COVID 19 Virus Goes Viral


Carly Waldman and Everett Burns

Many people in America think about the corona-virus as a virus that is spreading far away from us. But yet, now the virus has reached the United States. Nine patients, all in Washington state have died, and the virus has been detected in 15 states.

Health officials are warning the world to watch out for what could happen if the corona-virus causes wide-spread disruption to travel and business. Locally Westport teachers and families are also concerned because schools could close down, and children, teachers and administrators would have to use the Internet to conduct classes.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has started preparing for what would happen if the corona-virus, which has infected more than 80,000 people and has killed at least 2,700 overseas, turns into an pandemic.

“Schools should consider dividing students into smaller groups or close and use Internet-based teleschooling,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “Now is the time for businesses, hospitals, communities, schools, and everyday people to begin preparing. It’s not so much of a question of will this happen anymore but rather a question of exactly when this will happen.”

But some students at Bedford are not worried. “I’m not scared. It probably won’t become a pandemic. If it did, we would wait a few months, and then go back to school in the summer,” said 7th grader, Jack Srihari. Sixth grader Kasey Feeley thinks that “No one should be scared.”

But while many are not worried yet, when it comes to covid 19, there are more questions than answers. The new corona-virus is not as widespread as the flu, but it appears to be more deadly. According to the CDC, its mortality rate is on average 2 to 4 percent while flu is .01 percent. International health officials aren’t sure how or where it started. They don’t know exactly how easily it spreads. They’re not certain how contagious people are when they get it.