Getting Through the Coronavirus

Manhattan College reverted to online classes as of March 9th, and will continue online instruction until at least March 30th. Following suit of other colleges and universities, it is plausible that we will be online for the remainder of the 2020 Spring semester. 

The Coronavirus threat has interrupted the academic, social, and athletic lives of the Manhattan College community. Online classes have commenced, sparking a wave of annoyance from students and faculty alike. Roommates and friends said their heartfelt goodbyes this week, uncertain of when they will see each other next. All Spring sports have been cancelled, robbing athletes of their season and competitive events. However, senior players have been granted an extra year of eligibility if they choose to accept it. 

As upsetting as this shutdown has been, self quarantine and social distancing have become recommended by doctors and city officials. This is to prevent a radical spike in cases, which will increase mortality rates. An intense increase in cases in a short amount of time will prevent patients from getting the proper care they need because of overcrowding in hospitals. The only way to slow the spread of the disease and avoid traumatic mortality numbers is to take these precautionary steps:

Wash your hands. 

I sincerely hope this is not only a precautionary measure for those reading this, but rather something you do everyday anyway. Our hands hold more bacteria than any other part of our body, and are constantly used to interact with other people. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible, especially before eating, using contact lenses, or washing your face. If you’re tired of singing happy birthday to yourself to measure the time, the choruses of these songs work just as well.

  • Love on Top ~ Beyonce

  • Truth Hurts ~Lizzo

  • Jolene ~ Dolly Parton

  • Karma Chameleon ~ Culture Club

  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow ~Wizard of Oz

Let’s just start performing concerts at the sink since we can’t congregate for real concerts anymore!

Social Distancing.

As tempting as it is to spend this time at home catching up with high school friends, social distancing will be the most effective way to reduce this pandemic. Limit social interaction to immediate family members or those who have already gone through self quarantine without showing any symptoms. The World Health Organization recommends we stay at least 3 feet from anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Without noticing, we intake small liquid droplets from other people’s coughs and sneezes, causing the virus to spread. So make sure to be responsible and cover your own mouth/nose to ensure we are keeping others safe.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.

Like I said, your hands hold the most bacteria out of all other body parts. Do not give the virus a chance to get near your bodily openings, such as the ones located on your face. 

No Sex!

Tell your hometown hook-up that even though Spring break is extended, your interactions are limited to snapchat. The Cut posted that public-health officials are still uncertain of whether or not the disease can be sexually transmitted through “secretion of the nether regions,” but the act itself violates social distancing and exposes you to the liquid droplets from the mouth and nose. As they state in their article, “get ready to have lots of phone sex.”

Lysol everything.

Just do it. Every door handle, public toilet seat, hotel bed frame - no one’s judging right now. Carry that costco-size container of wipes with pride and parade it around town. Lend one to a stranger if need be, just stand back if they’re coughing. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only suggest wearing a mask if you are exhibiting systems; so I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt to wear it while walking the streets of your hometown, but I think people would judge that a little more than the Lysol wipes. 

Avoid traveling.

I too have checked every travel site for the cheapest flights with the mentality “If I’m gonna die, I’d rather not die here.” But the “catch flights not feelings” Instagram post I know you’re planning is just not worth catching something far more serious than feelings for the cute lacrosse boy. European travel has been suspended in the US, and those returning from other countries are facing a mandatory two week quarantine before being able to continue their regular lives. 

Stay informed (not by social media!)

Mass hysteria caused by social media will only cause more panic and cause more people to go to emergency rooms than need to be there. Keep the beds open for those who have pre-existing medical conditions and are at a higher risk. Get your information from reputable news sources and stay in the know. When new prevention techniques are issued, make sure to take them. 

The Coronavirus truthfully has a low mortality rate, but the risk of transmitting it to loved ones should be enough for us to all take these precautionary measures. Most of us will only experience cold and flu-like symptoms if we contract the disease, but those with respiratory and immune diseases face serious risk. There is no cure for this virus as of now, so we all need to do our part to ensure safety for those around us. By following the guidelines of the CDC, we should be able to overcome this pandemic with as few lives lost as possible. 

Daily reminder that this situation is no excuse to blame or ostracize a particular group of people, as animosity will not help us and division will only hinder our chance of overcoming this. Plus, it’s simply not their fault. Stay safe, and healthy and always be kind, Manhattan College!