Latest on the Coronavirus
After what, to many, feels like months in quarantine, everyone is asking when this will end. As summer nears people are ready for a return to normalcy, but as individuals, we must remember that we can play our small part in defeating this pandemic. Remember to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, firmly practice social distancing, and practice a sanitary lifestyle. If we can all do our part, we have a chance at ending this sooner rather than later.
Worldwide, deaths are reported at over 157,000. Iran is the worst affected country in the Middle East, whose death toll just hit 5,000. In positive news, they’ve started reporting lower numbers of daily diagnoses. Extra personal protective equipment is being provided to 1,000 care homes in Scotland after supply concerns. Russia has reported a record daily jump in COVID-19 cases, and Moscow has been the first region to introduce a lockdown after becoming the center of the outbreak in the country. Germany has claimed to have its COVID-19 outbreak under control, and is preparing to take its first careful steps out of lockdown. Norway has unveiled its Smittestop or “stop infection” app, which will let users know if they’ve been within 6 feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes.
The pandemic in America is turning up some better news. The coronavirus curve is plateauing, but studies indicate that this is only the first wave of the pandemic in the US. The epidemiological model produced by University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation initially predicted 100,000-240,000 deaths by mid summer but, through recent trends, the number has been lowered to 60,000. New York, the center of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US, has reported fewer hospital admissions and less patients in the I.C.U. Their daily reported death toll is no longer rising, but these positives were only possible through shutting down the country, a situation that cannot continue indefinitely. Death tolls are bound to rise no matter how carefully we re-open. Furthermore,the virus may be mutating to cause less symptoms, which is a normal trend in cases like these. For example, the Spanish Flu virus in 1918 eventually faded into the H1N1 seasonal flu. But until a vaccine or more protective measures are created, we ultimately have no idea of what might happen.
Missouri’s Governor, Mike Parson, is moving forward with a plan to reopen the state, which will be data-driven and deliberate. Parson said the state is still currently in the immediate response phase, and will soon move to the gradual reopening phase driven by Missouri-specific public health data. Missouri’s stay-at-home order was extended to May 3rd, but Governor Parson is hoping to gradually have people return to work by May 4th. All Missouri schools are still closed for the remainder of this semester, as announced on April 9th.
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) has still been posting updates on their efforts on coronavirus.mst.edu. School officials have decided to convert Residential Commons 1&2 into temporary residences for Phelps Health staff working with coronavirus patients. Phelps Health will be leasing the locations until mid-July, so that the university has plenty of time to prepare the residences for the students’ return for the fall semester.
Article By: Alyssa Crum