By: Megan Lindsey
This story first appeared in the March 2020 edition of the Hilltop.
“Coronavirus” is the new buzzword around campus–and for good reason. It’s a mutated bug that has taken the world by storm, moving from a local outbreak in Wuhan, China, to being declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and all in the span of just a few months. It has a mortality rate far higher than that of the common cold (3% versus 0.1%, according to WHO). It has driven individuals to stockpile hand sanitizers and household items, even causing toilet paper shortages.
So, here’s the question burning inside all of our heads: Is this thing really serious? Or is it “just another flu bug?”
While I’m far from an expert, I’ve done research from reliable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and WHO. And I am going to be blunt: this is not just another flu bug, at least, not for most people. If you’re young and in perfect health, it might not pose much of a hazard for you. But if you’re older than 60 or have any sort of underlying health condition—heat disease, lung disease, immunosuppressant or autoimmune diseases, which include things as seemingly unrelated as diabetes—you’re not so lucky. This new coronavirus has a bad habit of devastating people who are not “young and invincible” college kids.
So no, it’s no joke, despite the funny memes. Mocking those who catch it or walking around coughing on people because “it’s funny” is incredibly inconsiderate. Such poor behaviors sadden me. We have individuals on our campus, in our classes, and in our families who could die from this disease. As I write, several cases have been confirmed locally, including one that sent four Salem/Keizer firefighters into quarantine. We Christians need to be diligent with our health and concerned about the health of those around us.
Love thy neighbor, guys.
No, I am not suggesting that you buy all the soap, hand sanitizer and TP you can. No, I am not suggesting you panic and refuse to set foot outside your home or dorm room.
I am suggesting that you carefully consider the threat that this virus poses to those you know and love. Start taking your own hygiene very, very seriously.
Wash your hands with soap and running water, scrubbing for 20 seconds minimum (that’s singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice, for those who don’t trust yourselves counting seconds. I know I don’t trust myself.)
Never cough or sneeze into your hands. That’s gross even when there isn’t a global pandemic, but it’s even worse when there is one.
Stop using reusable hankies and start using disposable tissues. Who wants to see a disgusting, used hankie? It’s all caked in snot and saliva, full of germs that get all over your hands every time you touch it. The environment can temporarily handle a few extra tissues if it means saving a few lives.
Do not come to class sick. Seriously. The cool thing about Corban is that our professors are pretty gracious. I have zero doubt that if you tell them you are sick, they’ll be more than willing to work things out with you. Please stay home if you’re ill. Please, please, please!
Don’t touch your face. That only increases the odds of catching the virus
And did I mention to wash your hands with soap and 20 seconds of scrubbing, minimum?
It’s time to stop joking and time to start taking seriously your own hygiene. This virus may not kill you, but it very well might ravage the person who sits right in front of you in class. So be considerate. Don’t panic, but do take the precautions recommended above by the CDC.
It’s 2020, guys. Be clean. Be considerate of those around you. Some of them don’t have perfect health to take for granted.