A Brief History of COVID-19

Table of Contents

The novel human coronavirus disease(COVID-19) was first reported in Wuhan, China, in 2019, and after that, it spread worldwide to become the fifth recorded pandemic ever since the 1918 flu. 

  • Possible origin theories

Since its emergence and the amount of havoc it has created globally, it is natural that researchers are curious about the source of origin of this virus. Nevertheless, tracing the origin of any disease-causing agent can also give vital clues regarding its prevention and treatment.

There are now two theories about where it came from- human-made in a laboratory or exposure to an infected animal. However, neither argument is sufficiently supported by the available evidence. 

Recent intelligence sources concur that the virus was not created through genetic engineering or as a biological weapon. So, until now, nothing conclusive could be drawn except that COVID-19 spread from Wuhan exclusively.

  • The emergence

Initially, when reported, COVID-19 baffled everyone. No one was particular about this mysterious disease. The World Health Organization was alerted about pneumonia in Wuhan, China, on December 31, 2019. 

The Chinese government blamed these cases on a new coronavirus known as 2019-nCoV.A few weeks later, on January 30, 2020, the WHO designated the fast-expanding COVID-19 epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. 

  • COVID-19 officially declared a pandemic

Europe became the pandemic’s epicenter on March 13, when Italy reported 250 deaths in 24 hours between March 12 and 13. China initially reported hundreds of new cases each day, but by March, that number had dropped to dozens.

COVID-19 Timeline

As of August 2022, at least 10 million confirmed cases were present in 13 nations, including India, France, Brazil, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, South Korea, Italy, Russia, Japan, Turkey, Spain, and Vietnam. To better understand the history of the spread of the COVID-19 virus, let’s look at the timeline. This will show how an infection from a small epicenter causes worldwide havoc.

December 27, 2019: In the city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei Province, several patients exhibit signs of an unusual illness resembling pneumonia.

December 31, 2019: The World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in China is informed of multiple instances of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan, China, with symptoms including shortness of breath and fever. All early cases appear to be linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.

January 7, 2020: China’s public health experts identified a new coronavirus as the outbreak’s primary culprit.

January 10, 2020: WHO reports that the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is to blame for the epidemic in Wuhan, China.

January 23, 2020: Due to the 2019 novel coronavirus epidemic, Wuhan, China, was locked down.

January 30: The WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

February 11, 2020: The WHO named the disease causing the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak COVID-19.

February 14: Egypt was the first African country to record a case, while France reported the virus’s first fatality in Europe.

March 17, 2020: Moderna Therapeutics is conducting the first human trials of a COVID-19 vaccine at a research facility in Seattle, Washington.

Mid-2020: Increasing proportions of cases were reported in South America (particularly Brazil) and Russia, followed by an increase in instances in India. By the end of the year, the revival and second wave striking Europe were noticeable due to their increased scale.

  • Vaccination emergency

Having read the COVID-19 spread timeline, one can see how alarming the situation was. In this view, strict precautions were implemented globally to combat the epidemic. Travel limitations, social isolation, and instructions on basic hand-washing procedures all went into effect. 

The UK instituted a stay-at-home requirement as well. The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide reached 1 million on April 2. With this number, the actual severity of the pandemic became apparent, and governments made every effort to halt the virus’s spread until a vaccine could be approved.

On March 17, 2020, the first human trials with the Moderna mRNA vaccine started. Around this period, many European nations enacted their kind of national lockdown.

  • Vaccine timeline

Creating vaccination was equally a daunting task since the time was limited, keeping in view the death toll. Several companies and researchers grounded their feet for an arduous and challenging task.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine became the first COVID-19 vaccine to be made accessible when the WHO gave its first emergency use validation for a COVID-19 vaccine on December 31, 2020. The emergency validation was viewed as a step in the right direction toward making COVID-19 vaccinations widely accessible, which is essential for stopping the epidemic.

Since then, the Moderna vaccine and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have received use approval, and aggressive countrywide vaccination rollout programs have been initiated. One billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given since April 27, 2021. 

  • Comflauging variant and vaccine effectiveness

Any virus’s life cycle includes mutation, and the coronavirus is no exception. A mutation in biology happens when a cell’s genetic code is changed. A cell’s behavior may alter as a result of this modification. Millions of hosts worldwide are undergoing COVID-19 genetic alterations. Because COVID-19 is pervasive and has infected so many individuals, it has had the opportunity to evolve quickly and produce many variations.

The strongest defense against COVID-19, now and then, was vaccination. However, with the increasing virus mutations, the effectiveness of the vaccination came under scrutiny. Researchers are working very hard to keep up with the virus’s mutations and the variations they may produce.


As the globe becomes more interconnected, it becomes evident how rapidly issues in one nation may spread across borders and affect the whole world. COVID-19 began locally, but it swiftly expanded, touching nearly every country and impacting nearly every professional field. The COVID-19 problem has impacted cultures and economies worldwide and continues to transform our planet as it unfolds.

However, it is a relief that the extraordinary multidisciplinary effort is responsible for the speed and efficiency with which these highly effective vaccines were developed and their potential to save millions of lives. With every challenge come opportunities, and studying the history of events can likely guide comprehensive efforts in the future: for a better, healthier, and more secure world.