Coronavirus sparks fear

Facts that one needs to know about COVID-19.

Coronavirus sparks fear

Isaiah Mendez, Design Editor

COVID-19 is a coronavirus that began to spread from Wuhan, China. Its original name the “novel coronavirus” is a term of a nonclassified virus from a large group of viruses. This can be compared to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which are both classified as coronaviruses. COVID-19 was dubbed on Feb. 11, 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). In the name, “CO” means corona, “VI” means a virus, “D” for disease, and “19” meaning this virus emerged in 2019. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also known as the CDC) reports, “animal coronaviruses that infect animals have emerged to infect people and can spread between people. This is suspected to have occurred for the virus that causes COVID-19.”

The virus originally spread from animals to humans in condensed animal markets. It has been discovered that the virus mainly spreads from respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes which can land in the nose or mouth to be inhaled into the lungs. The CDC recommends that “patients [should] be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.”

The D127 school district superintendent Dr. Mikkel Storaasli sent emails to inform students and parents on prevention stating that, as of Feb. 25, “no significant changes to our normal operations are being recommended for D127 schools.” The D127 district is communicating with the Regional Office of Education (ROE) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to quickly get updates on any changes needed. One of the letters states that “the Lake County Health Department believes the immediate risk to the public remains low. Lake County residents, students, visitors, and workers do not need to change their behavior or use masks or gloves.” In the event that schools must be closed, they will enforce e-Learning days to continue teaching. The letter from Storaasli makes note that “according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, there are other respiratory viruses like influenza currently circulating in Illinois. Fever, coughing and difficulty breathing are symptoms associated with all of them. Therefore, anyone exhibiting these symptoms should not be assumed to have COVID-19.”

With the recent scare of this virus, students have been shown wearing masks to protect and prevent themselves from potential danger. Nurse Julie Szymczak, the CDC, and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) do not recommend wearing masks to school. Szymczak says “if any [student] ever felt like they were scared that they had something like that they can always come down and talk about what the symptoms are or what’s happening.”

The CDC said, “You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it.
A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms. This is to protect others from the risk of getting infected.”

The CDC and the IDPH recommend many ways to protect yourself from the virus as there is no current vaccine yet. Some of these being: Avoid contact with those who are sick, stay home when you are sick, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after sneezing, coughing, blowing your nose, or eating.