The virus known as COVID-19 belongs to a big family of Coronaviruses, however, this strain was not observed as the one capable of infecting humans before the end of 2019. The new coronavirus disease was first detected in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and its current outbreak with more than 150.000 confirmed cases in 146 countries and areas by March 15, 2020, allows World Health Organization characterizing this as the pandemic disease. COVID-19 is a respiratory virus and its main danger is that the virus attacks lungs and can cause severe complications such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Basic Recommendations to Follow
- Stay safe on campus. Precautions begin with your decision to limit any planned events, in-person classes and meetings as much as possible to minimize possible contacts with infected people. Try to keep a 6-feet distance from other people.
- Do not go anywhere if you feel sick. Please remember that this virus is easily spreading from person to person via respiratory droplets. Infected people who experience coughing and sneezing along with other symptoms such as fever and breathing difficulties must isolate themselves and stay home to avoid infecting others and spreading the disease.
- Inform the healthcare provider in advance. In case you or anybody close to you feel seek, the doctor must be informed about the symptoms and possibility of COVID-19 infection via phone. Calling doctors before the visit will allow healthcare providers to protect other patients from exposure.
- There is no too much focus on cleanliness these days. Frequent hand-washing not only with water but with soap as well must become your habit. Wash hands whenever you came back after going outside, visited a bathroom, or plan to eat or prepare food. Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol.
- Clean the place where you live as well. Some places, items, and surfaces must be regularly cleaned using sanitizer. Regularly disinfect phones, doorknobs, kitchen area, tables, toilets, and other things and pieces of furniture that you use and touch most often.
- Take care of yourself. Stay hydrated, have good sleep, do physical exercises and your organism will be more protected from the disease. Psychological health is also very important. Students spend a lot of time on social media; thus, they should be careful regarding the information to read and do not allow themselves to fall into panic. Stay informed and prepared rather than afraid of everything.
- Avoid traveling. Though if there is no chance to avoid it, do not neglect the precautions to make traveling as safe as possible: constantly check CDC Global Outbreak Notice and avoid visiting the mentioned countries along with practicing all regular precautions during travels as you would do at home. Avoiding to touch your face with unwashed hands, frequent washing hands, using sanitizer, avoiding large groups of people as much as possible should always be the first rules to follow. Consider staying at home for 14 days upon arrival, if possible, to prevent the potential spreading of the virus.
- Postpone or cancel studying abroad. This is also true for participating in international travel programs for students. These might be associated with not only danger for one’s personal health and safety but also such unpredictable factors as discrimination, restrictions, lack of health care, and even inability to return home.
Resources for Students
While there are certain groups of people who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as the elderly and people having chronic illnesses, students might also be prone to infection. They usually have a rich social life in addition to studies and very often some work, thus, they meet many people every day and have higher chances to catch the virus. Here are useful resources that will help to increase awareness and stay safe.
Global Outbreak Notice: Useful resources provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for traveling students and other people to stay up-to-date and know how to protect themselves and others during traveling.
Watch for Symptoms: People will be able to detect early signs of the infection and take appropriate measures. This list provides a general understanding of what should be expected, only healthcare providers could diagnose and confirm COVID-19 infection.
What Is It? The well-known danger becomes less frightening even though it remains to be dangerous. Students are constantly learning new information about the world, so knowing what exactly COVID-19 is and why it appeared can make them feel more comfortable and informed, even if not more secure.
How Exactly It Works? Being aware of the exact mechanism of infection and the effect of the virus on the human body is essential for a general understanding of prevention measures and what a healthy person should focus on to prevent the illness.
Coronavirus Situation Dashboard: Visual representation of the pandemic may be rather terrifying but it will motivate students to refrain from going to parties and non-essential meetings. Checking how fast does the virus spread should motivate students to stay home and use virtual learning space.
Testing in the U.S.: Constantly updated information related to COVID-19 diagnostic testing in general. You may always contact your local healthcare provider and check if there is a need for laboratory testing. Healthcare students may find detailed information related to collecting and clinical specimens rather interesting from the professional point of view.
World Health Organization: Its website must be one of the primary sources for students to obtain credible and appropriate information on the current situation. You will learn the most recent news, safety advice, and situation overall just visiting this global resource.
Coronavirus: Safety and Readiness Tips: The American Red Cross organization developed a comprehensive guide on coronavirus safety. If all of them are followed, the risk is minimal.
COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund: Global threats such as the COVID-19 pandemic requires equally global and unusual methods to deal with it. Students always were the driving force of new ideas and effective actions; thus, they can join the fund created by WHO along with the United Nations Foundation and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation to develop appropriate response measures and conquer this disease. Humanity can cope with any problem once all unite to achieve the common goal.
Your University’s Website: See how Georgetown University’s staff ensured students’ safety by applying proactive steps as a precaution? Switching to an online learning environment is the most sensible thing that educational institutions could do under these circumstances. Check recent announcements on your school’s website, there might be something you should know.
Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education: While the information there is more important for school staff, students may have the general awareness of what is expected and how their studies will look like soon under these constantly changing circumstances.
After Travel Precautions: This resource is the one to check in case of students who studied abroad and decided to return to the U.S., as well as other travelers. The conditions under which the returning is possible are constantly changing as well as the measures to be taken upon arrival.
If You Are Sick: In case the things went badly and you got infected, this official CDC resource will help to plan the first steps and supporting measures to take in addition to medical treatment. All regular preventive measures remain obligatory to avoid further spreading of the virus.
What if You Can’t Leave On-Campus Accommodations? Many universities, including the represented Harvard University, developed special guidelines for both who need to leave campus due to the shift to remote learning and for those who have no other place to go to and need to stay on-campus. You should consider checking your educational institution’s official website for specific details regarding accommodation options.
Effective Remote Studying: Many universities start replacing all in-person classes into an online virtual learning environment. Completing online courses can be treated as the freelancer’s work – all that a student needs to complete earning tasks effectively is the computer with internet access and his or her brain. Pieces of advice from people who constantly work remotely could be easily applied to remote studies – obviously, except the one that suggests going to public open spaces and cafes to improve productivity. Stay at home, don’t go anywhere without the need.
Appropriate Self-Quarantine or Still Self-Isolation? Students may feel better about the necessity to become isolated from society by realizing that there are many ways to improve their lives and quarantine does not necessarily mean self-isolation.
Advice from Those Who Already Faced It: This tension and almost inevitable obligatory isolation can drive some students crazy, especially if they go used to rich social life. Such people could check suggestions that came from countries where the COVID-19 outbreak is massive.
Quarantine as the Opportunity: Students must realize that closed schools, coronavirus quarantine, and remote studying are not only the things that make life more complicated but also the ones that create opportunities to develop something entirely new or just more effective. For instance, develop an online learning program just as Nicholas Howard did.
Udemy: While many schools already implement remote studies, coronavirus quarantine may be a good opportunity to gain some new knowledge, develop extra skills, and learn things that will make your life better once the pandemic ends.
Coronavirus Resources Along with All Other News: Be aware of all current updates and what is happening in the world in general while staying at home and focusing on online studies. All these possibilities can be achieved by checking this constantly updating webpage on the New York Times’ website.
Economic Impact of Coronavirus: Students who pursue their majors in Business and Economics spheres may gather a lot of information and materials for course works and thesis papers as the COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably change the economic situation in the world. It is better to realize what changes are expected.
The main thing to remember and always follow while facing such terrible threats to the entire humanity is to remain human. Do not let fear and prejudices to spoil your or other people’s lives. Following preventive actions regularly and promoting them to other people will help all nations to cope with both the pandemic and the consequences.