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With seven known cases of the coronavirus in the Bay Area, the Woodside community is starting to worry, but do they need to worry just yet?
As of Wednesday, February 26, the coronavirus death toll is up to 2,771 people and 81,386 identified cases, 60 of these cases being in the United States. The Bay Area currently holds the highest concentration of cases in the US, at a whopping seven cases. There has been lots of publicity over the new virus, especially in the Bay Area.
“If anyone has been traveling to China, they should probably stay home if they have any symptoms,” Ernest Lo, a Woodside biology teacher, stated.
Woodside’s school nurse, Nanette Pasion, advised individuals on how to best protect themselves from getting the virus.
“As a necessary precaution [practice] very good hand washing hygiene,” Pasion said. “People are wearing masks; I think that would be an option. Just be more aware of your surroundings as well.”
It originated in mainland China, an area where some students have ties. Woodside senior Caroline Daniher has family friends in Hong Kong, a dense city in China.
“I think that [my family friend] is worried because she has two kids, a son, and daughter who attend public school in China,” Daniher stated. “They are probably worried about the virus spreading towards them.”
With over 2,550 deaths in mainland China, Daniher is worried for her family friends.
“I hope they’re okay,” Daniher stated. “They are very dear to our family, so I hope they are staying safe. I am praying for them.”
The coronavirus has similar symptoms to this season’s flu; however, the flu is getting much less publicity, even though it is more common than the coronavirus in the Bay Area.
“The primary reason [that the coronavirus is worrying people more than the flu] is that there is a flu vaccine but no vaccine for the coronavirus,” Monique Rizkala, a Woodside English teacher, explained.
On top of that, the coronavirus is much less normalized than influenza.
“There is a flu season while the coronavirus is more of an outbreak,” Pasion explained. “There is also a lot more talk about it on the news and social media… I don’t think there is any imminent threat unless we’ve had anybody who had family or themselves travel to China recently and come back without taking the necessary precautions.”