Giving Compass' Take:

· Writing for The Conversation, Angela Clendinin examines how countries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and what lessons can be learned from past outbreaks.

· How can donors support efforts working against this outbreak?

· Check out these recommendations for donors to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid harsh isolation efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, it’s only natural to ask how a microscopic agent can kill thousands of people, topple economies and disrupt life for hundreds of millions of people.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the body’s reaction to this new viral invader, is wreaking havoc for three main reasons. It is a new disease from a virus that has never infected humans before, so humans have no natural immunity to it. Second, there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Third, there are no drugs to treat it. Once it begins spreading in a community, it sickens and kills.

This leaves social isolation and quarantine as the best ways to prevent the spread. The only way to treat it is with comfort care, which includes providing breathing assistance through ventilators when necessary. People who die from it often die alone because of the risk of infection.

But prevention efforts, even with isolation and quarantine, have been hampered here in the U.S. by an ongoing shortage of reliable tests. Without knowing who has it, it’s impossible for health officials to know how widespread isolation should be, or how long it should last. Caring for the thousands who have the disease has led to governors of many states begging for more personal protective equipment for hospital workers and respiratory equipment for patients.

Read the full article about what the US can learn from other countries about the COVID-19 pandemic by Angela Clendinin at The Conversation.