Overview of COVID-19


Kennedy Jackson, Commentary editor

COVID-19 has rapidly invaded the lives of several people all around the world. Below is some information that could assist in the process of dealing with this outbreak.

This disease is caused by a new type of coronavirus has been labeled COVID-19, an abbreviated title for coronavirus disease 2019. COVID-19 is a mild to severe respiratory disease that infects your body by entering healthy cells. The illness is caused by droplets of a cough, sneeze, or breath infecting another person. These droplets could be in the air or on a surface you made contact with before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, allowing the virus to pass to the mucous membranes in your throat. Once infected, the virus multiplies throughout your body, latching its surface proteins to ACE2 receptors on healthy cells, especially those in your lungs.

Anyone can be subject to this virus, but people most susceptible to COVID-19 are adults 65 and over and people of any age with serious underlying medical problems such as heart disease, lung disease or diabetes. Symptoms include: fever, a cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills (sometimes with shaking), body aches, headache, a sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell, nausea, and diarrhea.

The best way to fight the virus is protect yourself and others from infection. COVID-19 can  be passed by carriers of the virus who aren’t showing any symptoms, so it is very important to keep a six foot minimum distance away from other people and avoid largely populated areas as much as possible. Continuing to put yourself in close proximity to others increases the risk that you will catch the virus and the risk that you could spread even faster, meaning this pandemic could last far longer than anyone wants it to and more people could die in the process. For extra protection, if you are in possession of a material to cover your mouth and nose then you should keep your face covered while out to decrease the spread of germs through the air. Everyone should also wash their hands as much as possible, like after they touch a public surface or after they handle an object that might have come in contact with another person, to decrease the chance of infection. If you are not in a position to wash your hands then hand sanitizer is a suitable substitute for the time being.

Protecting yourself isn’t the only thing you can do to help the situation. As schools close and workers across the country are laid off due to the spread of COVID-19, many of the most vulnerable populations in the United States face stressors that extend beyond the immediate health concerns spurred by the global pandemic. Several schools have closed down and many workers have been laid off because it is too dangerous for their health to be able to be in that populated area, however this poor situation has led to some students losing access to meals provided by the school and a number of unemployed citizens that surpasses the Great Recession.

There are several ways to help during this pandemic. Some of the best ways to help everyone and yourself during this outbreak are to research the disease to understand better protect yourself and practice proper hygiene. People should also stay at home whenever possible and avoid making things worse by ignoring health regulations and spreading the virus faster. Another thing you can do is help keep society running in a safe way by supporting or getting a job in the supply chain to allow people to get food and supplies. Finally, you could donate any extra medical supplies you might have to those in need of it, donate to and/or volunteer at your local food bank, find ways to help feed students who depend on school lunches, and collaborate with neighbors to check in on the most vulnerable in your community.