. New York pollution levels have reduced by nearly 50% since last year because of measures to contain the virus. In China, emissions fell by 25% at the start of the year, coal use and factory production fell by 40%, and, “the proportion of days with ‘good quality air’ was up by 11.4%.” All of the numbers show that “pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen across continents as countries try to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Is this just a fleeting change, or could it lead to longer-lasting falls in emissions?” When the pandemic fades from the forefront of our minds and our lives return to some sort of normal, will emissions bounce back so much so that “it will be as if this clear-skied interlude never happened?” Will people across the world jump at the opportunity to live life large, increasing emissions, when they have the chance again? Or, could the pandemic result in a change of focus and sustaining environmental improvement? Throughout history, the spread of disease has been linked to lower emissions. However, when global emissions dropped immensely during the financial crash of 2008 and 2009, emissions quickly rebounded by 2010 as the economy recovered, leading to an all-time high. Hopefully, our world’s populations can find it within themselves to exit the COVID-19 era with grace, building upon one of the few positive impacts of the crisis.

Our Culture

The coronavirus is acting as a change agent in our world. It takes us out of our normal lives and forces us to adapt to a “new normal” in which we have lived for weeks. When the virus finally leaves our communities and countries, our sense of normalcy will be forever different: “A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes—maybe for months—is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other.” First, COVID-19 has shown us that being together is dangerous. Distance is safer. “The comfort of being in the presence of others might be replaced by a greater comfort with absence, especially with those we don’t know intimately. Instead of asking, ‘Is there a reason to do this online?’ we’ll be asking, ‘Is there any good reason to do this in person?’—and might need to be reminded and convinced that there is.” You may not find people shaking hands or touching doorknobs, they’ll be washing hands and staying six feet apart even after the restrictions have fallen. Those changes in mindset and behavior will result in much more of our lives being lived through a computer screen. We will have experienced the powers of technology and online interaction. Online education will flourish, telemedicine will improve, and virtual communication will increase. Next, the coronavirus has stripped all of us our innocence and complacency of our public health system and the inequalities of our society. “When this ends, we will reorient our politics and make substantial new investments in public goods—for health, especially—and public services.” Perhaps doctors and nurses will be treated as military veterans, symbols of bravery, sacrifice, and patriotism. Perhaps we will become more appreciative of expertise and science.


It’s weird to think about how much has happened in the outside world while I have been stuck inside. I have become distinctly aware of the in versus out; and in both cases, things look different. Outside of the white picket fence sheltering my home, the streets are empty and the hospitals are full. At the same time, inside, books have been read, puzzles have been done, and lots and lots of TV has been watched. Throughout my lifetime, I have felt pressured to respond to things with an elaborate explanation of a feeling, a strong-rooted opinion, or a reactive action. Often, I just watch others be vocal in their response, not exactly sure of what I think. That’s kind of how I’m feeling. And paying attention to how I’m feeling never used to happen. This sounds forcingly (if that’s a word) poetic or insincere, but being inside physically has resulted in my venturing inside emotionally. I am proud of how I have spent my time deepening my understanding of the world around me, my place in it, and the one inside of my head. I don’t believe in overnight transformations or metamorphic realizations, but there are lots of little things that I have been able to touch as a result of boredom or curiosity or something else. And there are lots of little things that I think I will hold onto when it is time to wander out again.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.