Coronavirus is just the beginning

Written By Diana Navarrete, Staff Writer

According to BBC News, the global death toll due to the coronavirus has reached 638 with 31,000 confirmed cases in mainland China and 12 in the United States.

The number of people infected with this new contagious virus is increasing alarmingly, yet a majority of people take this as a joke.  If it doesn’t affect you directly then there is no reason to be worried, right?  It’s all happening in a different country, so let’s make memes, right?

Wrong, when the World Health Organization announces that the new coronavirus is a global health emergency, that is when people should become concerned and know that this is not a joking matter.

This flu-like virus originated in Wuhan, China and has spread to about 20 different countries around the world, such as the U.S., France, Australia and neighboring Asian countries.

Specifically to the U.S., the number of confirmed cases include six in California, two in Illinois, one in Arizona, one in Washington, one in Massachusetts and one in Wisconsin. All of them have traveled to China and upon return were diagnosed with the coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, according to CBS News.

It is time to take this epidemic seriously and realize the coronavirus continues to spread and worst of all, there is no cure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises the public to not exposed themselves to the coronavirus and perform daily preventive actions, such as handwashing.

Considering that the illness is new, health organizations do not know much about it, just information from similar coronaviruses. What is most frightening is how simple it is to contract the virus.

CDC officials believe the coronavirus transmits mostly through respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person into the mouths or noses of individuals nearby, six feet or less.

The virus can infect anyone and not know about it for two to 14 days since initial exposure.

Li Wenliang, a Chinese doctor, became infected with the illness on Jan. 20 while treating patients at the Wuhan Central Hospital, died at the age of 33 on Feb. 7 due to the virus.

According to BBC News, before the outbreak, Wenliang attempted to warn fellow colleagues. However, the police prevented this warning under the accusation of  “making false comments.”

Imagine, a single droplet carrying the illness can change a person’s life. Those infected are isolated from all of those they love and care about, while others have died.

Prepare for the worst, for the coronavirus might not be the last epidemic witnessed.