On Wednesday, February 26th health officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the United States should begin preparing for the spread of the coronavirus across country. Later in the evening, there was an announcement of the first possible case in the nation.
For everyday citizens, this entails being prepared for canceled schools, events, and businesses closing at times. While there are several concerns surrounding response from the US government as the Trump Administration disbanded the Pandemic Response team in 2018, the President has claimed he is working with state officials to strategize for the worst-case scenario.
In the meantime, university students can make some adjustments to prepare for the development of a pandemic. The CDC also has stated to avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, and to immediately throw away any tissues used after a cough or sneeze. You should pick up disinfectant wipes and sprays to often clean areas touched often, especially your phone.
Most importantly, wash your hands. They should be washed anytime you use the restroom, plan to eat, or after coughing and sneezing. Ensure you wash them with soap and hot water for a minimum of 20 seconds. The health secretary in Washington state where the first case of the virus was confirmed Dr. John Wiesman said you should “do what you do every cold and flu season.”
According to the US Department of Homeland Security, you should have a two-week supply of food and water. The average person should drink half a gallon of water a day, and while 7 gallons might seem irrational to store in a dorm room, it would not hurt to pick up a few to have on hand. In a worst-case scenario, many restaurants will not be open. Therefore, it would be wise to stock up on basic nonperishables to ensure you have a meal in the event Domino’s isn’t available fore delivery.
Overall, work on being as healthy as you can. Nirav D. Shah of the CDC in Main encourages individuals to watch their sleep, diet, and try to exercise as well. With midterms underway, students are more vulnerable to illness from stress. Make sure to pay attention to the small details of a healthy lifestyle because that is the best way to maintain a strong immune system.
To learn more about the virus, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatments and vaccine status check out the breakdown by MedCram. This organization works directly with the World Health Organization to update pertinent information.