Complete collection of current COVID-19 information

The coronavirus, currently spreading through Texas as well as around the world

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The coronavirus, currently spreading through Texas as well as around the world

Andrew Stell, Features Editor

With constant updates on the current pandemic, COVID-19 has become a topic in every conversation. COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has derailed spring 2020, cancelling most schooling, sports events and leaving many without a job. A recent stay-at-home issued by Galveston County leaves any non-essential business closed for the time being and requiring Galveston County residents to remain in their home for non-essential activities.

Statistics often appear grim for Galveston County, having one of the largest populations of any county in Texas and even larger numbers of those sick with COVID-19. The largest city in Galveston County, League City was last reported having 41 sick with Coronavirus with a doubling factor every two days. This would leave League City at roughly 656 cases after 10 days, further proving the serious nature of this situation.

“On March 31, 2020, Gov. Abbott issued an Executive Order implementing Essential Services and Activities Protocols. The protocols renew the Governor’s directive to avoid eating or drinking inside at bars, restaurants, and food courts, although use of drive-thru, pickup, and delivery for food is highly encouraged. The order prohibits visiting gyms or massage establishments, and expands to include tattoo studios, piercing studios, and cosmetology salons. It also extends social distancing measures to April 30, 2020, and schools will remain closed to in-person classroom attendance through May 4, 2020,” the Texas government, in an official public service announcement, said.
This prevents large crowds of people such as in schools, restaurants and gyms. It also prevents activities that share contact such as tattoo and piercing studios. These measures are necessary in preventing mass spread of this pandemic, and social distancing is the most effective method of stopping the growth. Other officials have detailed their workings of new vaccines to protect against this virus.

“The world is facing an urgent public health crisis and we are committed to doing our part to make a COVID-19 vaccine available and affordable globally as quickly as possible. As the world’s largest healthcare company, we feel a deep responsibility to improve the health of people around the world every day. Johnson & Johnson is well positioned through our combination of scientific expertise, operational scale and financial strength to bring our resources in collaboration with others to accelerate the fight against this pandemic,” Alex Gorsky, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, said.

With the help of major corporations such as Johnson & Johnson, a vaccine will be quickly manufactured. Current timelines show vaccine schedules as early as November of 2020, but as always these are subject to change. A vaccine could eradicate this outbreak, flattening the curve completely.
Many states have taken further action to flatten the curve, passing bills that protect workers that require self-isolation or quarantine. Gov. Greg Abbott has issued a bill guaranteeing households that make a combined salary of less than $70,000, a $1000 per month per household paid leave. New York has taken similar action, providing paid-leave for workers afflicted with this virus. Texas has also stated it is illegal to evict residents for 90 days, while this pandemic is wreaking havoc across the state.

“These are worrisome times, no doubt. But grasping for straws masquerading as sound medical advice won’t allay any fears. It is the stress-intensifying antithesis of the self-care we’ve all been told to practice to keep us mentally and emotionally well as we work to flatten the curve and beat this beast into submission. Meanwhile, here’s some advice you can trust: Wash your hands. Keep your distance,” Margaret Gardner, reporter with the Galveston County Daily News, said.

In these trying times, it is important to rely not on those who spread fear, but facts; many sources of news are less than reputable, reporting false facts about self-COVID-19 tests and spreading sesame oil to prevent this virus. But these are far from true. Protecting against this pandemic is as simple as practicing physical distancing (previously called social distancing) and maintaining good hygiene habits.