COVID-19 Update


Eliza Myers, Photographer

By now, I’m sure you have heard of (and stressed over) the new and novel coronavirus, COVID-19, that first broke out in December 2019 in Wuhan, China. I am, ironically, a self-diagnosed hypochondriac totally unfit for the stress and anxiety that a pandemic such as this produces. I have already pressured both of my parents into stockpiling dry-goods, toilet paper, and hand sanitizer (the second two I actually do advise doing) in the case of a mass quarantine. As someone who doesn’t watch the news, all I hear about the virus and how fast it’s spreading is from social media or school, neither of which are extremely reliable. Being as anxious as I am about coronavirus, I have recently tried my best to become a rookie expert on the virus to help myself understand its symptoms, how it spreads, and actual threat level. In this article I have researched and collected the most important facts about COVID-19 for those who also hate watching the news but are still freaking out. I am here to help you do the correct and rational amount of freaking out. Hi, I’m Eliza, photographer/videographer for the RMA Eagle Examiner who has absolutely no medical expertise — Welcome to surviving the coronavirus, for dummies. 

The first thing you should know is that your life probably is not in danger. Yes I know, assurance from an eighteen year-old non-doctor who isn’t even taking a science this year is probably not enough to have you sleeping easy, but seriously. Unless you have an already compromised immune system due to fighting off a different illness, are a small child (unlikely given the circumstances), or are over 80, you will probably be able to handle the flu-like virus. If you do have a compromised immune system or leave the virus untreated, it can lead to pneumonia. Regardless, the death rate in all cases of the virus for those from 10-49 is under 0.4%.

The main, tell-tale symptoms of the virus according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) are fever, shortness of breath, and cough, all of which surface between 2-14 days of being exposed to it. The WHO (World Health Organization) also recognizes dry cough, tiredness, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, and diarrhea as symptoms. You are probably thinking, “But Eliza, many of the ailments listed are also symptoms of the flu and some just of regular old allergies!” I know! That is why this virus has been so tricky to spot, treat, and gauge an accurate death rate for — it is often written off as a common cold or the flu! That being said, I do urge you to seek medical attention if you show signs of any of these symptoms, because even if it does end up just being allergies, I do not want this virus so please take precautions, for me :). Obviously, it is not smart to travel right now (for God’s sake don’t get on an airplane), but I also advise that you don’t even travel within North Carolina to see grandparents or older relatives. Though it broke my heart, I had to cancel my plans to visit with my grandparents last week due to the recent outbreaks and news of possible cases. The virus can take between two to fourteen days to show symptoms and because of that, you could be carrying it and not know about it. While you could easily fight off the sickness, the death rate in people aged 70-79 is 8%, and the death rate of confirmed cases for those over 80 is 21%.  

On March 7th, the world reached 100,000 confirmed cases with 100 countries affected,  and it’s still rapidly spreading. The rapid rate at which the virus is spreading is the main cause for this panic, not the fatality rate. The best way to keep yourself from getting the virus, and to lessen its severity, is to live a healthy lifestyle and to wash. your. hands. Literally all the time, wash your hands, AND FOR LONG ENOUGH!! Running your hands under water for three seconds without soap after using the restroom is not going to cut it. Thirty seconds is the norm! Sing the birthday song (or Nikki Minaj’s rap in Bottoms Up) twice in your head as you lather and rinse. Please! Another obvious but necessary point to address is that you should not send your children to school or yourself/partner to work if under the weather! For the health and safety of everyone around you, and mainly me, stay home! While it is very likely that you and/or someone you know will get the coronavirus, that does not mean that you need to lose your mind as I have. If I can keep calm, you can too. 


The best advice I can give during this time of pandemic panic are these points:

  • Wipe down surfaces with disinfectant regularly
  • Stock up on things you want to be sure you have enough of in the instance we do actually have to quarantine ourselves such as:
    • Toilet paper
    • Paper towels
    • Make sure that people who take medication have enough of that medication to last them two weeks at least
    • Dry goods if you are a doomsday prepper like I have forced my family to become
    • Gatorade, soups, and other sick foods — If someone in your house gets the virus, you shouldn’t be going out in public spreading your germs to get that person “feel good foods”
    • I bought a 72 pack of Dunkin’ Keurig Pods from Sam’s because corona will not keep me from caffeine
  • Get good sleep and eat well to ensure a healthy immune system
  • My mom makes my sister and I take elderberry gummies (I’m not sure if they work, but they do taste good)
  • Keep hand sanitizer on you 


You are thinking one of three things right now:

  1. Ok that sounds reasonable, good advice Eliza! 5 stars!
  2. “But Eliza! I don’t have any hand sanitizer, and even though I’ve known about this pandemic since December, I never went out and bought any and now the only place that has any is Amazon and they’re selling it for $300.” Aww 🙁 sorry. Wash your hands. 
  3. “I saw an Instagram post that said hand sanitizer doesn’t work and even though the OP (original post) gave no credentials or scientific evidence to support this claim, I wholeheartedly believe in this like it is my religion and will not be told any differently.” Ok, wash your hands correctly then.
  • Don’t touch your face! 
  • Don’t bite your fingernails!
    • You really shouldn’t be doing this any way, that mess is nasty full offense
  • If you can, walk inside the gas station and wash your hands after you touch that gross dirty pump and keypad (vomit emoji)


See For Yourself!