It’s no surprise that words like epidemic vs. pandemic make people pay attention. Both of these events are serious and dangerous. But the two mean different things. And that difference could mean a shelter-in-place order or attending a drug or alcohol rehab center.
Case in point, the World Health Organization (WHO) says that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has sickened over 75 million people on this earth. It’s caused thirty-two million people to die. For reference, that’s almost the population of California.
Ebola virus, an epidemic, killed nearly 11,000 people in a relatively small area in Africa. Fortunately, they contained it and had a vaccine within a year. If these steps hadn’t been taken, Ebola could have gotten worse. It might have spread to many other countries.
At that point, it may have become a pandemic too.
Epidemic Vs. Pandemic: What Are They?
So what’s the difference between an epidemic vs. pandemic? As you see in the examples, an epidemic mostly impacts a few countries or regions. An outbreak can become a pandemic if it’s allowed to spread around the world.
Compared to 100 years ago, it’s a lot easier to spread disease around the world today. Because airplanes and trains move fast, people now conduct business and vacation around the globe.
Pandemics aren’t frequent. But they may become more common now that we’re all connected.
Is a Pandemic Worse than an Epidemic?
When considering which is worse, epidemic vs. pandemic, it depends on where you are.
Do you live in the country or region where an epidemic is happening? Then that’s probably worse for you than a pandemic because a pandemic is spread out.
In an epidemic, fewer people overall may die. But a lot of people are getting sick and dying where you are. There are usually local solutions to an epidemic like opioid addiction treatment centers.
Your risk of getting sick and dying is very high in an epidemic in your area.
Is COVID-19 an Epidemic vs. Pandemic?
The WHO currently classifies COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) as a pandemic. That’s because it has spread to many countries and impacts a lot of people in each country.
In the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) manages the response to epidemics and pandemics. So you should follow their guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety measures.
If you’re worried about COVID-19, there’s another epidemic you need to take seriously.
The Other U.S. Epidemic You Need to Know About
COVID-19 is in the news today. And it has a lot of people worried. But there’s another epidemic that keeps the people at the CDC up at night. And it’s happening in the U.S. right now.
In fact, this epidemic has killed over 1,000,000 people in the past 20 years. The majority of them were under 40. And most people develop the disease in their 20s.
It’s now a top-five leading cause of death. One in 96 people in the U.S. will die from this disease.
This other epidemic that Americans need to know about is addiction. The opioid epidemic alone has killed nearly 500,000 people. The rest of that million died from alcohol, cocaine, meth, and other drugs.
Many more lose things like their:
On top of that, the addiction epidemic weakens your immune system and overall health. That makes you very susceptible to things like COVID-19, regardless of your age.
So today is the day to make a choice. Regain your health with substance abuse treatment programs.
Regaining Your Health in Rehab
One of the safest places to be right now is a rehab center. We only accept a small number of people into our program at a time. And physical (social) distancing is already ingrained into rehab methodology.
Our team of professionals supports you through this trying time. We help you process trauma and learn life skills that give you the best chance for lasting recovery.