Coronavirus Along with the spread of the novel coronavirus, the paranoia has spread as well.

In January 2020, the coronavirus took center stage in the eyes of the public. By January 30, the World Health Organization had declared a public health emergency.

The virus first started in the mainland China city of Wuhan. At the beginning of the disease outbreak, it was unknown what the disease was. It was also unknown how the disease spread; it was quickly found to be spread from person to person.

The disease was described as a pneumonia-like illness, with symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

The virus was identified as a form of coronavirus, known as novel coronavirus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the coronaviruses are “a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats.”

Coronavirus can also cause SARS, a disease of which outbreaks have previously occurred.

Coronaviruses are often responsible for common colds, which are typically mild, but can also cause diseases such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and the current disease outbreak, which has been officially been named COVID-19 by the CDC.

As of March 10, 2020, more than 113,000 cases have been reported worldwide, according to ABC News.

The disease is still somewhat mysterious, and a preventative option, such as a vaccine, has not been developed yet. ABC states that a vaccine is entering a trial phase but warns that a vaccine still may be years away.

Sophomore William Stobb stated, “The problem with the coronavirus is we don’t have a vaccine for it, and there is cause for concern.” Stobb stated his initial reaction to hearing of the disease was that, “it was gonna pass,” quickly.

Junior Taylor Layman said her initial reaction was disbelief: “I didn’t think it was real at first because, it was like a plague, so it’s like, ‘that can’t be real.’”

Junior Sam Sompayrac also shared in a sense of disbelief saying, “It still seems like foreign and far away, even though there’s a couple cases in the U.S., but still it seems like so far away because it’s not really hit our area. We’re not affected by it yet.”

Many people believe that there is too much focus on the coronavirus, and that the paranoia for it is irrational, since more common illnesses such as the flu are far more dangerous and common.

Sophomore Matthew Phan said, “I didn’t give too much thought about it [coronavirus], until people started making a huge issue about it.”

According to a Bloomberg Opinion article, the flu typically kills up to 650,000 people worldwide each year. However, as the death toll for coronavirus rises, 4,000 worldwide as of March 10, 2020, concern also rises.

The flu is a major killer, but it has a vaccine for prevention.

Sophomore Maddie Cuccia said that, “I know the flu is one of the biggest killers, but this is new, we don’t know anything about it, I think we should focus on the one thing we don’t have anything to help.”

Because of the mystery and insecurity surrounding this illness, extra precautions have been taken, especially for people travelling. USA Today reports that 20 U.S. airports are participating in screenings of passengers, to check symptoms such as temperature and shortness of breath.

“I think they should have screenings in airports if you’ve been to places that are known to have it,” Cuccia said.

Stobb agreed saying, “It’s rational, because obviously you wanna stop the spread,” he said.

One of the biggest events in which the virus had affected travel, was when a Princess cruise docked in Japan and was kept there for 14 days for quarantine. Over 285 people on board have tested positive for the virus and two people have died.

“I think that was a really tragic incident,” Phan said of the cruise situation.

Because this virus is so dangerous and a solid method for treatment and prevention have not been created yet, experts advise people to simply take normal illness precautions, such as washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough, and distancing yourself from sick people.

This new epidemic has caused concern and sometimes panic across the world. However, organizations, such as the CDC, have taken extra steps to limit the cases of COVID-19 and to ease worries.


Created with images by CDC - "This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)." • David Clode - "These cute little bats sleep in large trees in the middle of town (Cairns, Australia), with another larger species, the Spectacled Flying-fox. It is safer for them to sleep in town as there are fewer predators such s snakes." • Yana Yuzvenko - "untitled image" • Alaina McLearnon - "untitled image" • Edgar Edgar - "little cat, Thank you all who downloaded this lovely cat for the likes" • CDC - "Created in 2003, this historic image depicts Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Clinic Chief Nurse, Lee Ann Jean-Louis, extracting a dose of Influenza Virus Vaccine, Fluzone® from a 5 ml. vial. In this particular view, you see a close view of her hands, holding the vaccine vial with her left hand, and using a syringe, extracting the vaccine dose, with her right."