Coronavirus

The+Coronavirus+has+recently+been+a+widespread+issue+in+every+aspect+of+human+life.+

The Coronavirus has recently been a widespread issue in every aspect of human life.

Hannah Teifke, Rachel Weathers, Halli Bratcher, and Hailey Paddock

As COVID-19, commonly known as Coronavirus, continues to spread like wildfire around the world, many are taking precautions against the potentially fatal virus and its catastrophic effects on the world. Coronavirus is spreading at an alarmingly fast rate and panic is rising, often initiated by those who know little to nothing about what the virus actually is. 

OVERVIEW 

Coronavirus is a virus that was likely transmitted to humans by animals in wet markets in China, where items like fresh meat and raw fish are sold. Since there are people constantly traveling internationally, the disease spread from one country to several in a matter of months. This is the time of year when America usually struggles with a flu epidemic, but it has been discovered that Coronavirus has a higher mortality rate than the seasonal flu.  Many Americans worry about the rapid transmission of the virus, but the more severe stages of the disease are associated with old age, compromised immune systems and underlying diseases as well as unhealthy habits like smoking. 

COVID-19 brings a variety of symptoms to anyone infected, including fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, headaches, sore throat and diarrhea. These symptoms can appear more severe among people aged 49-56, since older people tend to have weaker immune systems. At the moment, the United States only has a four percent rate of critical states, but that number varies elsewhere. 

Although Coronavirus can be spread through coughs or sneezes like many other diseases, it spreads more readily than the flu. Transmissions of the virus can show as either symptomatic or asymptomatic, so the symptoms do not always show immediately upon contraction. In some cases, common signs such as diarrhea and nausea will precede the other symptoms. 

Coronavirus is definitely a threat to keep an eye on, as it is very contagious and it spreads in populated areas rapidly. Despite the speed at which it spreads, COVID-19 has a fatality rate of below three percent. 

If one is infected with Coronavirus, it can be treated by supportive methods including oxygen and fluids. Antibodies from patients that have recovered from the virus could also be helpful for infected individuals to use. 

Although there are currently no drugs that can be used to fight Coronavirus, research is being conducted to come up with an effective way to combat the infection. 

TRAVEL

The Coronavirus has been at the forefront of the news for the past several weeks. As the virus is becoming more and more prominent throughout the world, many are taking precautions and putting travel plans on hold. 

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has proposed three levels of (travel risk assessments): Level one encourages usual traveling precautions, level two advises for increased precautions and level three warns of all nonessential travel. Countries with a level three ranking include China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Japan. These countries have the most severe outbreaks of the Coronavirus. 

Due to these outbreaks, some travel plans have been cut short or canceled completely. This has been true for many college students amid their study abroad programs. Many programs in Italy are being canceled as the country has had over 283 confirmed cases of the virus, the most cases outside of Asia to date. (Syracuse University) in New York suspended its programs in Florence, Italy on Feb. 25. The Coronavirus is also affecting many international students who will no longer be able to travel home during the spring and possibly not for the summer either. 

The United States is implementing precautions to help limit the spread of the virus throughout the country. Screenings are now in place for people entering the country from high-risk areas with a multitude of Coronavirus cases. 

CNN reported that the goal of these screenings and travel advisories is to lower the travel to and from impacted areas, in an attempt to control the spread of the virus. To limit travel to impacted areas, such as Italy and China, Delta Airlines has temporarily suspended certain flights, which will continue through the end of April. 

Italy’s Lombardy region has been on lockdown since March 8. The next day, prime minister Giuseppe Conte extended the country’s lockdown to the whole country. Italy’s citizens are urged to only leave their homes for work or emergencies. This was to protect the country from further exposure and will continue through April 3.

In addition to this, President Trump announced a 30 day travel ban on all travel into the United States from Europe.

Beginning on July. 24, Tokyo is set to host the Summer Olympic Games. This has been in place since 2013. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) says the games will continue as scheduled, despite the current state of the Coronavirus in the country. It’s still early to be making these decisions, as little is known of the Coronavirus or if it will have the same impact in the next several months. In a statement, the IOC said it would “continue to follow the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO).”

This isn’t the first time the Olympics have continued despite threats of large disease and virus outbreaks. In 2016, the Summer Olympics dealt with threats from the Zika virus. At this event, WHO advised that the Olympics could continue because the risk of the Zika virus, which was carried through mosquitoes, was low. 

