Fareen Dhuka is a senior in her fourth year on Review. Her dream vacation is going to Disney World with Laney and she can't stop making overnight oats.
What is COVID-19?
March 11, 2020
COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus, was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, in December. Although coronaviruses generally circulate among animals, some of them, including the strain discovered in 2019, can infect humans as well.
The virus is now present on every continent except Antarctica and is directly affecting communities in the United States. 14 documented cases of the virus have been reported in the Greater Houston area, and concerns about the disease’s potential to spread are rising. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous for older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, although everyone is recommended to take precautions due to the disease’s highly contagious nature.
Senior Marina Ring has Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that requires her to regularly take immunosuppressants that stop her body from attacking itself. While other children her age may recover from illness within a few days, Ring’s recovery period is longer than average and her symptoms can be more severe.
“It does affect me because Houston is a major transportation hub, and the disease is in the US now,” Ring said. “Most kids aren’t worried about the coronavirus because it doesn’t seem to affect young people, but, for me, that may not be the case.”
While COVID-19 may not be as dangerous for most students and young adults at St. John’s, many in the community still fear the impact the virus can have on loved ones.
Sophie Gillard’s (’19) classes at Barnard College in New York were cancelled on Sunday, March 8, so she is returning home at the end of the week. For Gillard, spreading the virus to those around her is one of her main concerns.
“A lot of people [at Barnard and Columbia] are taking precautions around older faculty and vulnerable community members,” she said. “I’m very worried about passing it to my grandmother if I get it.”