COVID-19 Update: How the virus is impacting the world and the Rochester Community School District

How+COVID-19+is+affecting+the+state+of+Michigan%2C+international+flights%2C+large+nationwide+events%2C+and+President+Trump%27s+address+on+the+issue.+

How COVID-19 is affecting the state of Michigan, international flights, large nationwide events, and President Trump’s address on the issue.

Mariam Hanna, Features Editor

COVID-19 is taking the world by storm. COVID-19 is a mutated strain of the Coronavirus, a flu like illness that is now causing events to be cancelled locally and countries to be shut down worldwide.

On Wednesday, Mar. 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially labeled it a pandemic, having infected nearly 130,000 individuals globally and killed just over 4,000. It is relatively new to the United States but is expected to spread rapidly. Two cases in Michigan have been confirmed as of Thursday, Mar. 12- one in Wayne county and one in Oakland county.

In Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s address on Wednesday, Mar. 11, she urged mitigation strategies, such as cancelling large non essential gatherings. Many large universities, such as Michigan State, University of Michigan, New York University, and Northwestern University have cancelled face to face classes and are turning to online learning for the next semester. Even K-12 schools are getting ready to potentially switch to remote learning as well. Districts like Rochester Community Schools are cancelling classes to provide training to staff “if it becomes necessary to engage students in remote learning outside of the classroom”, according to the district website.

Locally, the Tri- High Charity Dance has been postponed, as well as the pep assembly and lip dub filming that were planned at Rochester High School for this Friday. All sports practices have been cancelled, and MHSAA events, like the basketball districts tournament last night, are closed to everyone except immediate family members and essential personnel. On the national level, much has happened as well.

Yesterday, the NCAA decided that for the safety of Americans, March Madness will go on without fans in the stadium. president Donald Trump announced late last night a travel ban to over 25 European countries that will be put into effect starting Friday, Mar. 13 at midnight. Additionally, the United States stock market is plummeting.

Although this does seem like a lot, COVID-19 has impacted some other nations much further. Italy, for example, is entirely shut down. The economy is largely based on tourism, but without flights going into the country, they are losing millions upon millions of dollars. Stores, restaurants, and other businesses are closed as the death toll there reaches 30 percent.

A major question everyone has is ‘how far will this go?’ With spring break vacations being cancelled left and right and schools postponing major events, it’s common to wonder when everything will go back to normal. It appears we’ll just have to wait and see how this all pans out, taking hygienic precautions, of course.