COVID-19 has truly humbled the entire universe.  Already, it sounds like a cliché, yet the pandemic only befell the world not so long ago.

I was quite disturbed when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson took ill recently and, like most people around the world, held my breath when he spent several days in ICU in a London hospital. For the UK citizens, in particular, the spectre of COVID-19 truly hit home in the most melodramatic, if unexpected manner.

A happy ending was seeing Johnson discharged from hospital and later return to number 10 Downing Street, where he is once again leading from the front. The UK has recorded more than 32 000 deaths from COVID-19, with most victims being members of the aging population who live in institutions.

I once worked as a Carer in England and I am acutely aware of the amazingly long life-span in that country, thanks in large measure to Western medicine.

My heart truly goes out to the elderly whose weak immune system could not withstand the torrent of COVID-19.

COVID-19 appears to thrive in mainly densely populated places

Last month’s reports of the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin also shook the world. From a distance, one could be inclined to believe that a wave of a pandemic could wreak havoc across a populace, but it is quite unfathomable that society’s high and mighty are not sparred.

At a fraction above 2 000 Russia has thus far recorded a relatively lower number of fatalities emanating from COVID-19. This is despite a growing tally of more than 232 000 COVID-19 positive cases in the country of President Vladimir Putin.

Most of the victims come from the capital Moscow which, like any Metropolis, is a densely populated place. And indeed, COVID-19 appears to thrive in mainly densely populated places. For example, London, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin and New York, among others. Closer to home I might add Cape Town.

Just the other night the continuing COVID-19 onslaught reared its ugly head again when it was reported that a spokesperson for the Kremlin, Dmitry Peskov, also tested positive for COVID-19.

Such developments could be a major source of despair for ordinary folks the world over, particularly the poor. For, if those in the highest echelons of power cannot steer clear of the marauding pandemic, the question is what chance does the ordinary Joe Soap have?

In the Trump administration, COVID-19 cases have been cited too. This has led to increased speculation that President Donald Trump himself could be in trouble, although so far no test performed on President Trump has found him positive.

The US leads the world with more than 1.3 million cases confirmed and a whopping death toll that exceed 82 000. Globally, COVID-19 has caught up with more than 4 million and the number is sure to have risen by the time of reading this.

Indeed, as the cliché goes, the world will never be the same. From Cape to Cairo, Madagascar to Morocco, Paris to Toronto, Amsterdam to Washington, everywhere in the world we all ought to put on a face mask and observe social distancing whilst frequently washing our hands with soap on the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

South Africa isn’t doing too bad having increased the country’s testing capacity and confirming a rising number of positive cases and a steadily climbing death rate. Apart of the scary rate of fatalities globally, the most distressing inevitability is the ensuing economic woes that are leading to myriad health problems.

Such is the devastating impact of COVID-19, unknown until recently. As things stand the world is racing against time to find a vaccine to cure the disease. All indications are that it is going to get worse before it gets any better. And we are all in harm’s way.