Dr. Walter Cheng Answers the Questions About the COVID-19 at the Library


Ama Bayar

Dr. Walter Cheng discusses the coronavirus at Skyline College on Feb. 27.

A college physician came to Skyline College to talk and answer the burning questions about the facts and myths about the COVID-19 on Feb. 27 at the Library in Building Five.

Dr. Walter Cheng—who is not only a physician and internal medicine doctor, but he is also the medical director at the Health Center at Skyline College—spoke to students and faculty regarding about the truths and mistruths of the COVID-19 outbreak that had initially began in Wuhan, China.

“[COVID-19] is a group of viruses that can cause disease and there are many types of coronaviruses out there that have been circulating for hundreds and hundreds of years,” Dr. Cheng began to speak to a group of people.

Dr. Cheng began to explain what is true and false about the coronavirus—including how people can get the coronavirus.

“They can infect both humans and animals.” Dr. Cheng continued. “And typical coronaviruses cause the common cold and so the common cold is caused by a whole host of viruses, which coronaviruses usually cause about 10% of common colds. And the vast majority of coronaviruses cause mild cold symptoms, so when you get a runny nose, a cough, low grade fever, coronavirus is oftentimes one of the things that causes it.”

In fact, according to the researchers at UCLA, they “…have found that screening travelers in order to detect the 2019 novel coronavirus is not as practical as it seems – it may catch less than 50% of infected travelers.” In addition, researchers at UCLA also found similarities to the symptoms of the common cold and the COVID-19.

In fact, people who catch the common cold (also known as the flu) will likely get a “Fever, cough, body aches and headaches, a sore throat, will get tired, a runny nose, and the symptoms will appear abruptly.” Additionally, UCLA researchers also found that people who have tested positive for the COVID-19 will get a “Fever and cough,” just like the symptoms of the flu; those diagnosed will get the “Shortness of breath, more serious cases can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome…, and the symptoms will appear from two to 14 days after exposure.”

In an attempt to ease the fears from the audience of dying from COVID-19 disease, Dr. Cheng said that the students and faculty at Skyline College should not be scared worried and answered some of the common questions that most of the audience had.

“Is COVID-19 a serious virus? Yes.” Dr. Cheng answered to the audience about the questions that they have on COVID-19. “Will it kill you? Probably not…we’ve noticed that over 80% of the people who get the disease get very mild disease just like the common cold that you normally get with other coronaviruses.”


Dr. Walter Cheng

However, Dr. Cheng warned that those who are over the age of 60 or have health problems are at risk of getting the COVID-19 disease at the end of the day.

“There are certain groups that seem to be at higher risk for serious infection,” Dr. Cheng continued explaining to the audience. “And so those are people who are older, so we can see more serious illnesses from people over the age of 60, people who have compromised immune systems, on medications that could suppress their immune systems, people with uncontrolled HIV disease that would probably have the more severe disease, and the most important thing are people with underlying lung conditions.”

In fact, the vast majority of the 31+ plus deaths reported in the United States thus far have come from people over the age of 60 and/or with deteriorating health conditions that made their immune systems vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease—with most of the deaths occurring in Washington State.

In fact, as Dr. Cheng was saying that the CDC was warning to the American people on Feb. 25 that the COVID-19 would get worse sooner with no timeline set, but when and if it occurs.

“The CDC said on Feb. 25 that it’s not a matter of if, but no matter when this will spread into our community,” Dr. Cheng warned to the audience.




Consequently, the spread of COVID-19 is already making waves here in the United States as the CDC had correctly predicted on Feb. 25, and there are major fallout as a result of the spread of the disease. As a result, the Trump Administration is taking drastic action by ramping up the testing kits for Americans who might caught the COVID-19 disease and a coronavirus emergency bill was signed by President Trump at the end of last week. Additionally, social life has also been disrupted as well—many schools in the United States have already shuttered including San Francisco State University and College of San Francisco—as well as major entertainment festivals either being postponed until later in the year or canceled altogether.

At the end of the day, the major disruptions of social life in the United States are in a bid to save the elderly lives—who are mostly at risk as a result of a compromised immune system that is vulnerable to the COVID-19 disease.