The Coronavirus Outbreak is Worse than You Think 

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Tyra Hughes, Editor in Chief

The Coronavirus, which has now surpassed 1000 cases in the United States, is having a huge effect on various aspects of our everyday lives including education, healthcare, businesses and travelling abroad. 

As of March 10, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting eight confirmed cases in the State of New Jersey alone, and the New Jersey Department of Education is taking precautionary measures as a direct result of it. 

According to West Orange Public Schools, New Jersey Department of Education has asked public schools to develop a School Closure Preparedness Plan outlining how it will provide instruction to students should they be asked to preemptively or reactively close or cancel events. 

Correspondingly, West Orange Public Schools plans to close all schools on Monday, March 16 in order to create a plan for online school in the event of a school closure.  The district has also cancelled all after school activities, including extra curricular activities and sports practices that were to be held March 13 through March 14.

Considering the risk of the coronavirus spreading the COVID-19, multiple schools across the state including Rutherford High, William L Dickinson High School in Jersey City, and North Star Academy Prep High School in Newark have either cancelled or relocated all registration for the March SAT that will be held on Saturday. 

While education systems are taking necessary precautions, the Coronavirus is pushing new virtual health care apps into the mainstream. 

Patients can now connect local doctors for trusted healthcare information if they suspect that they have the virus. Relying on virtual health care apps rather than visiting a doctor’s office effectively avoids any exposure to the coronavirus, which can spread through close person-to-person contact (coughs, sneezes, touching virus infected surface). 

As everyone is becoming more paranoid about potentially catching the virus, stores are going out of stock on sanitary items such as hand sanitizer, Lysol spray and WetWipes. ABC News reported that some people even went as far to pay $100 and more for one bottle of hand sanitizer on Amazon.

To combat this low stock, Cuomo’s response to the issue was to create 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer through by New York prisoner labor. 

With these supplies running out of stock, many businesses fear the risk of price gouging. The state of New York has already enforced price gouging laws, which “outlaws merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are vital to health, safety and welfare of consumers for a excessive price during an abnormal disruption of the market”

Europe has faced a lot of turmoil because of the virus as well.

 In Italy, where 10,149 cases of the coronavirus and 631 deaths as of Tuesday night surged, the Prime Minister has issued a lockdown limiting “the movements of about a quarter of the population.”

Typically a country full of tourists, very few are travelling to popular locations like the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Italian locals have stopped attending church masses, and visiting street markets as many people are promptly staying in their homes.

In France, where there are over 1000 cases of the coronavirus the Louvre Museum recently reopened on March 5 after temporarily shutting down, but officials stated that only people with an online ticket or free entry will be allowed in the museum. 

Miles away from France, Queen Elizabeth II has taken extra precaution returning to an old time tradition: greeting England citizens with gloves. 

The Corona virus hysteria is getting worse with each day. Visit the Pioneer and the New York Times live coverage of the virus here and West Orange Public Schools updates here.