Coronavirus global fear intensifies; world leaders control spread

ASD student travel prevented due to dangerous virus


Photographer: Omar A.

The Season 2 Forensic Team was disappointed to find out about their Malaysia trip's cancellation. Some members hold out hope for a Season 3 trip and competition in India to go ahead as planned.

ASD students shared their disappointment about trip cancellations. Video credit: Jacob S.

Jacob S., Reporter

The outbreak of a new coronavirus has spread fear around the world. WebMD describes it as a “kind of common virus that causes an infection in your nose, sinuses, or upper throat.” Flu-like symptoms are a common way to identify this illness; however, the severity varies. Unfortunately, the current coronavirus is dangerous and highly contagious. 

Coronavirus is spread through coughing, sneezing, or by touching an infected person. Dr. Jeremy Farrar, a specialist in infectious disease epidemics and director of The Wellcome Trust, said that while “a cluster of patients with an unusual respiratory infection is, and should always be a worry,… if the infection is not passing person to person, the level of concern is somewhat reduced.” However, it is spreading, rapidly. 

This particular virus started in Wuhan, China, and has spread throughout China and other Asian countries. The number of cases has risen to more than 42,000 with 1,000 reported deaths. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the vast majority of the deaths have been in China. 

However, companies and governments are looking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus until there is a safe solution. Apple has shut down its stores in China. Australia has joined the US in barring travelers who have visited China. Qatar Airways has canceled many incoming flights from China. And ASD student trips to Asia have been canceled. 

On the morning of Jan. 29, the ASD coaches for Global Issues Network (GIN) and Forensics Speech and Debate were informed that they would not be given the opportunity to travel. GIN had planned on going to Bangkok, Thailand, to talk about global goals and attend a conference. The Forensics team was to go to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to compete in performances and debate.

ASD fears its students might catch the coronavirus during their school trip, in which case the entire group of travelers would need to be quarantined until it’s confirmed they’re all clean. It takes nearly two full weeks for everyone to get checked and cleared, in which case the students would have missed too much school thus preventing them from graduating or facing other consequences. Not to mention the makeup work. 

Seven students were chosen to go on the GIN trip, and they had prepared for two months for their conference and their speeches. Fifteen students had been chosen to go on the Forensics trip, and they had been preparing since the end of November. These students have mixed emotions on the cancellation of their trip; the overall consensus is that they’re sad it’s not going to happen but glad they’re staying safe and healthy. 

The cancellations of the ASD student trips is very unfortunate for everyone involved, but ASD administrators put the safety and health of their students first. There are high hopes that the coronavirus epidemic is solved soon so that students can continue going on once-in-a-lifetime trips to Asia to represent ASD well.

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