Op-Ed: Spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) reinforces need for hygienic practices


Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Protection

Hands are a place that COVID-19 can latch on to. One of the steps people can take to help avoid getting COVID-19 is to thoroughly wash hands for 20 seconds.

By Avery Fox, Staff Reporter

COVID-19, known to many as the coronavirus, originated in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. While the exact cause is unknown at this time, it is believed to have been transmitted from bats. Infants and the elderly are the most susceptible to the disease.

The term “coronavirus,” which is often used to describe COVID-19, is actually a type of virus including the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-Cov). This particular coronavirus, or COVID-19, can cause the common cold, coughs, fevers and other illnesses in humans. This coronavirus can even lead to more acute diseases, such as pneumonia, kidney failure and — in the most severe cases — death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of April 2, there have been 213,144 cases of the coronavirus and 4,513 deaths coming from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marina Islands and the US Virgin Islands. According to The New York Times, the states with the most number of cases are New York, New Jersey, California and Michigan, in order from most to least cases.

All over the world, people are concerned about contracting the coronavirus. With only being able to control yourself and your actions, a large portion of the spread of the virus is just not in your control. Despite this, there are actions that you can take to decrease the probability of you contracting the coronavirus and getting sick.

It is crucial that steps to maintain your personal wellness are followed because by not choosing to take part, you are effectively harming those surrounding you.

On March 15, the Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti ordered bars, night clubs, dine-in restaurants, gyms, movie theaters and other public gathering locations to be temporarily closed until the end of the month. On March 19, California Governor Gavin Newsom put into effect a shelter-in-place order for all California residents.

It is important to practice social distancing and to follow other hygienic practices, even if you are feeling perfectly normal. For some people, it takes up to 14 days for symptoms of the virus to show. You or someone around you could have the virus without knowing it.

While it may seem like common sense, it is important to wash hands with soap and water, or if this is not available for any reason, use hand sanitizer or another alcohol-based rub. Since the coronavirus can latch onto your hands quite easily, this is a simple and relatively quick way to get rid of any germs that may be on your hands.

During the day, your hands touch several surfaces that others have touched. This applies even at your house. This is why it is important to avoid touching your face. Your eyes, nose and throat are all interconnected and are direct routes for viruses to travel into your immune system. It is also important to clean these frequently used surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches and faucets to ensure any germs that might have been on them were removed.

If you are going to sneeze or cough, you must take others from your home into account. These are ways that other people can become sick. So, you should cover your mouth or nose when you cough and when using a tissue, throw it away quickly. Furthermore, it is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of the symptoms relating to the coronavirus.

Lastly, although it is overlooked, it is important to stay informed about the coronavirus. This includes reading emails from Archer about how the school is managing the situation, staying updated on what is happening in Los Angeles and reading reliable sources that give accurate information such as The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.

Overall, it is important to note that with easily transmitted viruses such as the coronavirus, your actions not only impact you but those surrounding you. This is why keeping clean and upholding social distancing are important.