To be worried, or not to be worried, that seems to be the question on the mind of the world today when it comes to the coronavirus.
For the most part, people seem to be on polar opposite sides on this issue. One side being “The coronavirus is the new black plague” and the other being “F*ck the coronavirus, the real problem here is the flu!”, but personally, I am a member of the middle ground team.
When it comes to life threatening illness I get as anxious as the next person, but I think it is super important for all of us to keep our heads and turn to the facts.
What do we know about the Coronavirus? We know that this type of virus isn’t just one virus, it is a family of viruses, which usually affect animals. According to telegraph.co.uk, “Seven, including the new virus, have made the jump to humans, but most just cause cold-like symptoms.” Two other types of coronavirus from the Middle East come in the form of respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome are said to be more severe then the current strand being that Mers has a fatality rate of 30% and Sars has a fatality rate of 10%, where as the current strand (Covid-19) has a fatality rate of only 2%. One could see this as one silver lining of a virus ridden cloud.
Let's talk about some other things we know, because knowledge is power. We know the outbreak started in Wuhan, China, possibly at a “wet market”, which sold both living and deceased animals. We also know it has spread from China to other areas of the world. Specifically, 40 other countries and 89,000 confirmed cases world wild. As of March 3, 2020 in the United States there are only 103 confirmed cases. The other thing we know is that coronavirus is spread like any other cold or flu virus which is via droplets when someone coughs or sneezes. Now, that we have talked about what we know….let's talk about what we can do to avoid getting it.
This may come as a shock to some people, but the best way to stay healthy is to wash your hands often. I know it's a mind blowing concept...good hygiene techniques could help you to not get sick (WILD). Though this may seem like a simple point, unfortunately a lot of people aren’t doing it like they should. Remember in school when they teach you how to wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing the ABC’s? Well if you aren’t washing your hands for that long, or you aren’t using soap then you are probably aren’t doing it right. So, if the coronavirus is something you are afraid of, think about washing and sanitizing more.
Now, that we have gotten the helpful facts out of the way, let me tell you what I think. I think that this is just another really bad strain of cold or flu that the world has to deal with. I think because it is publicized so much it has freaked us all out much more than is necessary. Mostly, I believe we all as college students need to take the time and effort to check in with ourselves, especially this time of year.
If you didn’t have midterms last week then I am sure you have a few this week. It is no surprise that this is a stressful time of year where people sacrifice their health and making sure they are sleeping well and more on assignments and classes. This being said, with high stress and little sleep comes lower immune function...and with lower immune function comes sickness, and as we all know sickness sucks. Because of this terrible stress cycle it is important we listen to our bodies, and our minds and when they say we aren’t our best we need to listen so that we don’t come to class sick and spread that sickness around.
At the end of the day, I think the coronavirus is one of many illnesses which plagues the culture today, and worrying about it only makes it worse. If we should be worrying about anything we should be worrying about proper hygiene and general self-care...and that's the tea from me to WU.
Edited by Adam White, Jason Morrison