COVID-19 and What We Know so Far  


By Iris Choi

What is Coronavirus?
It is only march of 2020 and so many disasters have happened, and Coronavirus is one of them. Coronavirus or Covid 19, is a virus that is between 0.5 and 0.2 microns in size. That means a face mask like surgical masks are ineffective. Doctors recommend masks that can stop smaller microns like N95 respirators that can block out microns as small as 0.3. If the mask is worn correctly it can block out 95% of airborne particles. It has recently been reported by the World Health Organization that coronavirus has become a pandemic as of March 11, 2020.

Where did the virus start and what are the impacts?
Coronavirus started to spread in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. It is one of the most populated cities in China and this was a big issue for the East side. Since then more than 81,000 have been infected and at least 3,300 have died.

You can view which countries have been affected If you would like to see exactly which countries in the world here. View live updates for cases for the US here.

But before Corona became a pandemic, doctors and civilians have tried to warn us through YouTube, live broadcasting, and social media to raise as much as awareness before it was too late.

One of the first whistleblowers was Doctor Li Wenliang who passed away due to the Coronavirus in February. He was warned by the police of Wuhan and the government to stop talking about the virus calling it “an unlawful act” in the warning. Since then, more civilians have come out to help highlight the impact the virus had on the people and jobs. 

Are there vaccines available?
The lack of information on the new disease is causing challenges to find a cure for the virus. Scientists in Kaiser Permanente research facility in Seattle, Washington have been asking for volunteers to test out a possible cure for corona. The vaccines that they are injecting are a harmless genetic code copy of COVID-19, but will not cause the disease. The first person to receive this was Jennifer Haller, who is a veteran of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch space venture. It is predicted the vaccine will take around a year to 18 months for it to be completely effective.

BBC reports:  “The volunteers were being given different doses of the experimental vaccine. They will each be given two jabs in total, 28 days apart, into the upper arm muscle. But even if these initial safety tests go well, it could still take up to 18 months for any potential vaccine to become available for the public.”

How can I help prevent the spread of Corona?
You can start by isolating and or distancing yourself from others. If you are in need of groceries or need to go out, make sure that you aren’t sick.

If you want to be a good Samaritan, help out those who are weaker and older by doing the errands for them. Ages 30 to 69 are most affected, but are more serious for ages 65 and up. If you know anyone that is in that age range, please make sure they are doing okay and ask them if they need any assistance. My friend who lives in Raleigh, North Carolina has made a group chat for her neighbors to help with grocery shopping. They have organized it so that the young and the healthy would go out instead for the weaker and immune.

Make sure you wash your hands in warm water for at least 30 seconds, and if you are going to sneeze, sneeze inside your shirt or cover by sneezing between your elbows. Do not sneeze upwards because that goes against the whole point of covering up. If you are to cough, do not cough into your hands, the germs will spread when you come in contact with items. Instead cough into your shirt or wear a mask.

What about the small businesses? 
Recently NC Governor Roy Cooper has asked the people to not gather around more than ten people, and halted restaurants for dine-ins. This may raise concerns for small businesses, but Roy Cooper has requested financial support from the Small Business Administration. It would provide loans to impacted businesses “to help fulfill financial obligations and operating expenses” reports The News & Observer
But not all restaurants will be closing, if you are still craving their food, call them in advance if they do delivery or pick ups.

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