Here’s what you should know about the coronavirus

By Charlie Stattion

Staff Writer

Starting with the new year, worries have increased throughout the United States and its citizens. They have become more aware of the possibility of a new coronavirus that was only recently discovered with no treatment. With the threat of the coronavirus going around, citizens should be aware and attentive of the news but not intimidated.

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a group of very similar viruses that start as normal cold into much more severe diseases such as respiratory syndrome. The virus spreads from animal to animal, but as of December 2019 has begun spreading to humans. The virus first began spreading in Wuhan, China, leading to a complete lockdown in less than a month. Those who have been contaminated with the virus are quarantined for 14 days until doctors are certain that the client is fully recovered. 

In Wuhan in December 2019 the coronavirus started to spread amongst people. Since then the Chinese government has gone on complete lockdown to prevent as much spreading as they could. In January of this year, a total of 588 cases had been reported; as of Feb. 27, that total had increased to 82,785. Those numbers include the cases that are already solved as in the amount of deaths and many who recovered.

SOURCE: worldometer

For updated numbers, check out this website that has a list of all the countries that have been affected. This website shows how many cases each country has, including the amount who have recovered and the amount who’ve died. It also includes death rates, symptoms, and data regarding the ages and genders of those who died from the virus.

The virus can spread through close contact with someone who is infected, also when those who are infected cough or sneeze in a manner where droplets are emitted into the air where they could land on your hands, mouth, skin or be inhaled. To prevent it from spreading any faster, it is better to constantly wash hands with soap for 20 seconds or use sanitizer. It can also spread off of infected surface areas and objects. Everyday objects such as door knobs, phones, headphones, remotes and even toilet seats should be sanitized to keep you a bit more safe. Read more about this on the CDC’s website.

To capture community concerns, Rainier students were given a survey to get more in-depth into their questions. See below for the most frequently asked questions and their answers.

Q&A

Rainier freshman Jennalyn Buendia asked: How did the coronavirus appear in animals in the first place? Is this because of pollution or did something evolve with the animals? 

Answer: The corona virus is only a part of a very large family of viruses that live within animals; it’s not caused by pollution, but it is evolved and they are born with it. 

Rainier freshman Ravi Kaskowitz asked: Can it really be killed by alcohol and high temperatures?

Answer: According to the CDC, there is no information to treat the virus with high temperatures or alcohol. 

A question that came up many times is: How to spot it and be safe from it?

Answer: If you get a cold, here are some precautions you should take to not get others around you sick: keep your everyday objects clean; wash or sanitize your hands often; cover your coughs and sneezes; monitor your symptoms; wear a facemask and stay home. Lastly, if the cold lasts longer than two weeks and it’s decided that you are going to the doctor about it, make sure that you call beforehand about your concerns. Read more here from the CDC.

Rainier sophomore Marley Custodio asked: Why are there so many racial and discriminatory factors attached to the virus?

Answer: There is no technical answer, but to see more information about this subject you can read an article called “The Coronavirus is Opening Wounds of Racism and Xenophobia” by McKayla Castigador, a Summit Rainier journalist.

Rainier junior Brandon Duong asked: Whether or not the coronavirus is as deadly as the media says it is?

Answer: Most media about the coronavirus show only negatives, although the stories are supposed to inform you. By instinct, readers are building fear from these different stories and becoming anxious and worried. So the media does show it as very negative, but there is so much more than what they tell you, such as the recovered compared to the deaths. To look more into it, you can read this article called the worldometer; it consistently updates so you can keep track and be more attentive.

Rainier freshman Nicholas Robinson, and four other students, asked: Is there a cure? 

Answer: There is technically no cure, but 80% of the cases are mild and can be recovered at home. CNN’s live article about the coronavirus stated that there is no cure and that we could expect one really soon, at most a month, but it would look something like a vaccine such as a flu shot. Here is the CNN article.

undefined GRAPHIC SOURCE: worldometer

Rainier junior Luis Cruz and two other students asked: Can I die from it? What are the chances that I catch it?

Answer: The chances of dying from it is are slim to none. The United States has 60 cases in total of people who have had the virus and six who have recovered so far. Also, to ease your conscience in the chance that a student were to get the virus, 80% of total cases are mild and can be recovered at home. To add on, ages from 10 to 19 have a .2% chance of dying from it; the highest death rate is ages 80 and higher. To read more, check this article called worldometer.

Rainier junior Lam To asked: If someone contracted the coronavirus where we are now, are hospitals prepared to treat us?

Answer: There isn’t a cure, but the man who was infected was immediately taken to a hospital in Santa Clara County and has just recently recovered. Yes, hospitals are now prepared or getting prepared for people who are infected with the virus. To add on, there is also news where the U.S. President made a statement saying that we are prepared for the virus. Read more here on CNN’s live articles.

Rainier freshman Esther Calderon, and five other students, asked: What are the symptoms?

Answer: Most symptoms are mild, which means it is a fever, cough and shortness of breath. This can be recovered at home easily. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. You can read more on the CDC website.

Rainier freshman Joyce Liu and three other students asked: How has it affected other countries?

Answer: The virus has spread to 45 countries, excluding the cruise ship called Diamond Princess and the countries where the cases have resolved themselves. Other than China, there isn’t much information of how other countries are taking this and what they are doing to prevent it from getting worse. Use this article called worldometer to keep track of all the cases of coronavirus within each month.

Rainier freshman Leonardo Perez, and two students, wonder if the virus is in San Jose.

Answer: There are no cases in San Jose, but there was a case in Santa Clara County that was resolved recently, and he lived.

Rainier sophomore Analiese Kroner, with other students, asked: Through what means can it spread?

Answer: The virus can spread through person to person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. In the CDC, you can read more about how it spreads.

Rainier freshman Mia De La Rosa, and six students, asked: What is the government around the world doing to stop the spreading of the virus?

Answer: First off, the government of China is on total lockdown to prevent anyone and everyone from obtaining the virus (60 million people). 

Rainier junior Julian Matinez asked: How many cases have been detected in the United States? 

Answer: As of Feb. 27, in the world there were 82,720 total cases: 33,350 recovered and 2,817 deaths.  In comparison, the United States had 60 total cases: six recovered and zero deaths. You can keep up to date by reading this website called worldometer.

Featured image (at the top of this post): Rainier juniors Damian Hernandez and Alfredo Montalvo show the masks some are using to avoid infection. Note: Masks have been shown to be most effective for preventing those already infected from spreading the virus; due to shortages, experts have asked the public to reserve masks for healthcare workers, caregivers and patients.

Related:

The coronavirus outbreak is opening wounds of racism and xenophobia

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