The infamous coronavirus outbreak has been taking the world, and headlines, by storm. The current novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a part of a large family of coronaviruses that can have symptoms which range from a common cold to more serious diseases. The COVID-19 hasn’t been seen in humans before and currently has no vaccine or cure. It is spread from person to person, or through contact with infected surfaces or objects. Common symptoms and possible signs of infection include coughing, fever, shortness of breath, and other related respiratory symptoms. According to the World Health Organization, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death in more severe cases.
The COVID-19 outbreak began in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in December of 2019. As of early March 2020, there are over 130,000 confirmed cases in over 110 countries with COVID-19 cases. There have been over 5,000 deaths related to the virus, 41 of which happened in the United States (US). The most heavily affected countries at the moment are China, the Republic of Korea, Iran, Italy, and Japan. As of March 11th, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. More recently, President Donald Trump declared the US in a state of national emergency on March 13th, 2020.
China used rather aggressive but effective efforts to contain the spread of the disease. It’s largest effort was the absolute lockdown of Wuhan and surrounding cities in the Hubei Province. Because of their initiative and hard work, hundreds of thousands of people in China weren’t infected by COVID-19 and the number of cases are reported to be decreasing. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is actively informing healthcare workers on COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, developing a diagnostic test to quickly identify the virus, and requiring a screening process at international airports.
Students at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) have implemented their own efforts to educate people about the corona virus and fight the corona virus outbreak. Missouri S&T’s Chinese Scholars and Students Association (CSSA) has been accepting donations and raising funds to purchase medical supplies for a hospital in Wuhan. The CSSA has raised over $4000 so far. Unfortunately, the students have had trouble getting the funds back to China as the hospitals are refusing donations from individuals. Students are still working on getting the funds and donations to Wuhan, but if that's not possible, they’ll be focusing their efforts to help prevent a potential outbreak in the US.
Missouri S&T has taken the step to transition to online courses starting March 16th, 2020. Classes will be online for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. Campus will remain open for students that aren’t able/don’t prefer to go home, and university staff plan to continue normal operation while keeping the health and safety of their peers in mind. All university-related athletics at S&T are suspended until further notice. The suspension on athletics will be re-evaluated on April 6th. S&T will be posting updates related to COVID-19 on their website, coronavirus.mst.edu.
Written By: Alyssa Crum