Colleges across the United States are making the transition to online classes to help contain the COVID-19 from spreading any further. This decision will affect many people financially, economically and socially, but it is beginning to present itself as the best decision for us as a nation.

Fullerton College and other colleges across the nation should have increased sanitation around campus when they first received news of the COVID-19.

Instead, students are being told that Fullerton College is following the CDC’s model and advising that the risk is low to contract the coronavirus.

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On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. “We cannot say this loudly enough or clearly enough or often enough: All countries can still change the course of this pandemic,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO.

Starting at the community-level, online courses and avoiding public areas should be our next step. People in public places are getting infected. By switching to online classes, it reduces the risk of contracting the virus. Limiting contact is what will help contain this virus.

American public health scientist and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Michael Osterholm, predicts this is only the beginning and this will continue for months to come.

“Breathing in general, is a primary mechanism for transmission,” said Osterholm.

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The good news is that according to the CDC, children with COVID-19 have shown mild symptoms and don’t seem to be the ones at the highest risk. However, adults ages 30 and above are at most risk. Because of these statistics, it is in our best interest for colleges to make the switch to online classes until we are no longer a threat to each other.

Two weeks ago, there were only a handful of people infected with the COVID-19 in California. Now, according to public health experts from John Hopkins University, that number has increased to 177 cases as of Mar. 11.

“COVID-19 outbreaks can be contained, and transmission stopped, as has been shown in China and some other countries,” stated by the WHO.

Perhaps China wasn’t completely wrong in forcing a quarantine in certain cities. They had to make sacrifices and only then were they able to contain the virus.

Unfortunately, Europe did not follow China’s steps and they became the next epicenter. Only in recent days has the Italian government ordered everyone to stay home as the case number has greatly increased.

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While the world waits for a vaccine, the United States needs to be alert and learn from other country’s mistakes. CDC data shows that California and New York have the highest infection rates in the country thus far. People can have the COVID-19 and think it’s a mild cold, meanwhile, they have already infected others in their household or public place.

Now, the college is at the point of questioning if attending classes on campus is ultimately the best decision. No one should compromise themselves or staff on campus.

Disinfecting wipes should have been given to professors and students to wipe down desks and doorknobs. Hand sanitizers should have been immediately placed on walls upon entrance of buildings, just as in hospitals.

In this ongoing battle, small efforts can make a huge difference on our campus.

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