The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a respiratory infectious illness that can only be cured with special treatment. People who are at the most risk are the elderly and those with underlying medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
Even though it may seem like there are no ways to prevent this illness, there are a few ways to slow the spread. Washing your hands frequently, using hand sanitizer, and not touching body parts like your face all help to prevent the spread of germs. The disease spreads through actions like coughing or sneezing, or even from discharge of the nose, so it is important to practice good hygiene.
Due to the spread of COVID-19 and the proactivity that the Wilson Community is taking to protect everyone on campus, Wilson College shut down on March 19, 2020. The college has shared an information page for the virus outbreak that is updated regularly.
The statistics are changing everyday with new cases and deaths, but currently, according to the CDC, there are 43,734 cases in the United States, 553 deaths, and 295 Americans who have recovered.
This virus has not only affected grade school and college students, but it has also affected people’s jobs, daily lives, families, events, and sporting competitions.
In terms of events and parks shutting down, music and entertainment industries such as Live Nation and AEG have shut down due to the Coronavirus. Concerts of all genres and in many types of venues are being shut down. According to Variety.com, all Disney theme parks such as Universal Studios have been closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, artists cancelled shows and performances before the venues even had a chance to reach out.
In the world of sports, this pandemic is considered a tragedy because not only have professional sports been cancelled, but even college and high school sports seasons have been cancelled. The NBA, MLB, and NHL are some of the major league professional sports that have suspended their seasons. In addition to this, on March 23, the 2020 World Olympics was officially postponed until the summer of 2021.
In the NHL, NFL, and MLB, there have been a few cases of players, managers, and team officials testing positive for the case, but in the NBA specifically, there have been more than five cases of players and team officials who have tested positive from the virus. Almost every team from the NBA has tested team officials and players due to the pandemic, but most of the tests have come back negative.
For the Wilson Community, the adjustment will be something that will impact everyone differently and everyone will have to adjust accordingly. Before spring break, students were asked to take home essential belongings in case of any updated announcements about COVID-19. Over the break, the college announced that spring break would be extended for another week and classes would be moved online for the remainder of the semester. Dean Mary Beth Williams, has said that Wilson must follow orders that are given from the State Governor Tom Wolfe.
“All that we do on campus must follow the directives of the state of Pennsylvania,” Dean Mary Beth said. “That means that each time the Governor gives an Order, we must modify what we are doing in order to comply with that Order.”
This is a tough time for a lot of students, as many students looked forward to long term plans, resuming classes and seeing friends.
“Across the board, students have been understanding of what we’ve been doing as a college, even when the changes we have been making are tough,” Dean Mary Beth said. “This is a complicated time with ever-changing policies, and communication is the key to keeping us as close as we are here at Wilson. When students have had issues or questions, they have been quick to email members of the student development team, and we’ve been quick to either answer or find the answer. I don’t ever want a student to feel that they aren’t supported, especially during this complicated time.”
The Wilson Community and officials of housing decided to leave the option up to students to decide if they would like to move back to campus or stay at home during this time of remote learning. Students have the option of moving back to campus if they feel like remote learning would not be possible for them at home.
“For several of our students Wilson is home, not just a home away from home, so I felt it was imperative to keep the residence halls open for those who for whom returning home would pose a hardship, is simply not possible, or would put them in an environment where remote learning cannot occur,” the Dean mentioned.
One sad story caused by COVID-19 and decision to move to remote learning for the remainder of the semester is that that of the spring sport athletes. Their seasons were postponed at first, and then finally called off. The NCAA officials have discussed a plan to allow spring sport senior athletes to have their eligibility renewed for one more season due to the outbreak.
Dean Mary Beth said that senior athletes from Wilson should, “Treasure the memories you had for your first three years. No one can take those awesome memories from you, and don’t let any sadness on missing out this year overshadow the amazing journey you have had as a student athlete. Wilson is better because you are a part of its awesome history. You are leaving your sport, your team, and this college, better than you found it.”
Overall, the COVID-19 outbreak has affected each person in one way or another. From the college moving to online remote learning, to students not coming back to campus, to athletes losing their seasons and some people losing their jobs, we are all going through a rough time while trying to cope with this situation. We all need to stay positive during this moment and work together to stop the spread of the virus so that we are all able to return to daily activities as soon as possible.