Aaron Hostetler Sports Editor
As many of us know, the illness known as COVID-19, (more commonly referred to as the “Coronavirus”), has made a lasting impact on societies all around the globe. The virus that originated in Wuhan, China has been a major concern for many over the past few weeks, and has continued to spread to 144 countries worldwide, according to President Trump. Governments everywhere have done their best to slow down the death toll for this disease. Although countries such as China and Japan now seem to have the situation under control after already suffering the worst, other countries such as Italy have suffered tremendous losses in recent weeks.
As of right now, at least 254,000 Americans have been tested for the virus, according to Vice President Pence, and many more are reporting positive results. All over the country, schools, businesses, and any events involving large numbers of people are being shut down. The economy and the stock market are currently seeing its lowest numbers in a long time. President Trump has closed the borders to Mexico and Canada for all nonessential travel purposes, and many state governors have ordered their residents to stay in their homes for the time being. As a result, almost every United States citizen has gathered as many provisions as they can from grocery stores, and have been hoarding many items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, wipes, and large abundances of food, to help themselves wait out this ongoing crisis. The situation of the Coronavirus pandemic seems to be more serious than ever, and many people do not know what to expect for the future.
Despite all of the uncertainty surrounding this issue, there is some positive news to consider. The good news is that the virus seems to have a high recovery rate, according to the New York Post. Over 100,000 people worldwide have all recovered healthily from the virus, according to TheHill.com. The symptoms of the virus include fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms are treated early and effectively, then there is a high chance the person will recover shortly after. This is no reason for people to let their guard down, but it is a reassuring thought. As long as people monitor their symptoms, don’t freak out by all of the scary stories about the virus on social media, and take care of themselves by drinking plenty of water and medicine, then they have a higher chance of recovery. Unfortunately, the elderly are most at risk for this disease, due to the fact that they usually have weaker immune systems, and have a higher risk of diabetes or heart problems. However, taking extensive care of oneself is the most important thing to do during such a crisis, and no matter what age you are, this step is most essential to a healthy recovery.
It is also good to look at how other countries have handled the disease to get a good sense of what we should expect for the future. The Chinese have had many cases of the disease, as it was the place of its origin. However, proper quarantines and social distancing techniques are leading to massive recoveries everywhere. The situation in Italy has also been an indicator of darker days that may lie ahead for the United States. However, we should all consider some of the factors that led to so many deaths in Italy. According to DailyMail.com, many of the deaths were due to situational factors such as a large elderly population, crammed hospitals, and a lack of ventilation. The delayed appearance of symptoms of the virus, as well as the massive amount of unreported cases are also major reasons why Italy has suffered so many losses. We can only hope that the United States can learn from this and contain the virus as much as possible.
Scientists from all around the world are racing to uncover the secrets of this virus, so that a vaccine can eventually be created. According to The Washington Post, new evidence suggests that the Coronavirus is not mutating very quickly, which makes it less likely to become more dangerous as it spreads to more and more people. Peter Thielen, a molecular geneticist at Johns Hopkins University stated that there are four to ten genetic differences between the virus strains that were found in the United States, compared to those found in Wuhan. This is significantly lower than most viruses, especially the flu. “The mutation rate of the virus would suggest that the vaccine for SARS-COV-2 would be a single vaccine, rather than a new one each year like the flu vaccine,” says Thielen. This news from the Washington Post suggests that a vaccine would be strong enough to have long-lasting effects. However, it may take some time before an effective enough vaccine is developed to combat this disease.
President Trump has recently stated that his goal is to have everything back to normal by the time Easter arrives. However, we just have to wait and see how the virus has evolved by then to see if that will be possible. Although things may seem bad at the moment, we must all be hopeful and remember that every crisis has its end. This is a difficult time for all of us and we must all take great care to preserve the health and safety of everybody around us, so that we can create a bright future for our nation.