While the chance of contracting the Coronavirus is low outside of the level three countries, especially China, preventative steps can still be taken. The CDC and WHO recommend only necessary travel to countries with level three rankings, it is still safe to travel to states with minimal outbreaks. For these areas, normal cold and flu season precautions are sufficient. 

EDUCATION

At the beginning of 2020, along with a new decade, our nation received a new virus. The Coronavirus, or COVID-19, originated in China, but the disease has spread globally. Although the only confirmed cases in Oklahoma are in Tulsa, what does this mean for the school system if the virus were to spread into Edmond? 

To keep the school clean and sickness-free, principal Anthony Rose says it all comes down to sanitizing the school and the mindfulness of students. 

“We have a great custodial staff that works very hard to ensure everything is cleaned and sanitized,” Rose said. “Students need to remember to be mindful in washing their hands and covering their mouths when they cough.”

With such a wide sense of paranoia throughout the US, it’s easy for hysteria to arise. Many people are wondering about the severity of the virus. 

“Currently, Edmond Memorial has not received many concerns dealing with the virus,” Rose said. “The district is very well informed and has been in constant contact with the State Department of Education.”

With spring break coming up, many students will be traveling to various states and some are even leaving the country. To prevent the spread of illness, Edmond Public Schools has a plan. 

With the well-being of our entire community on our minds, we will be sending an email to parents in the next few days asking them to please report if they plan to travel to any country that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has designated as a Level 2 or Level 3, which means a country has a great number of cases, and to fill out a form letting us know,” said EPS chief public information officer Susan Parks-Schlepp.

This creates a sense of relief throughout the district, knowing travel will be monitored. Although EPS has created a plan for traveling students, the pandemic plan is set in stone by the Oklahoma City County Health Department (OCCHD). 

“In the event of a public health situation, Edmond Public Schools would follow the OCCHD’s emergency preparedness plan and look to them for guidance,” Parks-Schlepp said.

Along with the Coronavirus, the flu has posed quite a threat this year. With both illnesses, cleanliness and hygiene is imperative. With well over two thousand kids at Memorial, it’s easy for sickness to be passed around. EPS Superintendent Brett Towne warns parents to keep their kids out of school if they are sick to prevent it from spreading.

If your child is sick, please keep them home from school until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medication,” Towne said. “Please remain on the side of caution if you observe that your child has respiratory illness symptoms, such as a running nose, cough or sore throat.”

One of the most important things to remember during this outbreak is to practice good hygiene. Keeping oneself clean and properly washing hands is the best precaution students can take at this time. Students, wash those hands each day to keep the Coronavirus at bay. 

ECONOMIC

Ever since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in December of 2019, the US economy has been at risk of suffering a harsh impact. The virus has already affected Chinese economics, since they are not producing as much as before, causing an eight percent plunge on their stock market according to Reuters.

Wall Street has encountered heavy loss from the virus. The last week of February was one of the worst weeks since the financial crisis in 2008. On the other hand, gold has jumped to $1,700 per ounce for the first time since 2012, according to Economics Time.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, an index that tracks 30 large publicly-owned companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange, has already dropped 4.4 percent since China is unable to produce the same amount of products with a weakened workforce. 

Goldman Sachs Groups, Inc. is an American multinational investment bank and financial service company that has dropped 5.94 percent in stock. Goldman also released its economic forecast indicating zero earnings growth in 2020 because of the outbreak. 

The 10-year Treasury fell below 0.5%, making its historic record lows, according to KFOR. Saudi Arabia has shocked many oil markets by commencing price war. US oil prices have declined 23% and $31.84 per barrel. This puts the oil contracts on track at their worst day since 1991.

OPEC and Russia’s alliance had an implosion and global markets are now plunging. The worst single-day crash in 30 years has led to panic. 

Retail stores like Walmart, Costco and Target have also been running out of sanitation products, according to Newsweek. The stores have also had some aggressive shoppers stockpiling on canned goods and disease-fighting goods. This is great for grocery stock, but the problem is some Costcos are running out of paper towels and toilet paper.

The coronavirus has and will continue to affect stocks, but it is important to realize that stocks can rebuild. The US has suffered from a drop in stocks many times before. 

The Coronavirus maybe having many unexpected effects on the world, but the world will continue to push its way through this pandemic so that it will daily functions will eventually settle into what they were before.

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