It has now been just over two months since the World Health Organisation announced it had identified a new respiratory virus belonging to the coronavirus family.
Fast forward to time of writing (10 March) and there have now been more than 116,000 cases reported across 105 different countries - more than 14,000 of which are in Europe.
Italy has been the hardest hit within the bloc, with approximately 9,100 reported cases and the entirety of its 60 million population put in complete travel lockdown last week.
A few weeks ago, the general rhetoric among investors was to keep calm, buy the dips and maintain a long-term time horizon.
But last week, Saudi Arabia's move to slash its oil prices amid its dispute with Russia was enough to topple an already uncertain market and lead to the biggest one-day fall across global stockmarkets since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.
With entire countries in lockdown - and the UK now on the verge of moving to the second phase of its outbreak response, which could involve school closures, office shutdowns and cancelling large-scale gatherings - can investors expect to be taken on a wild ride over the medium term?
Laura Foll, UK equities portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors, warned there are now two concerns for global equity markets to contend with - a potential global epidemic causing a simultaneous demand-and-supply shock and an oil price supply issue.
"We do not know how long the impact of Covid-19 will last, or how widespread it will become geographically. Nor do we know how long the oil price will stay at these levels. However, monetary policy is already very loose and we now have a very low oil price," she explained.
Jameel Ahmad, global head of currency strategy and market research at FXTM, likened markets to "a sinking ship" and said markets "need a hero to save the day".
"This hero isn't global central banks coming to the rescue or authorities announcing more measures to contain the virus, but announcements from health authorities that a cure has been found to the virus or the outbreak has peaked," he said.
"Should other nations in the European Union suffer the same fate as Italy, the euro will be looking at its most serious risk since the European Debt Crisis of 2012.
He added: "I still hope that a global recession can be avoided but with infection cases still rising, this would increase the probability of a world recession."
Square Mile's head of investment Jason Broomer agreed there is a "growing likelihood of a recession" in some economies now, while Kingswood's chief investment officer Rupert Thompson said choppy markets and oil price uncertainty, in addition to the coronavirus outbreak, mean "a global recession is now possible".
That said, he argued the latest panic has made the group "more, rather than less, inclined to buy equities".
Are those who add to their equity portfolios now catching a falling knife, or are they overcoming short-term market noise to buy in at a bargain price?
If the adage that "every investment should make you feel uncomfortable" is anything to go by, perhaps now presents significant opportunity for strong-stomached investors.