Information about the coronavirus and tips on how to stay safe.

Photo Credit: Photo via under the creative common license.

Image provided by CDC

Photo Credit: Photo via under the creative common license.

Hinaz Hinaz and Luke Meyers

Wuhan, China reported the first current outbreak of the Coronavirus case or COVID-19 on Dec. 31, 2019. There have so far been over 510,000 cases worldwide and 22,000 deaths, which has a 4% death rate so far. The flu, to compare with, has a death rate of 0.1%, though professionals are saying that the flu and the coronavirus should not be compared because health officials have years of data about the flu but have sparse and only a couple of months of data of the coronavirus.

What is the Coronavirus?:
Coronavirus is an infectious disease spread through its droplets. It first originated in China and there is no exact explanation to how it started.

Coronavirus has many symptoms similar to the flu; symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. According to the CDC and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms may appear “2- 14 days after exposure.”

Who is at Risk?:
Those at most risk are people with weak immune systems, children under five, and the elderly, especially those who are 80-years-old or older.

Many precautions can be taken to prevent the virus, the simplest ones are:
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds (try singing the alphabet twice)
Using a hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol
Avoid touching parts of your face with unwashed hands (eyes, nose, and mouth)
Additional factors that should be taken into consideration are avoiding close contact with people who are sick and the CDC also advises to cover your coughs and sneezes

What to do if you experience symptoms or contract the coronavirus?:
CALL THE DOCTOR- Please inform a healthcare official as soon as possible; you must not spread the disease. By informing health care, they will be prepared to take proper care for you and test you.
Cover your coughs and sneezes- germs can be spread to countless surfaces in a matter of seconds if not covered.
Stay Home- Unless it is necessary for you to go out or if you need to go to get Medicare, please avoid public areas.
Rest- Treat coronavirus seriously and rest to recover or better your symptoms.

Medical outlets are attempting to create vaccines as soon as possible. The release of the vaccine is undetermined and in the process.

Distance Learning:
As a safety precaution, schools have initiated a new form of learning to protect their staff and students. Distance learning is a new way students are learning from their teacher (from the comfort of their own home). For more information on this topic, check out the article on the torch: Distance Learning Due to the Coronavirus.

Opinion: Medicare for All can save lives from the Coronavirus.
Medicare for All is a bill in the U.S. Senate and House that would guarantee healthcare to every American as a right, it would eliminate co-pays, deductibles, premiums, and out-of-pocket expenses and would fund it through a single-payer healthcare system. This bill, if enacted, could save lives and prevent the spread of the coronavirus because we are only as safe and healthy as the least insured person. If someone has the coronavirus, and they don’t have insurance, they likely won’t be able to afford to get tested because the price out of pocket for the test is $3,000. Most people can’t afford to spend $3,000 on a test and even if they could, they wouldn’t want to spend so much money on something that might just come out as a negative result. For those reasons, if and when people don’t get tested and don’t know they have the coronavirus, the virus will spread and get more people sick. But let’s imagine that we’re a country like Australia or the UK, where everyone has health insurance through their single-payer healthcare system and the cost of being tested for the coronavirus is free and easy, people who need to be tested are being tested and lives are being saved. The test being free is a tremendous help in fighting and limiting the spread of the virus. If we enact Medicare for All, a single-payer system healthcare system similar to the UK’s and Australia’s, we could keep ourselves and our neighbors safe from the coronavirus and save lives. The idea of a single-payer healthcare system is not a foreign idea, many United States presidents have advocated for a single-payer system, like FDR, Truman, and JFK. Rep. Ro Khanna, a national co-chair of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, explains the need for Medicare for all during the coronavirus in this video:
Video from MSNBC

A Teacher’s Point of View:
Mrs. Jones is a teacher here at JFK High School and teaches history. The questions below describe her view on the pandemic.
Can you compare the coronavirus to other outbreaks or pandemics?
“In history, we have seen other outbreaks like the Black Plague in the mid-1300s and the Influenza Pandemic in 1918. I think it is tough to compare these three as each illness varies in scope and severity. They also occurred at varying stages of medicine and technology. Thankfully we can work from home now and stay connected virtually as opposed to the prior outbreaks and pandemics.”
What has the government done, if anything, to fight the epidemic and help people affected?
“This is an excellent lesson on Federalism – the notion that the government is divided into local, state, and national governments. We have seen varying responses at each level to the pandemic and ultimately an increase in communication between state and national government to ensure NJ is getting adequate funds and resources to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We have also seen the federal government pass spending bills to increase the relief funds given for unemployment insurance and to increase money spent on slowing the spread, too. Lastly, at the state and federal level this has been declared both a state and national emergency, causing the bureaucratic red tape to be lifted so the governments can work more quickly to achieve their desired results.”
How should students use distance learning to their advantage?
“I think students should take the time to figure out their learning styles and use this experience to pace themselves so they can fully grasp the material presented. When students get to college or the workplace, they are going to have to be good at time management so they may as well start now! But please take breaks! Go for a walk, read a new book, pick up a new hobby – don’t spend all day behind a screen.”
How are teachers coping with distance learning?
“Teachers are doing the best they can, just like the students. Fortunately for our district, students are 1-to-1 with devices in middle and high school, making it easier to digitize learning. I have heard from colleagues that they have been more creative with their lesson now and they are discovering great resources online that they hope to continue using even when we are back in the classroom. ”

Everyone is advised to stay home and quarantine, please stay safe! Also, Please research before spreading false information.

Great websites for further information:

The CDC:

The WHO: