Closed for Corona: How new virus is taking over the world


Cecilia Zavala

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released tips on Feb. 14 on how to better protect yourself against the coronavirus, including washing your hands more often than normal.

Cecilia Zavala, Overflow Section Editor

Shanghai, Ireland, Texas and schools.These are just some of the places around the world that have cancelled events or shut down due to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Shanghai is home to the first-built Disney resort in China. Over a month ago, it was shut down because of COVID-19. Before it was shut down, it was presumed that the park would lose almost $280 million worth in profits. 

Although the Disney resort has re-opened, visitors are shocked at the precautions which have been put in place. As of now, anyone who wants to visit the resort will have to endure a temperature screening before admittance and will also be required to wear a mask throughout the entire visit. 

While the Disney resort in Shanghai is something that can be available year-round, there are other places around the world that are cancelling yearly events.

Ireland has made an executive decision to cancel events that are held near to their culture. Ireland has cancelled almost all of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, including the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

In the state of Texas, the chief executive of the film festival South by Southwest decided to cancel the event. This cancellation is the first one in the 34-years that the event has been held. Because the 2020 festival is being cancelled, the sponsors are not sure if it will continue for the years to come.

Many Pleasant Valley students were looking forward to attending events that they worked hard for, but were ultimately cancelled. The 2020 VEX Robotics World Championship and the Legoland competition were  some things robotics team members were to attend.

Junior Genevieve McShane was looking forward to attending the VEX World Championships  because she was recently nominated as a Dean’s List finalist. “I was nominated for my work in promoting STEM to the community and promoting women in STEM,” said McShane. 

With the World Championship being cancelled, McShane is heartbroken over all of the things she is going to miss. “All of the finalists were invited to a lunch with the founder of FIRST (the robotics program),” stated McShane. “I hope there is still some sort of ceremony to announce the recipients, rather than just an email.”

McShane is sympathetic for other Championship participants besides her team. “There are hundreds of teams around the world that have qualified to go to this competition,” said McShane. “My heart goes out to all of the teams whose hard work over the last eight months won’t be awarded.”

Senior Aabha Joshi is one of the main leaders of an all-girls robotics team and is sad the girls won’t be able to experience Legoland. “While the Legoland competition was just something we wanted to do for fun, the girls we coach worked really hard to get there,” said Joshi. “It’s very disappointing.”

Many people wonder why so many events are being cancelled just because of the coronavirus. Science teacher Christopher Kohn avidly voices his thoughts on the topic. “[The coronavirus] is new and the media is doing a very good job of making sure everyone knows the exact number of people who are affected and dying from it,” he stated. “It’s all they talk about and humans have not adapted to it.”

Not only are tourist attractions and events being cancelled, but schools are being shutting down. As of now, there are around 290 million children that are not in school due to the coronavirus. School shutdowns pose a massive threat to the well-being of children around the world. 

With the coronavirus finally making its mark in Iowa, the concern for schools and events will continue to grow. Junior Anali Anderson feels that the coronavirus brings out a little bit of fear. “It makes it seem more real since it’s so close to home,” she said.

Many schools in Iowa are already preparing for the worst. 2017 Pleasant Valley graduate Kylie Murphy is a junior studying supply chain management at Iowa State University in Ames. Murphy notes that although online classes are not fully up and running yet, there is a strong chance they will be soon. “We won’t know for sure until the president, Wendy Wintersteen, makes a statement,” Murphy stated.

Even though Wintersteen has not made an announcement about going online, many professors are already working to make the transition easy. “I’ve had one professor say that it seems very likely we won’t meet face-to-face until the end of March,” said Murphy.

Senior Sara Hoskins admits that it is concerning that schools are closing . “I don’t think it will stop the virus from spreading but this is the only thing that schools can do about it,” she said.

The coronavirus is causing closings of events and public practices all around the world and it does not show signs of going away soon. With 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in places like Iowa City and Des Moines, Iowa may soon face more closings as well.