The Coronavirus Outbreak

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An image showing a bunch of people sporting face masks to prevent the virus.

Bryana Sirisute-Popejoy, Editor-in-Chief

Last December of 2019, a virus known as Coronavirus (COVID-19) was discovered in Wuhan China and proceeded to spread to other countries, as over a hundred deaths and thousands of cases are confirmed.

CoVs, or Coronaviruses, are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases, such being Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This type of virus is zoonotic, meaning that it can be transmitted from animals to people. This virus, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and health officials, most likely originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. The reason for this is currently unclear.

Cases of which include the virus have been confirmed internationally, reaching countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, China, Thailand, Italy, Japan, and more. Globally, there are more than 75,000+ cases confirmed, including those that are medical workers, and over 2,500 deaths confirmed. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that COVID-19 is up to 20 times more deadly than the flu, with a fatality rate of about 2.3%. 

Over thousands, no exact number specified, had been quarantined due to catching or potentially catching the virus. Those of which include cases where an American cruise ship was quarantined, being previously stuck on the ship for two weeks. Fourteen of the passengers confirmed to have had the virus, adding to the total number of U.S cases.

Health officials, on the topic of preventing infection spreading, recommend for citizens to regularly wash their hands and cook their meat thoroughly. It is also recommended to avoid contact with people who are sick or are coughing.

A doctor in a full suit caring for an infected person.

As doctors, citizens and health officials struggle to contain the coronavirus, countries are reporting on the spread of anti-Chinese racism, with attacks on the country. Many schools across the countries that are in fear of the virus are spreading and fueling racism, where students of Chinese-American, or Asian descent in general, are being harassed and taunted over the coronavirus. In a Los Angeles Times article, it was written that a student posted on their Snapchat story about the coronavirus, their snap saying, “Taking Calc 151 with only Asians in the classroom … I hope I don’t catch coronavirus … thinkin about dropping this class now,” The racism has spread to the point where a student from Los Angeles County middle school had been allegedly assaulted in the midst of fears over the virus. 8th Grade STEAM Student Piper Torella commented about the topic, “I do not stand this. It is not right for them to be treated like this because of their condition.” 

Several groups are currently racing to develop a vaccine for this coronavirus, though it isn’t guaranteed that they will finish by the end of the current outbreak. The coronavirus continues to spread rapidly, as doctors and scientists struggle to find a cure.