The Novel Coronavirus

COVID-19+has+brought+along+many+new+regulations+and+safety+measures+to+flatten+the+curve.

| European Pharmaceutical Manufacturer

COVID-19 has brought along many new regulations and safety measures to flatten the curve.

- Caroline Carpenter, Editor

With the increasing numbers of people diagnosed with COVID-19, more commonly called the coronavirus, many are starting to panic. This disease made its debut in Wuhan, China. Since then the virus has spread through all continents. As of March 26th, 2020, there have been 509,427 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide with 23,004 deaths. In the United States, there have been 81,332 confirmed cases and 1,173 deaths. And as of March 26th, Oklahoma has 248 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 7 confirmed deaths related to it. 

So what is it? COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory illness. People may be sick with the virus for 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms, and most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing intensive treatment. COVID-19 has similar symptoms to the flu including, fever, dry cough, fatigue, and shortness of breath. But the coronavirus is far more contagious. The seasonal flu is estimated to kill 1 in 1,000 people (0.1%) while the coronavirus is currently estimated to kill 10 people per 1,000 infected (1%). Older people with pre-existing medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, etc, seem to be at a higher risk of contracting the virus. The dramatic spike in cases and deaths in the United States lead to some recommendations and restrictions. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends you keep a physical distance of 6 feet from others. The disease is primarily spread through close contact with droplets in the air. But, you can also become infected through the oral-fecal route (pass from one person through another through the mouth) and if you touch a surface that was coughed on but not disinfected and then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. As a result of the virus, schools have instituted distance learning:  a plan proposed by Superintendent Hofmeister and approved by the Board of Education. This will be in effect for the remainder of the school year. “We understand that it’s going to mean that districts and teachers and families are going to have to do things a little differently,” said Superintendent Hofmeister, “but we want to ease that burden as much as possible.” On March 25th Governor Kevin Stitt ordered all non-essential businesses to close in all counties of Oklahoma. Until the order is released, all non-essential businesses, meaning businesses that are socially driven, will be closed.

| Newsweek
The coronavirus, affecting many countries and all continents. (March 5, 2020)

Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19, but researchers are working to see if pills can work against the symptoms. During this time keep yourself and others safe by following the CDC’s recommendation of staying 6 feet from others to avoid catching this virus, washing your hands often, coughing into your elbow, not touching your face, and staying home if you are feeling sick: “I can control my own actions. I can control that I don’t leave my house unless I absolutely have to, and you can do the same. COVID-19 is not a joke.” said Mayor Breea Clark, “Your health is worth taking care of.” Please take a moment to follow the links below for further information on this topic. If you are experiencing symptoms that you may believe are caused by COVID-19, you can call the Oklahoma Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline at 877-215-8336 or contact your primary care physician. For further information, I encourage readers to follow the websites below.

www.Coronavirus.NormanOk.gov

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/03/20/815408287/how-the-novel-coronavirus-and-the-flu-are-alike-and-different

https://smw.ch/article/doi/smw.2020.20212

https://www.news9.com/story/41934790/covid19-in-oklahoma-what-is-a-nonessential-business

https://www.koco.com/article/oklahoma-superintendent-joy-hofmeister-speaks-to-koco-5-about-distance-learning-plans/31938724

“I can control my own actions. I can control that I don’t leave my house unless I absolutely have to, and you can do the same. COVID-19 is not a joke.”

— Mayor Breea Clark