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How the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has already affected UWG students

As we are witnessing the rapid spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) across the globe, we, UWG students, can’t help but wonder if this new virus will affect us personally in any shape or form— or instead WHEN it will affect us.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but the Coronavirus has, in fact, already impacted our lives. Though none of the students have been diagnosed with the virus, it spread compromises some students’ travel plans. 

For instance, Ali Jones, a UWG student majoring in Business and Marketing, recently received the news on February 28, 2020, that her Marketing and Economics program to Italy was canceled due to the elevated risk of Coronavirus outbreak.

“I am extremely disappointed because I have been so excited for this trip for months,” said Ali Jones.

Ali Jones was supposed to leave for Italy during this upcoming spring break of 2020. The students would have visited the towns of Florence, Rome, and Milan in Italy. The cancellation is a result of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the department of health’s recommendations to avoid any travel to Italy. The northern area of the country is currently under quarantine measures.

Several other Study Abroad trips planned for this summer are threatened if the spread of the virus escalates even more.

It may appear trivial at first glance, but some students enroll in those study abroad programs to get credits outside of the classroom and be able to graduate quicker. By not being able to proceed with these trips, students see their graduation plans altered.

The University System of Georgia is monitoring the recommendations of the CDC and The Georgia Department of health to make any final decisions. The priority is the safety of the students and Faculty.

“But I am also relieved because I know how dangerous the health risks would be if we were to have still gone,” said Ali. 

The Coronavirus is a new respiratory disease that has its origins in bats. The virus causes flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, and it can result in death. 

According to the CDC, the virus has now been detected in almost 90 places internationally, including in the United States. Globally, there are 105,586 confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease. 

You can protect yourself by:

· Washing your hands with soap frequently 

· Cleaning surfaces, including cell phones and doorknobs regularly

· Avoiding touching your face (mouth, nose, eyes)

· Staying home if you are feeling sick

For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

You can also visit The World Health Organization (WHO) for detailed reports on the outbreak at a global level at https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

Photo Credits: CDC

Alma Beauvais is The WOLF's News Director and current junior of Mass Communications at the University of West Georgia.

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