Ryen Cinski ‘22
The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has become the main topic of conversation and concern—rightfully so. According to CBS, the number of confirmed cases across the globe has jumped to about 20,000 with eleven cases existing within the United States. Of these eleven, the group was primarily made up of individuals who had recently travelled to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the outbreak. So far, the virus has killed 425 people in China and one in the Philippines. To ensure the safety of American citizens, the government has issued a stern warning against travelling to China. In addition to this warning, the United States is taking precautionary measures such as temporarily banning foreign nationals who have travelled to China and aren’t immediately related to United States citizens from reentering the country. Those Americans who were removed from Wuhan remain in quarantine in Southern California. According to CBS, this is the first time in fifty years that the United States has issued a quarantine order. Despite the advisory of WHO, The World Health Organization, flights travelling from the United States to China have been halted.
According to Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, “It is precisely developed countries like the United States with strong epidemic prevention capabilities and facilities that have taken the lead in imposing excessive restrictions contrary to [World Health Organization] recommendations” (NewsWeek). Hua is one of many in China that believes that the United States is being excessive in its precautionary measures, further suggesting that the United States is causing harm by spreading panic.
I am twenty years old, and I am lucky to live in the United States. I do not know what it is like to live outside of the conditions that I have grown up within. Like many others, I am concerned that I and those I love will be impacted by this virus that has so far infected thousands and killed just over 400. I am also fortunate enough to live on the east coast, as the cases that have been reported thus far exist in California. I agree that panic is never a good thing, but I do believe that the precautions being taken are necessary. There’s a common phrase, I’m sure you’ve heard it: “better safe than sorry.” Why take the risk when real people are dying? Why give the virus a chance to advance and impact more humans across the globe? The transmission of this virus initially jumped from animal to person, but is now being transmitted person to person. It does not make sense to turn away from this. I back the United States’ decision to take preventative measures such as travel bans and quarantines, as I believe that it would be negligent to do anything less. Although I do not believe that what the United States has enforced so far is excessive, I feel that excess precaution and measure in the face of something that has killed a large number of people is acceptable. If the United States were to loosen its grip on this issue, allowing many more people in the United States to become infected, we would ask our government why it failed to protect us.