Morton East preps for the Coronavirus

Period 4 Journalists

Morton East is preparing for the Coronavirus by taking many precautions.

According to the Center for Disease Control, the COVID-19, or better known as the Coronavirus, was first detected in China and has now been detected in almost 90 locations internationally, including the United States. On January 30th, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency. Symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illnesses such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 has killed over 3,000 people and is starting to become a worldwide issue and concern. Recently, there have been confirmed cases of the Coronavirus in Cook County.  Businesses and schools, such as Morton East, are starting to take precautions on how to deal with this disease.

“Check out the website that we published about precautions. Students should be washing their hands and following precautions as well,” Morton East nurse Rosalba Hernandez said.

To further clarify, Ms. Rzadzki, who sent out an email about the Coronavirus, provided more information.

“We’re taking basic precautions. The cleaning company is cleaning everything more efficiently and thoroughly such as door handles. The procedures in the email we sent out should be followed,” Assistant principal Ms. Rzadzki said.

The principal confirms the importance of cleaning.

“We’re hyper-cleaning everything in the building and trying to disinfect areas especially where hands touch. This is similar to how we take care of the flu. If anybody is experiencing symptoms, they should be taken to the nurse. To stop the increase, elbow shake instead of hand touching. No coronavirus here, just coronas,” Principal Mr. Gamboa said.

Therefore, maintenance has been put in charge of most of the cleaning.

“The department is making us clean students’ desks every night and were disinfecting everything and being very cautious about it. We’re trying to make sure dispensers are full, sanitizers and hand soaps are available and we also added more dispensers and sanitizers. Cleaning is being done at night to be able to get everything clean,” Rob from maintenance said.

Morton East sponsored trips along with international student exchange programs are not being reevaluated due to the school policies.

The coronavirus has quickly spread to 22 countries on three continents had announced school closures of varying degrees. Italy has already been shutting down schools due to coronavirus but only for two weeks, the virus has already infected more than 3,000 people killed and at least 107 in the country as of March 3, 2020, The European country all schools, universities, and daycares will be shut down starting Thursday, March 5, 2020, and will remain close until March 15, 2020. As the virus continues to spread across the country, some schools are closing their doors in an effort to protect their students in San Francisco. Many officials are either canceling or reconsidering international travel as well as domestic flights, such as the spring visit eighth-grade students make to Washington, D.C.

“If the coronavirus was airborne as we were going to the snowball retreat, I think I would be in coordination with the nurse’s office to make sure that no kid has it, I would be in coordination with the retreat center or with the surrounding area. I would have to get double or triple confirmation from the parents seeing if they are okay with it,” Math Teacher Mr. Lunz said.

The school district only allows trips outside of the area when the CDC allows it.

“(We haven’t cancelled any field trips) at this time, I think it depends on what the CDC recommends to schools, so I’m sure we will follow the CDC,” Assistant Principle Ms. Best said.

When the virus is air-born is when the schools are worried about taking any trips or having people come from other places.

“(We haven’t cancelled any field trips so far) because the (school) field trips aren’t going to any place that’s risky. So far none of the exchange students from Durango have (been exposed. Durango hasn’t) had any cases reported there, so it’s no different than students coming from anywhere else,” Science teacher Mr. Bonner said.

People in our community are concerned but also people are skeptical about the virus’s attention.

For most people the disease is probably not particularly deadly they are ranging it as usually severe seasonal flu. Coronavirus is more dangerous for people over 70 or with existing health conditions. Economic slowdowns, supply chain disruptions, school closures, public transit restrictions, and mandatory work from home policies on exact tolls either you are sick or not. Killed at 2,670 people and 81,000 infected worldwide, according to New York Times.

The Coronavirus Is approaching in at a high rate and some people are concerned.

“I am concerned because there was a case recently reported in the Cook County area and I’m terrified,” senior Ariana Baez said.

Some people are skeptical about this virus and the media coverage.

“I feel like all of this is propaganda and they did with the flu shot also and are expecting money from it due to the flu shots,” senior Annette Gamez said.

Teachers are taking a lot of precaution with their students and kids to the point of posting up signs at class and work.

With COVID-19 getting closer and closer into the United States and nearly 20 deaths, people are starting to take more precaution. People are getting advised to wash hands more often and keep away from face. People are also getting advised to stay home if sick in anyway. With the COVID-19 scare a lot of people are getting stores of hand sanitizer. People, although taking precautions, are not worrying about other, more important items such as soap.

With the coronavirus fast approaching, teachers are already preparing for no school.

“I think that if the virus continues spread the school might have E-learning days,” Spanish teacher Mr Russo said.

As of now, teachers are buying the necessary items to have their vastly used items cleaned by their students.

“I bought lysol wipes so students can clean the cross fit equipment when they are done using them. I also put up signs in the bathroom that give information on how to properly wash your hands,”  lead gym teacher Ms. Manouzi said.

As the worry for the Coronavirus grows, the demand for disinfecting products grow bigger everyday. People are looking for places that haven’t sold out on all disinfecting products. We had received Intel that the town of Cicero would be giving away basic hygiene products for the people.

So, where exactly can you go to purchase these sold out products?  We asked staff around Morton to get an answer.

“Disinfectants can be bought at any of your local stores, or if you’re buying in bulk, the Home Depot, Sams, and Costco,” security Luis said.

For comparison, let’s look at the impact of the flu this year.  According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza (Flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and vomiting. Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. A 2018 CDC study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases looked at the percentage of the U.S. population who were sickened by flu using two different methods and compared the findings. Both methods had similar findings, which suggested that on average, about 8% of the U.S. population gets sick from flu each season, with a range of between 3% and 11%, depending on the season.

“We wouldn’t be able to give the definite number, because a lot of the kids don’t bring back notes to confirm it. Or the doctors don’t specifically indicate what they were seen in the office for. So, there won’t be a way of us having a definite number,” Morton East nurse Jasmine said.

On the other hand, sometimes when a student is absent, they bring a doctor’s notice.

“We’ve had a couple (of doctor’s notes). Probably 100 students this year,” Morton East attendance secretary Norma Martinez said.

According to Morton East policy, the clinic couldn’t give out an approximate number of flu shots that they have give out, but the clinic does provide flu shots for any student. They are always in stock. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. Cdc recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions. In addition to getting vaccinated, encourage family members to take these common sense measures to protect against flu.
Practice the three C’s to stay healthy and prevent germs from spreading at home, work and school. Which are clean properly and wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and sneeze, and contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.

“Yes the vaccines help lessen the complications of it,” Morton East school nurse said

“Carry a hand sanitizer and clean everything that u touch or what everyone else touches. And most important wash your hands because it’s something teens don’t like to do,” Morton East clinic said.

Vaccines helps many people from getting sick and many can prevent it by cleaning their area and protecting themselves