One year on, COVID-19 pandemic still disrupting lives

(VOVWORLD) - Since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, COVID-19 has forced people around the world to change their habits and has impacted every aspect of people’s lives.

One year on, COVID-19 pandemic still disrupting lives - ảnh 1Firefighters stand in line to conduct disinfection on the platform of Wuhan Railway Station in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, March 24, 2020. (Photo:,cn)

The word "pandemic" has proliferated on international media as outbreaks have spread at alarming speed. From the Wuhan epicenter, the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease has appeared in more than 220 countries and territories, infected nearly 120 million people, and killed more than 2.6 million. COVID-19 does not discriminate by income, age, gender, education, social class, or nationality.

No let-up

The WHO's declaration of a global pandemic acknowledged the potential universal spread of the virus, which it feared and wanted every country to take immediate drastic action to contain.

The pandemic at times showed signs of waning in some countries, but then quickly flared up again. Europe has faced a third wave of COVID-19.

Severe impacts 

COVID-19 threatens everyone and has ravaged the global economy. Collins, the dictionary publisher, says "lockdown" was the most popular search word of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic spread, governments responded by ordering social distancing measures, including lockdowns of billions of people. 

One year on, COVID-19 pandemic still disrupting lives - ảnh 2A classroom in Benishangul-Gumuz, Ethiopia (Photo: WHO)

The pandemic appears to have altered many goals and plans. Early last year, UN chief Antonio Guterres declared four major goals for the year: resolve political tensions, step up the fight against climate change, promote Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and strengthen coordination between the UN and other multilateral institutions. But the pandemic has impacted these goals and rolled back much of what the UN had achieved over the years. 

COVID-19 has devastated economies, wiped out the progress made by countries towards realizing SDGs, and pushed the global fight against poverty back a decade. In Africa and the Middle East, which have suffered endless conflicts, poverty has returned to a level last seen 30 years ago. The global economy is experiencing its worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Global fight against COVID-19

Despite all these difficulties, the world has shown solidarity and a strong commitment to cooperation and shared responsibility in fighting COVID-19. The COVAX Facility, a global risk-sharing mechanism for pooled procurement and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, is seen as the "savior" of poor countries. Strong political commitments by countries to ensure equitable vaccine distribution have kindled the hope that everyone will benefit from new vaccine discoveries.