By: S. Costa Franco
News stations constantly updating the public, schools closing, heightened awareness about hygiene precautions and parents desperately concerned for their children's health. But what could possibly be the cause of all the commotion? Surely, we have all heard about it, the infamous coronavirus. Ever since the outbreak that started in China around the end of 2019, the coronavirus has been a raging topic in every news source, and it is spreading rapidly.
Coronaviruses (yes, there are more than one), are a group of viruses that infect people and animals, meaning they are zoonotic. Some viruses cause illnesses which can be nothing to worry about, such as the common cold, but others can result in serious respiratory infections. The type of coronavirus that has currently been affecting many civilians is called the COVID-19. Some coronaviruses are already known, but this novel virus has never been seen before, and so, dealing with it in the best manner possible has been a challenge.
It is important to understand the events that occurred after the outbreak to better deal with the situation. Here is a brief timeline of events:
Some symptoms of this infamous disease include:
This outbreak, however, does have multiple impacts on the global economy. The United States, for example, is facing a decrease in tourism and delays in supply chains, which are important aspects of the country's economy. In China, the outbreak has caused major issues in the global trade, and those that rely on the Chinese supply chains are hoping that the temporary mess is sorted. The disruptions in the supply chains could slow the sales of prominent companies such as Apple and Microsoft, and stock markets have lowered during this week related to fears about the virus. Could this virus outbreak stunt the economic growth of certain nations?
The effects of the coronavirus are not solely economic, though. This outbreak is also severely affecting the world of politics. Many voters have questioned whether they should vote for President Trump due to inquiries about his capability to handle this crisis and his credibility when saying that the situation is under control. Multiple nation leaders, such as President Moon Jae-in of South Korean and Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe, have been heavily criticized on their handling of the situation and prevention of increasing cases.
Now, after learning information about the virus itself, it is important we learn how to prevent further spreading. We have all been told this, but the simplest and quite effective way to help prevent the coronavirus from spreading is to wash your hands regularly before meals, after using the restroom, and after being in public places or boarding public transport. However, when washing hands is not possible, it is important to carry some hand sanitizer in your bag is very important. Attempting to avoid your hand having contact with your eyes and mouth as much as possible can also be significant when preventing the illness. Most people think that wearing surgical masks will prevent the spreading of the disease, but this is not the case; only those that are infected and the medical professionals that cure the patients should be wearing masks. Also, if someone notices the symptoms of the illness and believes they have this type of coronavirus, they should avoid going to public areas, including hospitals, as this could certainly cause the illness to spread. The ideal move is to call a doctor, and they should orient the patient on future steps. It is important to be aware of the virus and try the simple steps mentioned above that can be practiced by all to help contain it. However, once again, there is no need to panic or go into a state of turmoil. It is fundamental to remember that if everyone is more cautious when it comes to coronavirus and has a calm approach to dealing with it, everything will remain under control.