The coronavirus (COVID-19) affects CVHS students and families as it continues to spread rapidly. Senior Anita Wong’s dad who recently travelled to Asia is currently quarantined to ensure that he is not infected.
“My dad left for China for a while and the people flying back from Wuhan of course had to be quarantined. It was mandatory, but for everywhere else it was optional, but recommended. My dad didn’t go to Wuhan, but it was recommended that he be quarantined. You find your own place, so my dad found an apartment. He stayed for almost a month,” said senior Anita Wong.
Alameda County declared a local public health emergency on March 1 when public health officials confirmed the first positive case of coronavirus here.
The coronavirus began late in 2019 in a wholesale food market in Wuhan, China. Since then, the coronavirus has been spreading quickly worldwide with more than 116,000 cases in 115 countries and territories, including almost 730 known cases in the U.S., more than 150 known cases in California, and about 64,650 who recovered overall.
Naturally news of the epidemic heightened the anxiety of staff, students, and families.
Although no schools in the Alameda County District are closed due to the virus currently, if an outbreak occurs, school officials have prepared to close schools.
CVHS is doing its part in response to COVID-19 outbreak with the help of the custodial team including wiping all contact surfaces such as doorknobs and tables with disinfectants, daily cleanings of the kitchen, cafeteria, restrooms, locker rooms and the weightroom, and ensuring soap dispensers are stocked.
The steps students and families can take to reduce risks are the same as preventing the common flu. This includes washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
“Everybody has to take precautions, do what’s best for your family and wash your hands,” said nurse Shirley Henighan.
Students with flu/fever symptoms are advised to stay home. Those with a fever may return back to school once they are fever free for 24 hours without medication.
In addition to basic sanitary precautions, many students and families changed/cancelled travel plans for fear of coming into contact with someone who has been exposed to this disease.
“During spring break, I was planning to go to China. We already booked flights a long time ago, but because spring break is near, we realized that we couldn’t go anymore so we had to cancel the flights. It was really sad, because I was planning to meet my friends there and have fun,” said senior Chelsea Liang.
Although the coronavirus is predominantly causing anxiety, many students are not as worried about this new virus because they say it is only lethal if the individuals are really young or elderly.
“I should be scared, but I can’t be because it just seems overblown. I guess it’s just because it won’t affect me because I’m so young. I think the media is just making it seem more serious than it should be. It is a big deal if you don’t have access to health care or are old, but if you’re young and can get medication, you should be fine,” said senior Simran Prasad.