BY MOLLIE S. WATERS
The Greenville Standard
After weeks of watching COVID-19, or more commonly known as the coronavirus, spread and makes its way across the country, Alabama has now become one of the last states to have confirmed cases of the illness.
What impact will coronavirus make on people’s day-to-day living is the next question.
So far, people have seen Walmart be emptied of toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, rubbing alcohol, sugar, and other items.
In addition, Governor Kay Ivey has issued for the public schools in Alabama to be closed starting next week.
According to a document titled “Dr. Mackey’s Second Update to Local Superintendents” found on the Alabama Department of Education’s website and released on Mar. 13, the schools will close beginning Thursday.
“Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020,” states the document from Alabama’s State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey, “all public schools in the state of Alabama shall close facilities until Monday, April 6, 2020.
“Decisions about whether or not staff should report to school facilities remain at the discretion of the local education agency.”
Community colleges are also currently planning to close for an extended period of time.
“The Alabama Community College System will temporarily discontinue on-campus instruction at 23 institutions across the state for the period of March 17 – April 3,” states the Alabama Community College System’s (ACCS) website.
The page goes on to quote ACCS Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker as saying the situation has called for these measures to be put in place.
“Our students are our number one priority, and while our decision today to suspend courses is unprecedented it is a necessary precaution to ensure the health and safety of the more than 174,000 students we serve across the state,” said Baker.
Sporting events, concerts, and other programs have also been postponed or cancelled.
For most people, the problem with the corona virus will be more about how it disrupts people’s daily lives instead of the illness itself.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the illness is very similar in symptoms and duration to the flu.
“The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure: fever, cough, and shortness of breath,” states the CDC website.
The website urges people to take necessary precautions, which include washing one’s hands regularly and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
For more information about the corona virus, visit the CDC website at cdc.gov/coronavirus.
All of information for this article was current as of Saturday, Mar. 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.