The Coronavirus- Should You Be Worried?


Steven Orland, Staff Writer

Blatant in the face of all news and media consumers, it’s travelled internationally and spread through societies like wildfire. It’s created chaotic scenes in supermarkets and enabled extreme precautions across the globe. In recent weeks, it’s reached Long Island, but whether or not the fear and precautions are justified remains to be seen.

In recent days, local governments have taken precautionary efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, taking form primarily in school closings. A month-long closure of New York schools has recently been called for by the state, which Governor Andrew Cuomo describes as “necessary to reduce density and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Actions that seek to limit social congregation have been taken by national and international organizations, too. This past Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that in the next two months “cancel gatherings of more than 10 people …” The widespread school closings branch off this idea, as does the World Health Organization’s warning to “maintain at least 3 feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.”

The concept of social distancing has taken effect nationally, as many states have closed restaurants, bars, and movie theaters due to the pandemic’s threat. The public has also received personal precautions from the CDC, which advises to wash one’s hands often, avoiding public places and touching one’s face. Remaining clear are preventive actions, but still ambiguous are the risk factors within our society. 

The abundance of quarantines called for by local and state governments align with CDC efforts to protect society until those infected “no longer pose a risk of infecting others.” This idea connects to social distancing, which intends to reduce the spread of the virus. While the majority of citizens are not at risk of infection, certain groups are considered most vulnerable. 

Like during flu season, people above the age of 60 are currently most likely to contract COVID-19, but this isn’t definite, because the CDC considers “older adults” at the highest risk. Due to this concern, the organization recommends stocking up on necessary items and food, evident in the abundant lack of toilet paper and canned goods across the nation. Chaotic scenes in supermarkets have accompanied rising rumors regarding health and proactive behaviors.

In spite of increasing awareness for preventive coronavirus actions, myths have proliferated – the World Health Organization has been quick to respond. A popular claim suggests that cold climates can halt the spread of the virus, which the WHO dismisses, saying that “the new coronavirus can be transmitted in all areas.” There has also been word of a national lockdown taking place to stop the virus’ path across America.