By Deanna Reinhardt
If the recent Coronavirus outbreak has left you feeling overwhelmed and anxious, perhaps you would find these tips helpful.
Last Friday, Sacred Heart made the decision to send students home until further notice, due to the danger of the Coronavirus.
“While we still think the risk to our campus is low, we are seeing community spread in neighboring states and across the country,” said President John Petillo. “There are currently no known or suspected cases of Coronavirus on our campus.”
“We know that we cannot eliminate all risk, but we want to take any steps we can to minimize it. With that in mind and based on the recommendations of many, we decided to be proactive and exercise an abundance of caution now,” said Petillo.
Following the proactive measures that the university is taking, members of our community have been working to best protect themselves during such a dangerous and cautious time.
Some students on campus felt that the best ways to minimize the chances of getting the virus were to practice meticulous hygiene and to be more aware of the surfaces they come in contact with.
“It is super important to keep hand sanitizer and Clorox Wipes on you at all times, and to never touch your face after coming in contact with germ-covered surfaces,” said sophomore Victoria Socci.
It can be difficult to avoid these potential germs entirely, especially when attempting to carry out necessary day-to-day tasks. Many students felt that despite the risk, you do need to continue living your life, however, with significantly more awareness.
“Of course, it’s scary how fast this is spreading, but it’s hard to avoid it completely,” said sophomore Sofia Campana.
“One can stay cautious when going out during this time by washing their hands after everything they touch, wiping down things like shopping carts with a disinfectant wipe before use, covering their mouth when sneezing or coughing,” said Campana. “You just need to be more aware.”
The university shared similar advice with its students, and cautioned the community with preventative tips and a greater knowledge on how the virus itself most commonly spreads.
“The infection appears to spread by respiratory droplets, such as when a person coughs or sneezes,” said Sacred Heart.
Although there is certainly a lack of knowledge surrounding this virus itself, the university expressed that by following similar precautions to the cold and flu, the chances of getting the Coronavirus would hopefully lessen.
“Wash your hands often using soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you’ve touched someone who is sick. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (like Purell®),” said the SHU Coronavirus Planning Team.
In addition to the advice provided by the university, students thought of some precautionary tips to help stay safe during the peak of this virus.
“Aside from just washing your hands and wiping down surfaces, it’s important to always put clothes you wear in public places right into the laundry when you get home and disinfect your shoes before you bring those germs into your home,” said Socci.
“One can also be more cautious within their home by wiping down surfaces that are touched often like doorknobs, counter tops, faucets, light-switches and remotes. The COVID-19 virus lasts longer on surfaces than bacteria,” said Campana.
“The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.