COVID-19 and the Changes it’s Causing

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Olivia Marbury, Publications Editor

COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, first emerged early December 2019 in Wuhan, China, according to the CDC, and it is now labeled as a global pandemic. Symptoms of the virus include a dry cough, high temperature, and Pneumonia. Though the virus itself contains symptoms that have been seen before and most are treatable, the uncontrollable, swift, and alarming rate it’s spreading is resulting in unpredictable changes of American life as we know it. Of course, unseen change can be hard to adjust to, but it must be done to keep those, especially at high risk, safe. 

 

The Power of the Media

What is currently happening will be something that will not be forgotten. The streets are nearly empty, if you take one step into the grocery store the shelves are swept clean, and if you happen to cough with surrounding people, heads instinctively turn. My parents watch the news every day, and now almost every hour, to get updates on what is happening with the virus. For the last week, my mom has been on the edge of the couch flipping through every news channel imaginable.  As high risk citizens they have every right to want to be informed as much as possible, but the sheer panic of the unknown is a reaction I’ve never seen or had to experience. My parents are the type of people to always have a plan. If we came up on hard times, there was always a plan to maintain our sense of normalcy. But this, for us and many around the world, was unexpected. The media is there to inform, but an overload of information, and sometimes misinformation, leads to panic which is the last thing anyone needs to do.

 

The Steps Being Taken are Necessary 

According to the CDC and U.S. officials, self-isolation, quarantine, and social distancing serve to slow the spread of the virus and protect the vulnerable. At first, I viewed COVID like many of my other peers: something that was being blown out of proportion, as the virus can be compared to the cold or flu. Though this argument was valid, and the flu has indeed killed many also at a fast rate, this virus brings the unknown. COVID-19 has no remedy, no vaccine, and can only be avoided directly. The symptoms are familiar, and if a healthy, young person were to get infected they’d probably recover with no problem. However, an easy quick recovery is not promised for the elderly and those with existing conditions. The vulnerable and those at high risk are why social distancing is necessary. For though one may have a low chance of dying from the virus or sickness, others may not have such privileges. 

 

The Lasting Effect on Education

In the midst of the virus spreading, coming back to school the week after spring break would have been like a real-life petri dish with germs and new germs circulating. For this reason, Frisco ISD, along with many other districts, colleges, and universities in the United States, has taken the necessary and appropriate steps to protect not only students but those who are vulnerable. One never knows who they come into contact with, and with students traveling not only all over the country but the world, the coronavirus, flu, and other viruses would have been welcomed with open arms in the close quarters of school. By suspending in-person classes, the school boards have protected both students and families with possible high-risk members. Though the precaution is necessary, the shift to online classes has proven not to be an easy one. With the assignments all coming in at once with the same due dates a cloud of stress and overwhelmingness has fallen. It often seems like the purpose of any teen is to rebel and contest any authority. Although I miss disagreeing and arguing with some of my teachers, kids, no matter the age or how independent they think they are, need structure. The assignments will get done, things will be submitted, but the learning experience is something that I believe can not be done virtually. Human interaction is a necessity, it’s what makes life, life and what this experience will teach many is that the education we receive, yet often complain about, is a privilege. Students have been told how much of a privileged education itself is, but with this experience I feel like students like myself will walk through the doors of our school with a new sense of thankfulness for our teachers, staff, and overall system. 

 

The Economy

It’s important to acknowledge the lasting effects the virus will have on the global economy. With the U.S. setting limits on open restaurants, bars, and public areas and other countries completely shutting down public places, the economy will no doubt be affected. This will furthermore have a lasting effect on the stock market and 401k’s. The economy is only good when people are spending money,  and we’ve hit pause on the circulation of money because of the virus. Though it seems the unknown is growing in all aspects of life, it’s important to stay calm: for there is no value that can be put on life itself. 

 

The Coronavirus is a worldwide eye-opener. How the country and world are reacting and the lasting impacts it will most likely have will not be forgotten. America and European countries have known about this virus and other spreading viruses since late last year. However, nothing was done to prevent it until it was on our doorstep. There is nothing to do to change the past, but now there is no other choice but to act.