Earlier this year, the world was introduced to novel coronavirus, COVID-19 — something that no one had seen before. The disease began spreading like a wildfire, infecting people in almost every country across the globe. With the coronavirus came state-wide and country-wide shutdowns, which require people to stay six feet apart and remain inside their homes, with the exception of essential errands and appointments. Between all of these precautionary measures and the general sense of fear surrounding the virus, people certainly are not taking it lightly.
In February, the United States was introduced the virus. Panic instantly set in because people were only getting information from the events happening overseas, and didn’t know how our country would react.
Once March arrived, U.S. citizens started to see the major impact that the virus would have on the country. Shutdowns impacted many, from restaurants to schools, and some people even chose to stay home before orders were formally put into place.
With news outlets, social media platforms and word of mouth, there has been an immense amount of information shared during this time — but what info have people actually absorbed and understood?
During an unprecedented time like this, it’s easy to turn to outlets such as Facebook and Twitter and claim that posts on either site are “news” simply because it came from a somewhat credible source. However, it’s important to check facts from official health-related websites to stay up to date with everything coronavirus to reduce stress, panic and anxiety, especially now.
Although the coronavirus began making the U.S. news in January, its origins are still under discussion. According to Medical News Today, initial reports from China tied the outbreak to a seafood market in central Wuhan. After continued research into the first few cases, it was later learned that the virus spread from contact with a bat. Now, officials are investigating evidence that the virus was leaked from a Chinese lab; however, Dr. Anthony Fauci disagrees with that claim.
After the situation escalated in China, Italy was the next country to be hit the hardest. A popular destination for study abroad students, the country had to force non-citizens out to prevent the spread of coronavirus and ensure that everyone could return home safely.
January 21 marked the first coronavirus case in the United States, and the virus began to spread across the country. We’ve seen a spike in cases in just a month, putting the country at the top of the list of all those infected. As of early April, the U.S. has faced over 500,000 cases, according to Worldometers, a site that has been tracking coronavirus cases each day around the world. The spike in cases happened in the middle of March, and several efforts have been made in an attempt to “flatten the curve” — a phrase we’re all too familiar with these days.
Among the total number of cases in the U.S., those who have been greatly affected, and are at higher risk, are those over 65 years old and/or have compromised immune systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of April 18, approximately 38,200 people who were diagnosed with coronavirus passed, yet 63,963 have recovered. While these numbers are nothing short of surprising and upsetting, it’s important to stay up to date with the information to understand who is being infected and what exactly is happening to them.
All of this information can be overwhelming and stress-inducing — don’t forget to check in with yourself during this time. There is no “right” way to feel during right now, and it’s important to make sure that you’re doing well internally and externally coping with this situation. Also, don’t forget to stay safe and healthy, stay six feet apart from others and always wash your hands!