2023 COVID-19 Pandemic
2023 COVID-19 Pandemic

2023 COVID-19 Pandemic

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This hypothetical maritime worker is a silent testament to the people who keep the ports open and the supply lines flowing.

Maritime workers’ have critical roles in maintaining supply chains and keeping ports open despite the legal, political, social, and economic implications of COVID-19 and its variants.

 

The World Health Organization (WHO) guides the IMO on COVID-19 (International Maritime Organization, 2020a-b). The WHO declared the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020. As of August 30, 2023, there were 770,085,713 (World Health Organization, 2023a-b). Emergent COVID variants like XBB.1.5, EG.5, and BA.2.86 are already present, and a fresh COVID wave is predicted. Because there are currently either few or no records from the Americas, people cannot adequately gauge the hazards associated with engaging in physical road trips or cruises. The World Health Organization (2023) reports that there have been 6,956,173 fatalities since August 30, 2023. Physical travel in enclosed spaces like cars, ships, and other vehicles carries risks.

Risks

The difference between taking risks and placing ourselves in harm’s way may involve degrees of magnitude. D’Andrea (2023) cites health professionals and writes that Canada is at the starting point of another COVID-19 wave. Under the current conditions of fires, smoke, and the coronavirus disease, virtual road trips and cruises could be the more preferable options. As of August 7, 2023, the World Health Region of the Americas suspended its reporting updates. D’Andrea (2023) points out that the reports’ calibre may have deteriorated as early as December 2021. However, it’s anticipated that 2,0171 instances occurred in Canada between August 6 and 12. 

Kee (2023) mentioned a National Broadcasting Corporation report and said hospitalization rates in the United States “increased by almost 25%, and admissions to the intensive care unit have gone up over 16%. COVID cases in kids have increased by 12.8%”. The Editor (2023) noted that as of August 25, 2023, there were mixed results in Australia for COVID-19 case numbers. For example, rates over about a week declined in Queensland and Victoria and increased in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, and Western Australia. There was no report data available at the time from the Northern Territory.,

Limiting Physical Contact

COVID-19, via direct physical contact, has been transmitted from humans to humans. Governments during a pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) limit contact with others, mainly infected people. Quarantine measures include requiring workers to wear personal protective equipment and to travel to medical facilities (International Maritime Organization, 2020a). Governments and private sectors can limit contact through the use of computers and the Internet.

Technology enables and limits maritime activities, including travel by road and on cruise ships. In the absence of face-to-face meetings, technology makes virtual summits and meetings possible (International Maritime Organization, 2020c). It is often tragic when everyone is infected. If maritime workers become susceptible to occupational stress, illness, or death, 80% of maritime world trade by volume is jeopardised (International Maritime Organization, 2020d; Manteniship Spain S.L., 2020). Technology also provides an entry point for communications, including discussion forums and virtual road trips and cruises.

The Maritime Sector

When maritime workers and their families are fatigued, immune compromised, or infected without adequate support, 1.5 trillion tons of cargo and three million jobs in the U.S. are at risk (National Ocean Service, n.d.). When human transportation chains are at risk, food, construction materials, fuel, and medical supplies such as vaccines become scarce. The coronavirus is continuing to mutate, and it is critical to be mindful of the risks of infection from the variants. Symptoms associated with this disease and its variants may be experienced two to fourteen days after exposure. They include a throbbing throat, fluid running from the nose or becoming congested, sneezing, coughing with or without mucous, headaches, raspy vocal cords, muscular skeletal aches and pains, and an altered sense or absence of smell. If you are experiencing these cold-like symptoms, you may not have the coronavirus disease. 

The health infrastructure, including monitoring to lessen the impacts of coronavirus disease and its virus strains, is currently being wound down. The less information we have about this silent and sometimes fatal phenomenon, the less capacity we have to reduce or prevent waves. If in doubt, think about getting tested and ensuring that you speak with health and support professionals about your preventive options. These options include regularly washing your hands with soap and water. Moreover, avoid touching your facial parts, such as your eyes, nose, or mouth. The boundaries between the various virus strains can become blurred. To help you get through the predicted wave, you have various unfolding virtual road excursions to take. When it is safe to go, you might use these trips to help you plan your subsequent physical journey.

References 

Chambers,M. & Liu, M. (2013). Maritime Trade and Transportation by the Numbers.

D’Andrea, A.  (2023, August 23). Canada “likely at the start” of new COVID-19 wave. How big will it get? Global News.

Editor (2023). The latest COVID-19 news and case numbers from around the states and territories. ABC. 

International Maritime Organization (2020a). IMO endorses guidance on ensuring seafarers access to medical care onshore.   

International Maritime Organization (2020b). IMO postpones further meetings due to COVID-19 buts begins rescheduling plans.

International Maritime Organization (2020d). Governments pledge action for seafarers at crucial crew change summit.

Kee, C., (August 18, 2023). Is there a summer COVID surge? What to know about the uptick in cases. Today. National Broadcasting Corporation.  

Manteniship Spain S.L. (2020). UN agencies call for urgent action on crew changes and keyworker designation for sea and air workers.

National Ocean Service (n.d). How Important is the Ocean to our Economy.   

The World Health Organization (2023a). WHO Coronavirus (COVID-19) Dashboard.

The World Health Organization (2023b) Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

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