The Coronavirus is in Florida


Joshua Sheperd

As of March 11, there are 28 Floridians and counting infected with COVID-19, with two deaths recorded. At least five Florida residents are recovering out-of-state.

The threat began Sunday, March 1, when it was confirmed that the Coronavirus had spread to Florida, with the state’s first two Coronavirus patients being identified as residents of Manatee and Hillsborough counties, a man and a woman respectively. It is unknown how the Manatee County man contracted COVID-19, as he had not traveled out of the country recently. However, it seems that the woman had recently come back from northern Italy, where an outbreak is currently happening near Milan.

By March 3, it had surfaced that the virus had infected another person, a second Hillsborough county resident. This third patient appears to be the sister or friend of the first Hillsborough county woman; apparently, the trip to Italy included both individuals.

Other recent news surrounding the outbreak include a mother and son being quarantined in Doctors Hospital in Sarasota. There was also the case of a tested-positive lawyer from New York making a trip to Miami, after which Florida officials were stirred up as they were not alerted by those of New York.

At the moment, hundreds of Florida residents are currently being tested for the virus.

Got Soap?┬áDepartment stores like Walmart and Costco are making a lot of money right now. Cleaning supplies, soaps, and non-perishable foods have sold quickly in recent weeks, leading to shortages of inventory. “Everyone gets the same idea at the same time and rushes to buy things,” said nurse Lily Shepherd.

While the situation rages on, people must take care of themselves to prevent further outbreak. Symptoms tend to be flu-like, which means coughing, sneezing, sore muscles, tiredness, etc. Everyone should make sure to wash their hands often and avoid touching the face. Those with weak immune systems of underlying conditions are at a higher risk of catching COVID-19. Anyone who has visited an area where an outbreak is happening or has been in the presence of someone with the disease should be tested.

It may be a good idea at the moment to avoid travel and large crowds if possible. Reduce the transmission of the disease, and it will fizzle out. Information has surfaced that the virus can be prevented by most household cleaners, UV light and rubbing alcohol.

“Keeping yourself up-to-date and being prepared are the biggest things right now,” said Lily Shepherd, a nurse at Manatee Memorial Hospital. “Watch the news for updates. It may be a good idea to stock up right now in case things get bad. Things like cleaning supplies, body wash and shampoo, food, medicine and toilet paper.”