America becomes feverish about potential coronavirus effects

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Mary Stauder

In the Steven Soderbergh movie “Contagion”, an outbreak in China kills hundreds and spreads around the world. Extreme outbreaks have made their way from the Hollywood big screen to real life. The virus known widely as the Wuhan coronavirus, also called 2019-nCov, has infected over 24,000 people and counting. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the virus spreads rapidly and kills roughly 25 percent of those infected. In China and other countries like the Philippines, there have been over 425 recorded deaths linked to the virus. The outbreak has spread to over 28 countries, prompting action around the world and here in the United States. 

On January 31, the Trump administration announced a temporary suspension on foreign nationals who may be at risk for carrying the virus. The announcement applies to anyone except the immediate family of U.S citizens. U.S citizens returning from Chinese provinces affected by the virus will be subject to quarantine. This announcement comes after 12 confirmed cases of the virus appearing in the U.S. Several institutions including Chinese officials have criticized the action as “neither based on facts nor helpful”. Several other countries like Great Britain have followed suit and implemented measures similar to that of the U.S. 

The U.S government has the obligation to do more to protect its citizens. China is one of the most populated countries in the world with a population of roughly 1.386 billion people (2017), 3 million of whom travel to the United States annually. The amount of traffic coming from China is what should concern people the most. Any individual could be harboring the virus and unintentionally spread it. The coronavirus is believed to have a long incubation period, with symptoms not appearing in a patient until the second day. Without proper screenings and other protective measures, the virus could potentially run like wildfire amongst the population. 

On the contrary, America’s action to the virus could be very damaging economically. China is one of the biggest investors in the U.S economy. China is even the second-largest holder of U.S. Treasury bonds. When the news broke about coronavirus, several airlines including American, Delta, and Qatar Airways temporarily halted the frequency of flights to and from China. The cancellation of flights could drastically affect these companies possibly costing them millions of dollars. In China, reaction to the spread of the virus has caused the Shanghai Composite to plummet 8%. This reaction in total has cost the Chinese economy over 445 billion dollars in market value. 

The spread of the coronavirus will continue to spread until a cure can be found. Unfortunately, more people will contract the virus around the world. The U.S government must do all that is necessary to protect the well being of all, despite an economic downturn.