The Coronavirus, a disease outbreak that has found its way around the world over the past month, has risen to a global death toll of over 3,000. Cases are now on every continent (besides Antarctica), with over 80,000 cases in China. Many countries have issued forms of restriction on travel to prevent the spread of the infection. This is likely to have a significant impact on students’ and families plans to travel for spring break, which begins on Apr. 4.
Countries that have been more significantly hit by the virus, such as China, Italy, and Japan will be difficult for travelers to visit, and families who planned on traveling to these heavily infected areas will most likely have to reconsider their plans. This is not only due to the chances of contracting the disease itself, but it is likely that countries and airlines will be issuing bans or restrictions so the disease doesn’t find its way into the country.
The Coronavirus has had significant differences in terms of the demographics it affects, most importantly age. According to statnews.com, 87 percent of the cases in China were in people between the ages of 30 and 79. While people 20 and under are going on public transit, school and work, the number of infections in that age group is much less, with only 1.2 percent of cases being teens. The age divide is even more significant in the death toll. So far, in China, 2.3 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases have died.
However, in people 80 or over, the fatality rate is 14.8 percent. To put that into context, the fatality rate is only 1.3 percent in people in their 50’s 0.4 percent in people who are in their 40’s, and 0.2 percent in people between the ages of 10 and 39.
Sophomore Brian Lim is among many students who is likely to travel during spring break. Lim said “It will probably affect me, as I was planning to go to Las Vegas, and I will have to see how the situation there ends up.”
Another concern for citizens regarding the Coronavirus is how deadly and easily spread the disease is. WHO director Dr. Tedros Adhanom said, “The mortality rate of reported COVID-19 cases is about 3.4 percent. While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, COVID-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity. That means more people are susceptible to infection, and some will suffer severe disease.”