Keeping Up With Coronavirus


Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

A visualization of the coronavirus.

Maleah Fennessey, Staff Writer

By now, many countries have become familiar with the effects of the coronavirus. Though not everyone is at risk of dying from or even catching it, it’s still an issue that most countries don’t quite know how to deal with.

Since the dawn of the first case, preventative mechanisms have come a long way. All non-essential businesses are closed, leaving only health care services, grocery stores, and other essential establishments open. Luckily for those who don’t usually cook, many restaurants are also open for takeout or delivery. These large-scale closures have left students to learn from home with nowhere else to go.

Nurses and doctors are working overtime to care for patients with coronavirus. Constricting N-95 respirator masks cause headaches, bleach cleaning of protective goggles causes skin irritation, and long hours lead to stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, frequent exposure to the virus infects many health care workers every day. “It’s almost a question, I feel like, for us as health care workers: not if we get sick, when we get sick,” says Stefan Flores, an assistant professor of emergency medicine, for Vox.

Moreover, new information is being discovered on the coronavirus. For example, the current mortality rate is calculated to be as high as 37 percent for people 85 and over and as low as less than one percent for people ages 20 to 54, according to Live Science. It may not seem that high, but due to its rapid spread, the elderly can be at great risk. Additionally, a study by Wuhan Medical Treatment Expert Group for COVID-19 shows that gastrointestinal symptoms with coronavirus aren’t uncommon. Lack of appetite was the most common, but diarrhea and, in much rarer cases, vomiting and abdominal pain have happened, too. Scientists theorize that these symptoms occur when the virus is introduced to the body via ingestion.

The best way to prevent coronavirus is to keep your hands clean and away from your face. Wash them or use sanitizer after touching a frequently touched surface. Keep your immune system thriving by doing moderate exercise, eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. Try not to visit public places, but if the need arises, wear a mask. Be especially careful if you have asthma, diabetes, or other underlying health problems. Always cover coughs and sneezes, preferably with a tissue. Remain six feet apart from others at every chance. Lastly, don’t hoard masks of any kind; doing so only limits supply to those who need them.

The coronavirus may not end by spring or summer. According to Medical News Today, “Some viruses, such as cold and flu viruses, do spread more easily in the colder months, but that does not mean that they stop entirely when conditions become milder.” So, be prepared for these troubled times to end as late as early 2021.

Therefore, no one knows exactly how long this new way of life will last. Until lockdown is lifted and things return to the way they once were, people everywhere can only do their part to flatten the curve and hope for the best.