A health sign put up on York campus to raise awareness about the outbreak of the Coronavirus Photo Credit: Angel Adegbesan
By Jordan Woodbine
As of press time, a second death relating to COVID-19 – also known as Coronavirus, has registered in the United States, bringing the total number of cases to 88 in seven states.
New York State officially reported its first confirmed case on March 1, involving a woman in her late-30’s quarantined in her Manhattan home after travelling to Iran. Florida and Washington have already declared a public health emergency.
As of press time, the total number of cases in the world reached 90,000 all across six continents except Antarctica with more than 3,000 fatalities.
“It is a terrible situation and I hope the virus goes away soon- maybe when the weather gets warmer, our life will get back to normal,” said Xiaodan Zhang, Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences. “I don’t have any panic regarding the first case detected in New York. I trust that we have a good system to fight back the virus.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $40 million appropriation for the New York State Department of Health to hire staff, get equipment and other resources necessary to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
In comparison, the White House requested $2.5 billion in emergency funding to deal with the global outbreak. On Feb. 26 President Donald Trump appointed Vice President Mike Pence as the emergency czar. The U.S’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its testing criteria in the past week last week to not just people who were very ill and had been to China or in contact with another known patient.
The Food and Drug Administration also announced that it was giving hospitals and laboratories across the country the opportunity to conduct tests. On March 1, Pence said the federal government released 15,000 testing kits over the weekend, and was working with a “commercial provider” to distribute 50,000 more soon.
Following the surge of the virus in China last year, CUNY’s Chancellor Mateo Rodriguez sent out a university-wide email informing students, staff, and faculty members that the University would be closely monitoring the reports of the Coronavirus outbreak.
For CUNY students, anyone who is currently applying for a Chancellor’s Global Scholarship, for study abroad in China for summer or fall 2020 will be asked to list any additional location apart from China as part of the program application process.
The email also made note of a descriptive list of precautionary measures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State Department of Health, that all students, faculty, and staff members are required to follow in order to maintain a healthy and safe environment on a daily basis.
“I haven’t really been following the news on the coronavirus as much,” said Keshawn Ross, a junior. “Whenever I am on social media I see a lot of updated news posts on the virus. With the virus reaching out of China and showing signs of multiple possible causes in the United States, a lot of Asian people will now be stereotyped and looked down upon.”
Ross went on to voice his strong concerns on the way this virus has started to negatively affect those who are of Asian ethnicity.
“It’s quite disheartening, but I hope and pray for those that have the virus and that there will be a cure as soon as possible,” Ross said.
Simple techniques can certainly go a long way, such as avoiding close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Stay home when you are sick, and here is a big one, cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue. These tips can help protect yourself and the people around you.
“Even though the virus is in the United States, I hope it doesn’t completely destabilize our way of life,” said Gregory Jackson, Adjunct Lecturer of Health and Human Performance.