COVID-19 anxiety increases on campus

In B.C., coronavirus fears are spreading faster than the disease itself

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By Lucas Jornitz

Coronavirus, now named COVID-19, is dominating the headlines. People are nervous and at times fearful of the potential for disease outbreak in Canada. However, the anxiety surrounding the issue may be a bigger problem.

At Langara, the fear is as much about missing class due to illness, and the impact this can have on a semester. Anyone who has caught the flu during the school year can attest to the stress this causes. The feelings surrounding the COVID-19 virus seem to be similar, if not the same, to that of the worry of catching the flu.

Stress causes sleeping issues and trouble focusing, and the threat of a major illness sweeping any place, be it a country or a college, can be terrifying.

According to the Government of Canada’s website, there have only been seven cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the country, as of The Voice’s publication date. Three cases are in Ontario and four are in B.C. The probability that the virus could be infecting as many people in Canada as it has abroad is still very low. To panic at this stage would be wildly irrational. Many major health organizations are monitoring the spread of the disease, and the status of anyone infected.

Still, many students have been wearing face masks, and while this does limit the spread, it is not as necessary as some may believe.

Langara is following suit with most post-secondary institutions by suggesting practical ways of limiting the spread of disease.

This includes washing your hands, practising proper sneezing etiquette (sneeze into your elbow, not your hands) and taking a break from classes if you’re feeling sick.

So please wash your hands and take a few days off if you’re not feeling 100 per cent, but don’t panic.

This probably isn’t the beginning of the end.

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