Opinion: Do not panic about the Coronavirus


Sarah Carpenter wears a protective mask. (Faith Blankemeyer/BluePrints)

jake barry

The Coronavirus or Wuhan virus that began spreading in the city of Wuhan, China at the very end of 2019 has people worried out of their minds. 

Panic will only lead to safety hazards and false rumors.

First, only around 60,000 people have contracted the disease and according to The World Health Organization, 82% of the cases of the virus were mild, 15% were severe, and 3% were fatal. Only one American has died, but that person was in China at that time. 

Second, chances of getting infected are very low because of the steps the Chinese government has taken. Chinese authorities restricted all forms of travel in and out of Wuhan, because many people live in one district and work in another, work has been severely crippled. Wuhan is China’s fifth largest city, with around 11 million people being contained and quarantined in the city. China is a much more crowded country also with a much higher population than the U.S. so it is much easier for infections to spread.

Third, people in America do not have much to worry about because of the extreme quarantine. The main people at risk of becoming infected are health workers and those coming back from a visit to China and those with the highest chance of fatality are the elderly and young children.

Travel to China has already been reduced as a safety measurement and the CDC is monitoring any possible cases of outbreaks in the U.S. Only around 3% of people who have been infected have died, although this number may grow and it is also hard to estimate because the outbreak is in its early stages. America has already taken drastic steps to evacuate and quarantine U.S. citizens coming from China, over 800 people have been evacuated. As soon as citizens land they go through a 14 day quarantine to make sure they are safe. 

Finally, the steps in avoiding the virus are simple. There is currently no vaccine for this virus, but the CDC recommends preventive steps to avoiding respiratory illnesses.  Since the coronavirus is very similar to the flu, the steps to avoiding it are also very similar. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water, avoid touching eyes or mouth with unwashed hands, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home when you are sick, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, clean and disinfect household items with wipes or a cleaning spray. In a more extreme measure, masks have been used to avoid infection when in contact with infected people.

The infection is not as dangerous to us as we think it is. The quarantine in America is helping secure our safety 

China attempted to cover up the new viral infection by arresting people spreading “false rumors.”

A doctor named Li Wenliang warned people over social media that he had been treating many people with flu-like symptoms and warned that his co-workers should wear masks while working. He was warned by Chinese police to stop spreading panic, he did, but he was soon hospitalized because he had contact with patients infected with the coronavirus.