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Coronavirus Chaos: Here’s What to *Actually* Know to Reduce Panic

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at TCNJ chapter.

Amid supermarket scavenger hunts for hand sanitizer and continuous campus shut-downs, the Coronavirus pandemic certainly elicits panic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 1,215 cases of COVID-19 on their March 12 update. And, with today being Friday the 13th, superstitious college students are not looking upward. A flood of panic is watering into the crying eyes of those involved in Greek organizations, as their new member initiations, Greek week events and formals are on standby. Student-athletes have final championships on the line, potentially canceled after hours spent training. Seniors are sinking into sadness as their last few months on campus as college students may be halted to a stop. 


The chaos is spreading just as rapidly as the Coronavirus itself and not just because of changes to a student’s academic calendar. The shelves at the campus convenience store and the nearby Barnes & Noble cafe at The College of New Jersey have nearly been wiped clean. Winning Powerball tickets have been formerly linked to winning the lottery, but now it is finding paper towels, non-perishable goods, and cleaning wipes. The international crisis has many Twitter users panic-stricken, rushing to message Clorox about when more of its products will be in stock at stores (you read it right – Clorox, as in the cleaning wipe brand that hardly anyone has on speed dial). Here is the brand’s update as thousands of people are currently clearing their at-home closets for their collection of cleaning supplies:


Clorox [@Clorox]

We’ve increased production of our disinfecting products to meet the needs of our consumers. We’re working around the clock to ensure people can access our products. Visit http://Clorox.com for a list of our products approved under the EPA’s Emerging Pathogens Policy.


Clorox is not the only company working around the clock. A variety of health organizations like the World Health Organization and the New York Department of Health are constantly posting updates to inform individuals on how to best protect themselves. Yes, memes and TikTok videos with user-created songs like “It’s Corona Time” may be trending, but this national pandemic is no joke – not to mention that this is how panic starts! Here is what to *actually* know to reduce feelings of fear:


Wash Your Hands (Duh, But Really Wash Them)


Okay, someone saying to wash your hands sounds like a broken record at this point, but because the Coronavirus has tentacles in various geographic locations, washing your hands the right way with foaming soap and warm water helps kill any virus that may be on your hands. Proper hand-washing etiquette calls for at least 20 seconds of holding your hands under the faucet (some say the tried-and-true method is singing “Happy Birthday,” but now an entertainment source is claiming Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” is the move). The World Health Organization also says an alcohol-based hand rub does the job to keep yourself and those around you in tip-top sanitary shape. 


Avoid People Coughing & Sneezing Like It’s Your Life’s Mission

The media has a focus on the Coronavirus, but there are a whole bunch of other pathogens and illnesses spreading (Can I get an “ew!”) like pneumonia, the common cold, and other groggy bacterial infections. What some media outlets fail to recognize is that these lesser-talked-about conditions can lead to the Coronavirus – the New York Department of Health even lists pneumonia as a Coronavirus symptom. When someone coughs or sneezes, small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth spray from their body and may contain the Coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization. If you are closer than three feet away, you can breathe in the “modern plague.” While you do not have to avoid everyone in your sight (it is kind of difficult to do so regardless), keeping your distance is the smartest move. Take this time to read a good book, pamper yourself with an avocado face mask, and channel your inner introvert.


Don’t Give In To Panic-Buying! Here’s What to Buy

When your favorite ice cream flavor is M.I.A. from supermarket shelves, you know you have a problem. (You may visit three grocery stores in one day if you are like me and obsessed with the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor.) But the mobs of people scouring supermarket shelves (and, unfortunately, the freezer aisles to hoard my go-to ice cream) create a state of panic which has a domino effect on everyone else in the area. NBC News calls this a “coping mechanism” for the Coronavirus, thinking the world is coming to an end. Although, in reality, all you have to do is become a smart shopper. USA Today recommends canned goods like soups and stews, snacks and condiments like granola bars and ketchup, and dry goods like pasta and beans. While everyone is emptying shelves because of Coronavirus chaos, making a list (as per usual) and being strategic will have you stress-free, while individuals are prepared to lock their doors and quarantine away from day-to-day life.

There is still an influx of updates and constant precautions at workplaces, organizations and governments are taking to ensure societal safety. For more information, kindly browse a Coronavirus overview at the CDC and Coronavirus advisory information at WHO.

Victoria Giardina is currently studying at the College Honors Program at The College of New Jersey with a major in Journalism and Professional Writing in the School of Arts and Communication and minors in Communication Studies and Interactive Multimedia. She lives in Manalapan, NJ. Her articles and other written work has been featured in "The Dr. Oz Show," (DoctorOz.com), WebMD, Medscape, CNN, and, of course, Her Campus. As a creative, Victoria enjoys reading new books, journaling, spending *too much time* on Pinterest and browsing lifestyle blogs (all with an iced coffee in hand). Check out her digital portfolio here: https://www.victoriagiardina.com.
Minji Kim

TCNJ '22

Minji is a senior English and Elementary Education major who is passionate about skincare, turtlenecks, and accurate book-to-movie adaptations.