The Coronavirus: What are the chances that i will get this virus?

As of January 29, 2020, there have been over six thousand confirmed cases of the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus is a severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). It is particularly dangerous because its onset is mild. The virus simply begins with a fever and a cough, symptoms that would normally not be very alarming. However, as the virus progresses, the virus can lead to pneumonia and kidney failure, which can in turn lead to death. Currently, the Coronavirus death toll is over 130, and it is primarily concentrated in the virus's known origin - the Wuhan province of China. The Wuhan province is a sprawling, commericial area, with a population exceeding eleven million. Wuhan's large population has increased the risk of Coronavirus transmission, simply due to the close proximity of the city's residents to one another.

The Coronovirus is a unique concern, not only due to its mild onset, but also due to its spreadability. The World Health Organization (WHO) is advising those close to the disease to practice cough etiquette and increased hygiene - Azithromycin Australia. They are also distributing free masks to those in the Wuhan area. Universities in the area are taking similar precautions to avoid a widespread outbreak. Medical staff trained to deal with respiratory viruses such as the Coronavirus have been advised to wear protective clothing in addition to masks, to further protect against the virus. 

The WHO has implemented a strict protocol for anyone that feels they might have been exposed to the virus. Several makeshift hospitals have been hurriedly built in the Wuhan area in order to better cope with the large number of afflicted residents. Anyone diagnosed with the virus must be isolated and quarantined. This makes the Coronavirus not only a medical, physical issue, but also a social, emotional issue. While the virus has not yet been declared an international concern by the WHO (with few overseas cases, although, the WHO has stated that it "may become an international emergency"), this does not mean that there are not international impacts of the virus. 

Consider the Ebola virus case of 2016. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever is a deadly viral fever with quick onset and high transmission rate, ultimately leading to internal bleeding, kidney failure, and death. While the disease was extremely physically impactful, it was primarily concentrated to Africa. However, the mere existence and prevalence of the disease was used as fodder for white supremacist American bigots. Already, even though the Coronavirus has only just recently come into existence, there is a clear, unfiltered outpour of anti-Chinese rhetoric and sentiment in America. 

While the people of China continue to cope with the physical, social, and emotional toll of the Coronavirus in Wuhan and in China, the many Chinese people of America will inevitably have to cope with the imminent bigotry and racism exhibited by white Americans.

The coronoavirus has cause, justifiably, great concerns both in China and abroad.  Most of the cases are in China, but media coverage has created a bit of a panic, especially in the Asian-American community.  It could not have come at a worse time since the Chinese have finished celebrating lunar New Year in which millions of Chinese and other East Asians travel to their home cities or visit relatives for this important festival. 

 

A number of Chinese in the Los Angeles region, particularly in the heavily East Asian enclave of the San Gabriel Valley know someone who has traveled back to China during this season, some of whom may have come back from Wuhan, the center of the current health crisis.  Because of the interconnection of the social media through WeChat, many in the Chinese community are showing some signs of panic, including wearing face masks or requiring their children to do so.  Some schools in the area have given flyers stating that these are ineffective and that there is reason to panic at this time.  It is important, though, for these school systems, to hire and tap into key members of this immigrant community to assuage or anticipate fears about the extent of the virus and the safety of the children in their schools and community.

William Whelan