– by Amy, senior –
Quarantining has caught students and workers by surprise. On March 23, Virginia State Governor Ralph Northman announced all schools in the state would be shut down for the rest of the school year, provoking chaos among adults and some celebrations among the students; however, the celebrations were short-lived as many realized the serious spreading of the virus and the lonesome quarantine life.
Consequently, the importance of staying updated on the facts and status of COVID-19 has only since increased.
The coronavirus is an infectious respiratory illness first discovered in Wuhan, China, as a new strain not previously identified in humans. The virus is referred to as the “2019 novel coronavirus” and the disease referred to as COVID-19, where ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.
The basic symptoms are fever, coughing, and shortness of breath; however, severe cases include pneumonia, kidney failure, severe acute respiratory syndrome, and death. The disease is not airborne but transmitted by close contact, where the most common transmission is by touching an infected surface and then touching one’s eyes, nose, or mouth.
Otherwise, it may be transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected individual coughs or sneezes.
Currently, there is no vaccine for this virus, and experts estimate it may be over a year until one is produced. Thus, individuals must take precautions on how to protect themselves.
Clean hands are important in preventing the spread of corona. Scrubbing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is ideal; however if a soap product is not readily available, a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol should be used. It is particularly important to wash hands after going in public places.
Disregarding simple social distancing rules creates a more significant risk of catching the virus.
“I think that since not everyone has been social distancing, the curve has not flattened completely,” said Ava J, junior. “I think it’s okay for people to go outside to get out of the house, but they shouldn’t go to hang out with people.”
Social distancing helps with preventing the spread of the virus. Cases have shown that some people without symptoms may be spreading the virus, shedding light on the importance of the quarantine life.
Although the life of a healthy individual may not be at great risk after getting corona, quarantining is used to aid our health care professionals and those with low immune systems who are most at risk.
At some point, going out to purchase food and other supplies is necessary, and it is important to continue to keep six feet between others, to wear a mask, and to cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
Lastly, it is notable to clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily.
The coronavirus has caused global concern. The U.S. currently has a total of 526,353 active cases. It is important to acknowledge the situation we are in, obey the guidelines set before us, yet continue with our daily lives, despite the revised lifestyle.