by Anne Morin

Anne Morin is currently pursuing her Biology degree at SFC. She is interested in minoring in forensic science. Read below for her synposis on COVID-19.

My views of the novel coronavirus named Covid-19, is based on my understanding of this rapidly unfolding pandemic.

In January of 2020, the World Health Organization announced an outbreak of the new virus as a public health emergency, the coronavirus has been around for years, however, this virus was developed from a new strand from the SARS-Cov2.

The scientist and health professionals are still learning about this virus and are working on potential vaccines and cures for it. What makes the corona tricky in my eyes is because it resembles severe acute respiratory syndrome, influenza, and pneumonia. It doesn’t help that we are in allergy season as well.

Though originating in China and wreaking havoc there, Italy was severely hit in part due to the high populations of seniors. Other countries such as South Korea, Iran, the United Kingdom, The United States, Spain, and many other parts of the world are already impacted. Tracking the global outbreak made it clear that it is now a pandemic.

I am concerned at the public hysteria, fear, and panic this caused so far and some of the irrational and irresponsible behaviors of many Americans. Some people took this as the end of the world and are hoarding things like toilet paper, or people are spreading inaccurate rumors and conspiracies.

Information literacy is extremely crucial during this time as following the right sources of information is more critical than ever, instead of relying on unreliable media outlets and other noncredible sources. Being informed is helpful during this time.

The social impact of this virus is changing the entire world as no one is exempt even though; it’s been shown that kids are less affected by this, it revealed that the younger generations are not immune. People with prior respiratory conditions and compromised immune systems are more likely to be affected.

This virus is changing the world at large quickly, from reduced traveling, states on lockdown, the economy potentially collapsing, shortage of food and water in some places, financial instability and people possibly losing their homes, unable to pay bills or work. People are having to adjust to a new lifestyle of remaining more indoors.

All in hopes to flatten the curve in order to not further overwhelm our health care system. As an essential employee that still report to work, I protect myself and my patients even more.

I wish more people took this seriously and practiced social distancing, proper hand hygiene and overall good hygiene.

In New York, this virus is doubling every three days; and someone can be asymptomatic for 2 to 14 days. Some people also show symptoms faster than others.

What makes this crisis particularly scary outside of living in one of the current epicenters, is the current lack of testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment, as well as no known cure yet.

With the number of people being infected and dying, I am particularly concerned with the undeveloped countries that are at high risks due to poverty and an already struggling health care and economic system; Especially second and third world countries.

The less fortunate, the elderly and misinformed can suffer immensely, as they may lack proper education, funds, equipment, and tools. I think the impact could be less severe with proper organization, team effort and collaboration from everyone working together to help stop the spread.

On a social level, COVID-19 has impacted schools, as they’re either closing or moving online, employment rates dropped severely because not everyone can work from home, businesses are adjusting or closing.

The biggest impact is how people will live moving forward. A lot of plans have been altered, postponed or canceled. This situation may worsen before it gets better, and if people continue to do their best to help, we can reduce the number of cases, as data showed many infected people recover from this virus.

This outbreak may change how we view our health moving forward and practicing proper hygiene long after quarantine is not necessary. It highlighted some of the things we may have taken for granted in the past; for example, I really miss coming to class.

It is frustrating not knowing what can happen next, someone infected may seem fine and recover, another person may get worst because cases can be mild or severe. I’ve learned about the damages this virus can cause to the lungs, the mucus membranes and potentially other body parts.

So far, socially this virus highlighted the importance of often-overlooked workers in our society, such as health care and public workers, teachers, first responders, sanitation workers, public transit workers, police officers and how they should be more appreciated.

It is showing me what is public health, what role epidemiology is playing in all of this; how using previous data, tracking rates, and using cutting edge technology, scientists can soon develop an actual cure for this virus later.

It also has reminded me of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity, that though being human makes our life fragile; I hope this creates a more compassionate, understanding and inclusive world.

Humans overcame other viruses and diseases in the past and like any other time, I know as a species we can combat and overcome it.  No stones can be left unturned with this virus and I am remaining positively hopeful that, we will contain this virus and work together to find more solutions and a cure for it so that we may all resume a somewhat normal life.

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