The coronavirus: a growing epidemic

Has the world stumbled upon yet another global issue in 2020?

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The virus has a dangerous incubation period which allows it to spread well.

Sean Cunningham, Features Editor

2020 has brought many surprises around the world so far, but none have shaken up the world like this new viral infection that has been spreading since January-the coronavirus. With tens of thousands of confirmed cases all over the world and over a thousand confirmed deaths already, what began as a tiny concern in Wuhan, China has become a global issue that won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Amidst all the chaos, it is quite understandable for many of us locals to be on high alert for this virus that currently has no known cure or vaccine. My goal in this article is to become a man of the people, asking several of the locals their opinions of the issues in order to determine if this epidemic has caused as much uproar as the media paints it out to have.

 

First off, I asked each of my respondents a simple introductory question: How did you react when you first read about the coronavirus outbreak? My first respondent, Clearwater Central Catholic senior Thomas Salanito, stated, “At first I was a little nervous but wasn’t worried about catching the virus.” This response seemed to encompass the majority of the population’s original outlook on coronavirus, being that we didn’t take it too seriously at first. Subsequently, the next question I asked my respondents got quite a few interesting answers; I posed the question “Does this virus concern you as it spreads further throughout the world?” Mr. Salanito responded to this by stating, “Yes, because it’s already made its way to the USA,” which is quite true and concerning. The coronavirus has currently infected over a dozen American citizens, and although only four Florida cases have been confirmed, the disease has been found in many other areas of the nation. Second respondent, Brooker Creek Elementary 5th grader Noelle Cunningham, said, “Probably, I have heard that there have been deaths so that isn’t good.” She brings up yet another unfortunate aspect of the virus, which has accumulated over 2,000 deaths already. Nearly all of these deaths have occurred in China, the region of origin; however, there is no telling that these numbers will stay the same. Third respondent, East Lake High School Senior Justin Roneree, remarked, “Well when you put it like that, Sean, it does.”

 

I then decided to take a more direct approach with questioning, asking each respondent the following: “What do you think the world should do to best combat this outbreak?” Ms. Cunningham stated that she thinks “doctors should work to find a cure to the disease,” which is certainly an important part of the equation. Health professionals have been working tirelessly since the discovery of coronavirus towards the development of a cure or treatment, but so far have not found anything significant. Aside from the destructive influence of alcohol on the virus, which was referenced by Mr. Roneree in his response to the question, no true cure has been able to be found. Mr. Salanito brought up another crucial point, calling to “mandate better sanitation laws and keep victims away from the clean population.” At the present, this approach seems to be the most effective one, and should certainly be continued until a true cure/treatment is developed. Following the great answers up to this point, I felt compelled to get the opinions of my respondents by asking another question: do you believe there is a significant chance coronavirus could become a local issue? Each of my respondents seemed to have similar responses, all revolving around the fact that if the virus is not cured soon and keeps spreading then it could become a real possibility. I then asked each: What would you personally do if coronavirus became a local issue? Mr. Salanito and Mr. Roneree both wish to take the cautious approach, stating that they would “evacuate until the contaminated area has been contained” and “get all my tests done, get all my shots done, and dip” respectively. Ms. Cunningham, however, expressed that she would “try to help them in any way possible.”

 

As you can see, the Coronavirus is an important issue that has become well known to most people in the world one way or another. As we Floridians cling to what could be our last few weeks being completely clean of the threat, I urge you reading this to stay alert and up to date on the world’s battle against this virus.