People habits and lifestyle

In a discussion with Dr. Ardalan Sharit from Iran, he explained some of the factors that the statistics are more shocking in Europe and China are religion and people gestures. He said that in Islam, people must perform ablution five times, therefore, washing hands and face regularly is a common habit among Muslims. This point highlighted by the World Health Organization WHO in its latest update as to avoid the COVID-19 infection people must wash their hands regularly. The other thing Ardalan said is that showing public affection or PDA (display public affection) is prohibited in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, this also prevented the disease from spread unlike in the West where display public affection is common. Lastly, Ardalan mentioned that cooking, which was highlighted by WHO, is different in the Middle east. People like to consume their food fully cooked, unlike in other regions that raw food and partially cooked meat are actually one of the routine consumptions in the West and China.

Couple Holding Hands

In line with the above, an article published (Mulier & Fourcade, n.d.) talked about the history of kissing and how it was banned by King Henry VI of England in 1439 to battle the plague. Some health authorities urged people to refrain from PDA as it showed by limiting physical contact could help to slow down the march of a disease. The article further explained that in Italy, people started to suggest don’t give a double kiss on the cheek as a greeting or goodbye anymore. In the U.K., virologist John Oxford’s advice people to remain “standoffish” rather than engaging in touchy-feely greetings. However, in the Middle East, greetings by handshakes and kisses on checks are common between the same gender. An article discussed the rituals in the Arab World (Sheta, 2018), actually touching shows more respect to each other but not the same-sex which shows that PDA is also common in this region as in the West but takes with few different traditions. This raises the question again of why COVID-19 why highly spreading in Europe and China?

Built Environment impact on health

Healthy cities

Despite the rapid growth in developed countries, some might concern that this growth can cause a major impact on people’s health, the design plays an important role on individuals and the society (Pinter-Wollman, Jelic, & Wells, 2018). It was also highlighted that there might result in chronic infectious diseases. A great example brought from the nineteenth and early twentieth in London, Paris and New York City as those main cities were highly contagious, Waves of cholera, tuberculosis, and typhoid swept through these cities. It brought into attention that there were many factors affected the highly populated cities such as ventilation, congestion, and lack of sunshine caused many deaths that time and was not well understood for a long period (Bear, 2018; Frumkin, Frank, & Jackson, 2004).

COVID-19 pandemic disease killed until this date 24 March 2020 over 17,000 and still counting, many of the cases had a chronic illness and previous weak immunity system. However, it seemed that the elderlies have the most death cases from this disease. A statement by Direct General of WHO “Although older people are the hardest hit, younger people are not spared” which means that the COVID-19 hit not just the elderly but youth as well and put them in great danger. According to the previous research carried by (Strickland, 2014) that improper built design causes high-density society and result in major health issues like obesity and inactive society. However, the current situation swiped some of the previous theories and revealed that even with developed societies, the health concerns still exist despite age and fitness. It also raises questions about how developed countries have encountered these shocking numbers of infections and death toll.

These massive numbers in lives lost taught the humans a big lesson, only by losing our loved one we tend to look for significant solutions to our problems. Many environmentalists urged the governments and societies to seek urgent strategies to save the planet Earth but only a few offered help, issues like recycling, pollution, deforestation, massive destruction, animal abuse, and many other factors have been raised for many years. COVID-19 is the result of humans and it’s just a series of continuous pandemic diseases that his our communities and will continue to rise if we don’t find the answers. From building factories to tourism and many more businesses that showed human greediness to evolve with real attention to environmental destruction and our resources. Architecture and built environment are an essential part of this arena and it could be implemented to save many future incidents, it’s the little things can make a huge difference, with the people’s help we can grow stronger immune systems that flourish from our daily lives.

When we discuss smaller dense communities we find that it is one of the solutions towards healthier cities, it is a fact that without paying attention to the density we end up having a high populated area with higher CO2 emission. As a result, we find ourselves surrounded by unhealthy spaces that can be a great atmosphere for bacterias and viruses to spread. If we pay more attention to countries like China and the USA, the statistics showed how highly populated areas have helped to spread the COVID-19, besides the rapid development which is also considered an asset to the virus to spread among people. Yes, recycling and government restrictions helped in a matter but it is not enough to save the planet which has reached its peak with only a few real attempts to repair the situation.

These are just a few factors that resulted in a weaker immune system, our lifestyle, stress and food consumption are among the many other factors that helped the outbreak. Some blame China for the higher CO2 emission, yet we are more reliant on some countries to produce what we need. With the rapid growth of the industries and cities, we should ask ourselves, do we need more and bigger factories? the Earth has reached its limit and can not occupy more pollution, Didn’t we see enough signs to predict how the future will turn to be?

All the signs and the numbers showed how the breakdown help reducing the pollution level in many countries as a result of the major shutdown of many important cities around the world. Although this helped in reducing the emission level, but it’s just a temporary solution. Soon the world will start again and keep growing to open the door for another disaster.

Architecture and Modernism Influence on the Widely Spread of COVID-19

Coronavirus Illustration

Following up on the recent event in the world, this writing is to show the impact on architecture and modernism on the pandemic disease named COVID-19. The section not only discusses some of the previous literature in this field but will also present facts and numbers on how development and design have increased the number of infections around the world. We will also show some articles and interview expertise to confirm this theory. The last section will reveal some suggestions that might help to reduce the virus impact by implementing several techniques that will be discussed later.

This study will compare different cases that are taking into consideration the country’s development and the number of infected cases. To this day, the cases will be China, Malaysia, Iraq, Italy, and The United States. It is taking into considerations that each case has shown different numbers and growth of infected cases and will be discussed further in the blog.

Distribution of cases worldwide
Source: Worldometer

Some highlighted that there are numerous reasons behind the widespread of the virus such as environment, immunity, population, human behavior and genes (1). Although there are several factors that affect the distribution of cases, this discussion will only focus on the countries’ development and architecture.

It looks like there might be a relation between the country development and infrastructure and the quick spread of COVID-19 as the statistics showed that the major infections appeared in considerably high profile and developed such as China, Europe and the USA. The numbers in the upcoming figure clearly highlight the recorded cases until today 23 March 2020.

Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance
Source: Worldometer 2020

History of Coronavirus

COVID-19 first appeared in Wuhan city of China in December 2019 and rapidly recognized as a pandemic disease by The World Health Organization in March 2020. As of 23 March 2020, the viral disease COVID-19 has infected over 342,000 people and killed over 14,700 (“2019–20 coronavirus pandemic,” 2020). It is a respiratory disease that transmits from animals to humans and recently from human to another.

Map of confirmed cases per capita as of 23 March 2020
Source: worldmeter

Many countries have imposed restrictions, quarantines and curfew movement to contain the pandemic as the number of cases increases and to avoid any complications in the future. Countries like China, Italy, South Korea and The United States imposed highly restricted rules to contain the disease and they recorded the most cases (Civile, n.d.; “COVID-19/Coronavirus Real-Time Updates With Credible Sources in The US and Canada | 1Point3Acres,” n.d.; Deerwester & Gilbertson, n.d.; Li et al., 2020; Nikel, n.d.; Normile, 2020; Perrone, 2020).

Although many regions affected by the disease, some have taken precautions to avoid future difficulties as they see the numbers have shockingly increased. In the middle East, countries like Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait (Worldometer, 2020) have shown fewer numbers compared to Europe and East Asia which highlight an important factor that needs to be studied and understood. The paper will assist in understanding some of the factors that helped in reducing the number of cases in these countries and to be implemented in future research.