Coronavirus Explained


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An image of what the coronavirus itself looks like.

Moesha Aplicano-Burnham, Reporter

Pandemics are not anything new. The earliest recorded pandemic was the plague of Justinian, which occurred around 541 A.D., and the most recent pandemic being the flu.

In many cases, these pandemics could be extremely deadly. But sometimes, they can be mistaken for something more dangerous than they actually are. One example of this is the swine flu pandemic which lasted from early 2009 and well into 2010. While it was still a deadly virus to those with weakened immune systems – such as young children – to most it is simply an extremely unpleasant experience. 

It’s difficult to determine the severity of an illness when not much is known about it, which is what makes the Coronavirus so frightening. The Coronavirus is an extremely contagious airborne virus that has affected quite a few cities. The virus is said to have started from a seafood market in Wuhan, a city in China. Wuhan has been in lockdown in an effort to quarantine the virus and keep it from spreading to other parts of the country and around the world. 

Life in the quarantined city seems to be quite simple. Despite having a population of 11 million, the streets are almost completely empty. Those living in Wuhan reasonably try to avoid leaving the safety of their own homes. But when they need to leave their home for food or another necessity, they are advised to wear masks and eye goggles due to the disease being airborne. Many people bring suitcases to fill with food at grocery stores to avoid having to leave their homes and be exposed to the illness. 

Although Wuhan is the most affected city, the virus has spread far across the world with over 60,000 cases reported worldwide and over 1,384 deaths.

In the U.S., there have been twelve confirmed cases in multiple states including Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, Washington, California, and Massachusetts.

 Aside from the virus spreading to the U.S., it has also affected the way we travel. On January 31st, President Donald Trump put in place multiple travel restrictions regarding the Coronavirus. These restrictions include putting people who fly to the U.S. from China into quarantine until they are proven to be healthy, along with completely banning non-U.S. citizens who have been in China in the past fourteen days.

The virus will take two paths: It will either resolve or it will get worse. If China fails to contain the virus, it is very likely to spread to other countries. 

Additionally, if this virus spreads to a country with weaker health systems or a lack of adequate medical facilities, it could cause a severe death toll. At the rate the virus seems to be moving, things are on a path to potentially become much worse.