Coronavirus: Epidemic to Pandemic?


Zelia Garcia

 As of December, the coronavirus, supposedly a cousin of the SARS virus, has infected hundreds since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China. It’s believed that the virus started in animals and then spread to humans. So far, it’s known that it causes pneumonia and it doesn’t respond to antibiotic treatment. As of now, it’s not exactly clear how deadly the coronavirus will be in the future, but fatality rates are considerably low at this point. However, experts predict that that statistic will change as the outbreak develops more.

The Arizona Department of Health Services issued a statement Sunday afternoon confirming that a person who recently returned from Wuhan, China, was infected with the disease. The patient is a member of the Arizona State University community but doesn’t live in university housing. However, this still caused some reactions from those in Arizona. “When I first heard that the coronavirus was in Arizona, I was so freaked out. I have friends that go to ASU so it was super nerve-racking,” said Ariana Orlando (12). Learning that a potentially very dangerous and deadly virus is in one’s hometown can spark fear in anybody. With every day that passes, there’s a new case of the Wuhan coronavirus in a new location, causing this epidemic to quickly turn into a pandemic. “Coronaviruses like these often spread very quickly and with the number of people who traveled from Wuhan, China to the United States before we even knew about the virus is alarming. I’m not surprised that it is spreading around so fast because the micrographs released show just how fast the cells multiply,” said biology teacher, Ms. Polus. As of right now, there is no exact vaccine to protect against the coronavirus, but officials recommend not touching your face, washing your hands for at least 30 seconds, and avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products. “I know a ton of people that have bought face masks to protect against the virus, I might have to invest in one too at this point,” said Jacob Whitly (11). Face masks provide some protection, but they don’t protect against the smaller particles that can get through the material of the mask. However, it is good to take some precaution and something is better than nothing.

The coronavirus is continuing to spread every single day. The symptoms are those of a common cold, so it’s crucial that even if one believes they’re sick with just a regular cold, that they get examined by a professional. It’s important that everyone around the world takes extreme precaution and if one feels as though you may have the Wuhan coronavirus, to seek medical help from a professional to keep those around them safe.