The New Pandemic: A Northern Local Point of View


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Not just a Wuhan Problem- it is now a Sheridan Problem


Since its first appearance in December, the COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus, has been causing a worldwide frenzy. The coronavirus made its first appearance in the Wuhan, Hubei Province in China. The Coronavirus is an upper respiratory infection whose name comes from the shape it appears to be when looked at under an electron microscope – a crown. Some symptoms of this virus include a sore throat, runny nose, coughing, and a fever. These symptoms, unfortunately, mimic those of a cold or flu. This makes it easy to pass along as people think it is just the common cold and go out into the public.

The virus is slowly starting to spread among countries all over the world. Schools are closing in order to reduce the risk of passing it through the students and staff. Colleges have moved to online teaching programs and classes. According to CNN Health there have been over 8,500 people in the U.S. infected, with March 18 seeing the biggest bloom of contractions –  over 2,300 reported cases in a single day. The Ohio Department of Health said that there are currently 333 individuals in Ohio under “public health supervision.” These people do not show any symptoms of having the virus, but they are people who have recently traveled and may virus the virus.

Many students have asked, “What is our school doing about the virus and how is it handled?” According to the Ohio Department of Education, it is not their responsibility to decide when a school should close

Taking protection from the Coronavirus

due to illness. When a school closes, the decision lies on the school board representatives and the local health department to make a decision that will take into account the students’ health and safety. Each school must submit a safety procedure that outlines all emergency situations that could potentially happen and what to do if it occurs. On Monday, March, 9th, Ohio State University President Michael Drake announced that in-person classes at all Ohio State campuses are canceled until at least March 30th  to prevent the spreading of the virus around the campuses. Following their lead, the University of Toledo, BGSU, University of Findlay, University of Akron, Lourdes University, Kent State, Miami University, Owens Community College, and Terra State Community College are all doing online-only classes until late March and early April. In addition to this, they are canceling all large and public events.

Mike DeWine
Mike DeWine and Amy Acton, director of Ohio Department of Health

Governor Mike DeWine had previously recommended that all indoor high school, college, and professional sports be held without spectators and only allow up to 4 immediate family members along with the necessary staff needed to run the game. However, the governor decided that it would be best if we just completely cancel all tournaments and games to the disappointment of many people. The NBA season will be suspended until further notice and the Columbus Blue Jackets announced that they have decided to continue playing, but without any fans. The Blue Jackets announced that their game on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins would only allow “home and visiting club personnel, media and broadcasters, and essential staff and officials.” They are the first National Hockey League team to announce that they would be holding their games without any fans. This decision followed Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement that we should limit mass gatherings of people to prevent the spreading of the Coronavirus through Ohio. Since then, even the NHL has shut down.

Here in the Northern Local school district, the safety procedure that we have mapped out is to wait and see when the governor suggest we close down. The Superintendent Thomas Perkins said previously that they would follow their Board adopted calamity plan if we would have to close. To create this plan, the Board worked with the Center for Disease Control as well as the local health department to take into account their recommendations to map out a protocol. Here at Sheridan High School, we have already started to cancel or postpone any big events. Many students, along with several teachers, believed that we would eventually shut down for at least a week or two, and it turns out they were right. On March 12th, the governor announced that all k-12 schools in Ohio were to extend their spring break to 3 weeks to try and stop the spreading of the virus. The teachers have taken to using online classes, zoom, self-made video lessons and twitter as a way to stay connected to their students to encourage them in this time of need and to continue to give them educational opportunities.

The Coronavirus might not be extremely deadly, but it is killing. We need to make safety procedures and protocols to try and stop the spreading of the virus, rather that be through school closings or the prevention of mass gatherings. The only thing you can do to help try and prevent the spread of the virus and to protect yourself is to follow the standard protocol for sickness like coughing and sneezing into your arm, washing your hands, and going to the doctor if you feel sick. In addition to this, social distancing is expected and self-quarantine should be followed.