COVID-19, a new national threat


Graphic by Anthony Lucido

Ruby Veloz, Staff Reporter

If you’re opening up any kind of social media or news apps you’ve no doubt run into various articles, memes and general hysteria surrounding COVID-19 better known as the coronavirus.

The disease has become viral in more ways than one.

While it’s easy to get swept away with all the fear circulating on the internet you might want to reconsider putting on that surgical mask before you step onto campus.

According to Mary Sullivan, the Health Education and Wellness Director for De Anza College Health Services, the coronavirus is not circulating in our community, and our public health officials are doing an excellent job of monitoring the spread of the disease.

While using surgical masks seems like an easy preventative measure to take, they’re not as effective as they seem.

“A surgical mask is to keep certain water size droplets away…They’re only good for two hours,” Sullivan said, “When you breathe out, there is liquid and when there is condensation and liquid on the paper it makes it permeable and things can pass through.”

While it’s good to be conscious of keeping yourself healthy, there is currently no need for taking such measures as using surgical masks.

Every few years we experience the spread of a new illness that causes us to panic. Be it the Bird Flu, SARS or H1N1 (Swine flu), these illnesses make front pages but rarely ever spread through our communities.

One thing these illnesses also seem to carry with them is stigma.

The stigma surrounding Asian Americans and coronavirus is so rampant that the Center for Disease Control released a statement on their website that states, “Stigma hurts everyone by creating more fear or anger towards ordinary people instead of the disease that is causing the problem.”

The statement goes on to say, “We can fight stigma and help not hurt others by providing social support. We can communicate the facts that being Chinese or Asian American does not increase the chance of getting or spreading COVID-19.

“So the next time you’re scrolling through your feed and see a coronavirus related meme, check yourself and think about getting your flu shot instead because according to the CDC the 2019-2020 flu has taken 6,600 lives in the U.S this year. That’s 6,600 more deaths than the coronavirus has taken.