Being Safe from Coronavirus

Coronavirus is a concern for students, especially international students. However, don’t be scared, you can avoid it.

Mien Le, Columnist

Recently, many universities have sent their students home for having symptoms of coughing, runny nose and especially fever. Schools like Hamline are taking steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

This news makes most students worried about campus life and their health. However, don’t be freaked out.

Although the virus’s spreading is becoming faster, it’s not as scary as you think. In fact, students can learn how to control it by applying these things to our daily behaviors.

Firstly, you shouldn’t panic when things are starting to get shut down because of the virus. In addition, if you feel sick, stay at home instead of going to class until you are feeling better. Washing your hands with soap and water is more necessary. Doing it for at least 20 seconds and remember to not touch your face. I know the hand sanitizer is sold out because a number of people buy it, but just use it when necessary and move to wash your hands with soap.

“I’ve never used the hand sanitizer before,” first-year Yee Thao said. “Soap and water will wash away the dirtiness when the hand sanitizer just keeps the hands clean for a while but stuck on them.”

A lot of friends ask me if they should buy face masks or not. I will say no, because the fact is that you can get the virus from the surface of things, besides breathing the air. Therefore, cleaning the surfaces and washing your hands will work better. Medical professionals need the face masks more than you do since they are dealing with the disease. If you do buy them, only use it when you are sick.

If people around you are sick, stay away from them. You need to keep yourself safe. Another thing to not worry about is people dying. Even though the mortality rate of coronavirus is high (3.7% according to the World Health Organization), you should know that the best things you can do are to not travel and follow the guidance as well as staying up to date with the news. Therefore, don’t spread misinformation about the disease, as it may cause a panic which is unnecessary.

“I don’t think the coronavirus is as scary as people are making it out to be,” first-year Bennett Kasten said.

Another note here is to trust our government health departments. It sounds weird but it is important to believe in the health officials that work in your health departments, Center for Disease Control (CDC), State Health Departments or any other government organization that is trying to combat the disease. They are experts about protecting us from the virus, so listen and obey their rules. You can see their guides everywhere on campus.

Everything is more serious with international students at Hamline as me. Most of us are from Asian countries, including South Korea, China, Vietnam and Japan. Asian countries right now are in chaos and out of control. Some international students are from European countries, which are also in chaos with the virus. However, don’t be scared, because we have solutions to protect ourselves, which I said above.

“I am worried about my family in Korea,” Yeongjin An, a South Korean exchange student, said. “It is not safe in the US either, but still better.”

I know people are worried about the fast spread of the coronavirus but don’t stereotype international students and be racist towards them or any others. It does not help anyone or make them feel any better since the virus is affecting their home countries.

As an international student, I know that some people blame the Chinese for bringing the virus to the world, but the virus is a thing nobody wants. Our countries, especially Asian countries, are having these outbreaks and we are very worried about our families at home. Therefore, I hope that everyone can understand the coronavirus and encourage your international friends to remain calm and support them.

Coronavirus is something that’s scary, but don’t be too worried about that. We can find the solutions, and until the vaccine is finished developing, following the guidance of health departments is the best choice for all of us on campus.