The world versus the Coronavirus

The U.S has announced its first fatalities of the Coronavirus in the first week of March and reported that there are a total of 88 cases of people infected with the virus which would increase over time rapidly.


Created by Patrick J. Lyons

The New York Times has kept up to date on the new strand of Coroanivirus. Tracking infections and deaths, it shows the threat and danger of countries that are dealing with the epidemic.

Sarah Bounmixay, Editor

Recently, my trip to Italy with EFTours had been cancelled due to the new, severe and highly contagious Coronavirus. Italy had and surpassed over 2,500+ cases of the virus and multiple deaths of the virus as it still spreads rapidly worldwide. Leaving the country at a level 3, now banned travel, threat for travel. The nation has even gotten as far as shutting down all movement throughout its entire country, banning public gatherings and people not allowed to travel except for work or emergencies, to try to halt Europe’s Coronavirus outbreak. However, this new virus has infected every continent, except Antarctica, and in total there is 90,000 cases and 3,000 deaths caused by it. Many countries scramble to deal with the new virus with many showing problems within their health care systems and detecting it.

This new Coronavirus (nCoV) is new strand of virus from a family tree of viruses that range from the common cold to other deadly diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). The more severe kind are infectious diseases that have stemmed from animals to humans. The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was transmitted from dromedary camels to humans and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome was transferred to humans from civet cats. nCoV, which can also be referred to as COVID-19 or COV-19, is a new Coronavirus with it first appearing in Wuhan, China where it quickly expanded and infected the rest of the world. Believably, many people assume the virus had come from animals and transmitted to humans in an animal market, however many are still looking into its origins.

The spread of the new virus is unexpected and has taken a toll in European countries, especially Italy and France. Italy’s infections have surged over more than 3,000 while deaths raised to 107 from a 79, on March 4. Since then the virus has been raiding the country quickly, making it the most worst infected country outside of China and South Korea. (It’s cases and deaths of the Coronavirus has raised tremendously over a few days). France, the second worst infected European country, has recorded 300 cases of the virus so far in the first week of March. The French health minister advised against greeting each other with cheek kisses and the Louvre reopened after a three day closure, but with new rules dealing with visitors. Guards within the gallery will not move around to maintain order in the room where the Mona Lisa hangs. India has also received infected cases slowly, 28, and most of them are Italian tourists. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged Indians to cancel events for Holi, a Hindu festival (which was still celebrated in later weeks).


As China deals with the first outbreak of the epidemic with its numbers jumping, the rest of the world follows in being infected. Credit: New York Times and Johns Hopkins University.


In America, within Washington State, a 10th patient has died on March 5. (More deaths and cases have followed in greater numbers later on, 1,015 people are infected and at least 31 people have died in the U.S.) All deaths of the Coronavirus have been recorded there except for one. Amazon also alerted others about an employee testing positive in Seattle. Also in the U.S., Los Angelos County declared a state of emergency after 6 new cases of the virus were reported on March 5, bringing the total of infected to 51. In light of rapid infection arising around the states, the Trump Administration has promised a rapid expansion of diagnostic tests that would be available, but not technically administered, by the end of the first week of March. Many wonder why the tests weren’t created and in affect sooner and how many Americans carry the virus unknowingly. The Centers of Disease Control botched up its first time of mass-producing a diagnostic test kit. A replacement test took several weeks to appear and the C.D.C., Centers for Disease Control, created a strict criteria and still does not permit state and local laboratories to make a final diagnosis for patients.

Mrs. Holsten, an English teacher here at Highland, explains how the Coronavirus have affected her and her family and her thoughts on how the virus is being handled.

Her parents had been on the cruise ship docked outside of the bays of California. After days of waiting on the ship because of the fear of the spread of the Coronavirus, they had been told they would be tested and sent to isolation at Travis, an air force base, in their own apartment. They had gotten off the ship, but were not tested for the virus since the tests could not be made quickly enough for the hundreds of people on board the infected ship. Instead they were sent to the air force base for isolation with no tests and only their temperature taken. “There is just a lot of misinformation. Not very much communication. For instance, yesterday they told them (her parents) that every morning they would have their temperature taken and that they were going to have all these types of foods and all the coffee they wanted. And then this morning, there was no coffee and they didn’t have their temperature taken. So it’s like they get one story and then it turns into another. It’s just confusing for them all the time and they just feel like test subjects.”, Mrs. Holsten explains further.

Her parents are both the same age, 77, and so is their friend that they are with, but she is blind so she also has a seeing eye dog. They stayed in rooms right next to each other on the cruise ship which even connected. So the three were always together with the dog. When they all left the ship together, there was a special vet that flew in specifically to check if the dog possibly had the viral infection. Mrs. Holsten adds, “When they pulled into Travis, I don’t think they realized how big the story was. When they were taken to the air force base, the streets were lined with reporters and that’s when they realized the story was huge.” On the cruise ship, Mrs. Holsten’s parents had very little connection to the outside world and had limited contact with their own daughter. The wifi was turned off and on and it seemed as though the connection was never permitted for long periods of time, maybe because of interviews from news organizations to the people on the ship. However, her parents only know little news from the media and from the few people they see taking care of them, they don’t know anything about the operations of the base and why they had chosen to be kept isolated there and what will happen to them in the future. Only people who bring food to them talk to them, there have been no officials or doctors who’ve appeared or talked to them.

At the base, her parents and their blind friend can all stay together. However, they must stay away from physical contact with any other person, always 6 feet away. Only seeing people from a distance in an opened area they have to walk around in the base. “They are a perfect subject group for this and all of their rights have been taken away. They couldn’t make the decision as to whether they could leave the ship and who they would be with and where in isolation they were to be in. It’s good and bad. It’s nice that they could have medical attention if they need it, but on the other side it’s a total lack of freedoms and rights… From yesterday (March 10), they said it would be two weeks (to be released), but then who knows? We really don’t know. What if someone hasn’t been tested yet and they come up positive they will have to stay there longer or if they are tested negative can they go home right after 14 days because they can’t go home either way until 14 days have passed no matter if they were tested positive or negative.”, Mrs. Holsten says, expressing her concern.

What is also scary is how quickly the virus spread among the passengers from the cruise ship and how we really know real ways to protect ourselves effectively. “It’s really weird how fast people can get it (Coronavirus). When they tested the people on the ship, they tested 45 of them (the passengers) and half of them had it.”, Mrs. Holsten commented. The virus is highly contagious and shows no symptoms while incubating within its host. Not much is still known about the virus still such as how quickly and how much exposure causes a person to become infected, how it varies and affects a person from another person and how to treat and find a vaccine for this new virus.

This new Coronavirus has many respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. The people that were infected with the Coronavirus or are recovering commented that they did not feel any physical discomfort while sick and still cough a lot while recovering.

There are four factors experts have chosen as the most likely cases of when a person can or will be infected. How close you get to an infected person, how long you are near the infected person, whether that person projects viral droplets on you such as coughing and sneezing and how much you touch your face. Standing within a distance of six feet of an infected person will raise your likelihood of getting sick as well as being too close to an infected person for a long period of time. The virus can also stay on surfaces, as viral droplets from coughs and sneezes, like metal, glass and plastic and stay on these surfaces for 2 hours. It is unclear how much of the virus to be present on the surface will get a person infected. Touching your face is the main factor many are enforcing, since the virus and bacteria on your hand will transmit the disease easily through you skin or other parts of your face such as eyes, nose and mouth.

However, not much is still known about the virus and we still don’t know how the virus spreads or infects people and in which rate or how it varies effects on different people.



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