COVID-19 spreads to the Bay Area

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has made its way to counties in the Bay Area.

With constant updates on the epidemic, individuals have decided to take the matter into their own hands. They have raced to the grocery store to buy hand sanitizers and face masks.

“COVID-19 is setting people on edge all around the world. The virus is mildly contagious; however, it’s easily prevented from spreading by taking the same precautions one would take to avoid the flu. I know the paranoia has driven people to head to their local supermarkets and stalk up on living essentials which personally, seems unreal. Recently I’ve heard of many schools in the Bay Area shutting down temporarily, but it’s all just surreal,” said Kayla Lumbre, a sophomore at Design Tech High School.

As the public considers causes of COVID-19, a variety of schools in the Bay Area are shutting down over these concerns, and districts are plotting alternative lesson plans.

To prevent the virus from transmitting, the World Health Organization (WHO) advocates practicing respiratory hygiene, such as covering mouths and noses with your bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. The droplets released when sneezing may expose the virus to the public.

“COVID-19 has now spread to San Mateo County. This is very tragic. We now can’t be going to crowded places and interacting with sick people. It’s important to be constantly washing hands, no less than 20 seconds. Personally, for me, I’ve been trying to drink a lot of water and eating foods with high nutrient content so I can build up my immune system and reduce the chances of me getting the virus,” said Nazli Mammadli, a nurse at the Carlmont Gardening Nurse Center.

For students, it is much more difficult to avoid the infections as they attend school and spend the majority of their days outside.

“There are thankfully no cases in Fremont, yet. So no one’s concerned, and I am personally not worried about it. However, I feel like out of everyone, students and kids are generally more exposed to viruses because we attend school and are out a lot more. But people in my area don’t seem to care about it very much because it’s not affecting us in any way,” said Dasha Karichkin, a sophomore at Irvington High School.

Olga Karasyova-Kibler is the vice president of human resources at Docusign’s San Francisco office and is taking active precautions against the epidemic.

“The COVID-19 is certainly bringing up a lot of questions. Employees are greatly concerned with how to protect themselves while in the office. There’s a lot of anxiety around traveling and more exposure to the virus. However, communication is key. We have pulled together a task force that communicates daily updates to employees. We have canceled all nonessential travel and allowed people to work from home if they are not comfortable coming into the office,” Kibler said.

The virus is not only overwhelming individual towns and cities, but it is influencing the U.S. economy as well. As reported by New York Times, the outbreak of the disease may pose a substantial risk to cultivated economies such as those of the U.S. and China.

“We request those who have traveled to countries on the CDC list stay home and self-quarantine. We also have ordered a deep cleaning of the offices so we can maintain sanitation during this epidemic,” Kibler said.