Christian Carlo Ceguerra
Students and faculty members at Skyline College are concerned about the growing outbreak of the coronavirus that has killed nearly 1,000 people in China and two outside of China
Over the past month or so, the coronavirus has killed over 1,100 people in China, including one American, as two others — one in Hong Kong and in the Philippines.
On Tuesday, at a two-day summit in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Health Organization announced that the official name for the novel coronavirus was COVID-19.
Additionally, the coronavirus outbreak has spread into a number of countries including the United States — seven of which are located in the state of California. According to The New York Times, there are four of those seven are in the San Francisco Bay Area.
According to the CDC, there are media reports that the coronavirus has already “spread from an infected person who already has the coronavirus without any symptoms being detected, to someone who doesn’t (already have it).” As a result, many Skyline College students are concerned about the coronavirus outbreak being spread to the school.
Jayde Nieve, a counseling intern at Skyline College, says that she is not too concerned about the coronavirus just yet, but if a student were to test positive for the virus, then she would definitely become concerned.
“If we had a student sick here at Skyline, I do think that it would probably start making me feel a little scared, because it would feel more of a reality,” Nieve said. “So, I definitely will get a lot more scared if we had someone get diagnosed here.”
Nieve isn’t the only person at Skyline College who is concerned about the coronavirus being spread to the campus. Skyline College student Ovie Ogege says that he is somewhat concerned about the people who already have been infected with the coronavirus, and that he is aware of the situation with the outbreak that has been going on in China.
“I’m aware about it,” Ogege said. “I’m concerned… Obviously everyone’s concerned about their safety, but still, we know — Just try to be safe.”
However, health experts say that people outside of China should not panic or be too concerned about the coronavirus outbreak. For instance, in an CNBC interview, Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medical, said that the outbreak “is a global health emergency, there’s no doubt about it” — but adds that cases outside of China, the spread has, so far, been isolated.
Skyline College student Madelyn Alvarado says that even though the coronavirus had already killed an American person in Wuhan, China, she isn’t concerned about the virus potentially being spread to the Skyline College campus.
“It is not the same situation here than what is happening in China because they’ve been controlling what’s been happening, and who’s entering the country,” Alvarado said.
Symptoms to Look For
Amid the current concerns that the public have at the moment, the CDC has said that the symptoms for the coronavirus could include “a runny nose, a headache, cough, sore throat, fever” and “a general feeling of being unwell.”
Preventing the Coronavirus
The CDC says there is no vaccine for the 2019-nCoV infection at the moment, but health experts speculate that it could take months or even years for the coronavirus vaccine to finally be developed. In the meantime, the CDC recommends that you:
“Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
If soap and water is not available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay at home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.”
Although the number of new cases appears to be on the decline, the concerns about the coronavirus are not likely to ease anytime soon, as some Americans await being quarantined in military bases — one of which is in California — to be assessed for COVID-19.