Darwish feels anxious about Coronavirus, worries for family

Ariyan Koyee, Staff Reporter

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a pandemic spreading rapidly among the globe. COVID-19 is a new strand of Coronavirus that was discovered in 2019. COVID-19 is zoonotic, meaning it is transmitted between humans and animals. It is highly contagious so people can contract the disease by touching infected areas, then their eyes, nose or mouth. Common symptoms include dry coughs, sneezing, fever, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Infection can lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), kidney failure and even death. With these many risks, freshman Ara Darwish feels concerned about the virus.

“I feel a bit anxious, especially since it’s worse than the flu. I have people around me that aren’t as healthy, so knowing that this virus can kill makes me uneasy,” Darwish said. 

COVID-19 is less of a threat for younger people than elderly people. In the beginning of March, the death rate in China for those over eighty years old is approximately 21.9%. Fatality rate for people aged 10-39 years old is 0.2%. Smoking and vaping also leaves people more susceptible to the virus. As a result, Darwish is more worried about her peers than herself.

“I feel [anxious] because although the virus isn’t deadly to me, it can be deadly to people around me who don’t have strong respiratory systems. Since everyone around me is panicking, I’m also panicking,” Darwish said.

President Donald Trump has declared a national state of emergency because of COVID-19. This means that the government is allowed to perform actions or impose policies that wouldn’t usually be permitted. During this state of emergency, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has declared all K-12 schools in Virginia to be closed for the rest of the year. Darwish is overall pleased about this decision.

“I am glad that school’s closed because it’s safer that way. Being in crowds is just a way to allow the virus to spread easier, so knowing that I won’t be in crowds anymore for a while puts me at ease,” Darwish said.

With panic spreading throughout the country, people are stocking up on many essentials. Aisles in supermarkets are emptying out as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and disinfecting materials become increasingly difficult to find. Darwish and her family have proceeded to prepare in light of events.

“My parents have stocked up on necessities such as food, water, etc. We also bought medicine and pain killers just in case,” Darwish said.

With uncertainty looming ahead, Darwish is most distressed about her family and education.

“I am most worried about my family and friends that have had problems with their respiratory systems in the past. They are more vulnerable to death if they catch the virus, and that makes me feel anxious and uneasy. I am also worried about my studies, as I will get stressed if they give out a lot of work,” Darwish said.