Yazdani: Keeping calm with the Coronavirus

Whenever something makes headlines, it is natural to focus your attention on it. When news and television channels hone in on that subject, its dangers can seem inescapable. Viruses are no exception to this rule.

With the rising death toll from the Coronavirus and the tens of thousands of people infected, fear is pervading. There have already been more than a dozen cases of the virus in the United States with six in California. That said, a small minority of those infected have died, most of whom were elderly. And despite concerns that the virus will spread rapidly if unchecked, several governments are working to contain it. We should be wary of the Coronavirus by taking proper care of our hygiene, and avoid panicking over it. 

The Novel Coronavirus is a new respiratory illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control, animal to person spread may have been influenced by China’s large seafood and animal market. However, the organization notes that as more people have caught the virus without exposure to animal markets, it is likely spreading person to person. The National Health Service states Coronavirus symptoms as having a fever, coughing and shortness of breath. There is no current treatment for the Coronavirus. 

In spite of the international spread of the virus, it is mainly concentrated in China. It originated in Wuhan on Dec. 31, 2019 and the overwhelming majority of victims remain in China. Approximately 28,336 people have been infected by the virus, most of whom were from mainland China. 

Unfortunately, as the pandemic spreads, hysteria follows. The Malaysian Health Ministry was  recently compelled to confirm that the virus will not cause zombie-like symptoms amid an onslaught of fear and fake news. Face masks are selling out fast in the U.S. given concerns that the virus will inevitably spread, despite the lack of Americans infected. People have scrambled to stockpile facemasks in cities such as Los Angeles. Moreover, this unbridled hysteria of the virus has reignited racist sentiments toward Chinese people. Racist comments attributing the virus to Asian people eating staple foods has proliferated and marred social media forums. 

Although the pandemic has reached the US, we should strive to keep clean but also keep calm. The number of those infected remains largely in China and hysteria has led to returning racist attitudes and conspiracy theories. Worrying over the virus is justifiable, but hysteria is a detriment.