Remaining safe amidst coronavirus outbreak


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Medics with the Massachusetts National Guard swab a sample to test for the coronavirus.

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the country, and the world, many are wondering how to best protect themselves and their loved ones. Fortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created guidelines to help keep the public safe. 

The most effective strategy to directly combat the virus is simply hand washing. The CDC recommends washing for at least 20 seconds, making sure to cover hands entirely in soap and water. If it is not possible to use soap and water, hand sanitizer is the next best alternative. 

People should also stay at home unless in need of essential items, such as food or medicine. If it is imperative to leave home, people should wear a mask at all times in public. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is now requiring that all employees and citizens wear masks in any business open to the public. 

Homemade masks are recommended in order to save surgical masks for the medical community. He explains that a homemade mask can be best created by sewing two 12 x 6 inch pieces of cotton fabric together, and then sewing on fabric ties. However, an internet search reveals that there are hundreds of different methods for homemade mask making. Ultimately, all sources agree on three main points: the mask should fit snugly against the face, it should include several layers of fabric or filtering, and it should still allow for easy breathing. 

Additionally, shoes should be disinfected after going anywhere in public.  And, to take extra precautions, groceries should be disinfected once brought home. 

Special Education Paraprofessional, Mrs. Weichel, recommends that people “listen to the authorities, stay home, wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and keep in mind that these restrictions are for our own benefit.”

If possible, people should also avoid bringing any extra people into a store with them, so as to avoid any more potential contamination than absolutely necessary. The six-feet social distancing rule applies any time someone is in public. 

Junior Lily Fanase says that “social distancing is helping us to not contaminate as many people. It’s protecting us as much as possible when we do have to leave our homes.”

Unfortunately, many people will still contract the virus, even while taking precautions.

If this happens, people should remain calm and stay home. Doctors are having phone appointments, and some are even video calling. This way, all involved have less contact with those infected with coronavirus. As always, hospitals are still available to those who are in need of help, but most doctors are requesting that people call ahead so that they can adequately prepare. 

It is important to understand that not everyone who contracts the virus will show symptoms, so it is important to follow the guidelines.

As Sophomore Ethan Iams pointed out, “Social distancing is extremely important because of how long it can take for symptoms of coronavirus to show up. If you had it, unknowingly, and gave it a family member or friend, that would be devastating.”

In particular, the immunocompromised and the elderly, who are at greater risk, are relying on everyone to do their part to combat this virus. 

Hopefully, some positives will come out of the time in quarantine. 

Sophomore Savannah Ikach stated,  “After this has died down, I hope to see that students around the world have learned how to adapt to less than ideal circumstances and acquired new skills of learning online. I also hope to see a better understanding of the internet from the adults. I can’t wait to see what everyone has created or accomplished over this period of boredom.” She hopes that “everyone who is currently unemployed is able to stay afloat during this time and anyone who is actively working in public is staying safe.”

Stay healthy and stay safe, Trinity!