Coronavirus in the U.S. — Should We Be Worried?


Maddy Moe, Writer

As of March 3rd, there are 122 people in the continental United States (which increased by 39 cases from the 83 reported just a day earlier) that have had COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus. This number includes some people that have been extradited from China to receive care here, as well as at least nine who have recovered, and the nine that have died in Washington state.

When asked if they were worried about the coronavirus and its spreading to the U.S., Bob Jones students had a pretty even split, but with a majority of 55.3% of people being at least a bit concerned. Also, a majority of students, about 70.2%, believe that we need to be doing more now than ever to prevent a widespread outbreak.

The coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, but it has been difficult to get a direct answer from China as to how and under what circumstances. As a precautionary measure, many airlines have restricted travel to China in many different countries. 

Bob Jones students had varying opinions on the effectiveness of suspending air travel from China. Bree Soto, a junior, argued, “I agree since it’s only taken as a safety precaution. The less people that travel to the country with the highest number of infected individuals the less likely the virus will spread. At the very least, it will slow the number of cases.” In an interesting counterpoint, Maddie Shrode, a senior, argued, “It’s not great for families or work, and it clearly hasn’t kept the virus from spreading. It’s probably going to go pandemic and we can’t stop it. The best prevention method is like flu prevention, because it has the same mortality rate as the flu, essentially, and airlines don’t stop going to China because of the flu.” It is very true that the flu and many other diseases have not stopped any air travel to different countries. Why is the coronavirus different? Is it important to be so worried about it?

Several Bob Jones students in HOSA think that it is that important. On their own volition, they took it upon themselves to organize an entire Patriot Path to cover the effects of the coronavirus and why it is such a big problem. We tried to contact these students to get their own points of view on this subject, but the interviews were not available by the time this article needed to be released. Mrs. Teare, though, one of the main teachers in the medical academy, had her own take. “I think it is very important for students to be informed on healthcare issues in the United States and abroad. Understanding can pave the way to preventative actions that can help prevent the spread of disease.” 

Eric Terrell, the Interim Superintendent, sent out a decree of what the general precautions are that the Madison City School System is taking in response to this issue. He stated that “Madison City Schools has been in constant contact with our city and state officials, including the Alabama Department of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alabama State Department of Education, and local government leaders. These groups are building, revising and implementing plans that we will use with our own set of protocols to keep our students, employees and community safe and informed.”

Precautions for students and people in our community is absolutely a beneficial idea; however, it seems that preventative actions on the national level may not be going so well. According to, “…the White House… banned the press from any audio or video recording of its latest briefing on the public health crisis.” This occurred just five days after the Trump administration vowed to be very transparent on the issue of the coronavirus. That might seem a bit shady to the average person, but do not fret, for our president graced us with the most reassuring of statements. “President Trump informed local government officials that he had asked drug company executives to do ‘him a favor’ and ‘speed it up’ on developing a coronavirus vaccine. He added, ‘And they will. They’re working really hard and quick.'” Let us hope.

In essence, it is always a good thing to be up to date on world affairs and outbreaks of illnesses. Even if there are no cases of the virus in Alabama, it is not out of the question in the future, and it seems we should continue to take precautions to avoid getting sick as best as possible.