DBHS closed until April 20 due to Coronavirus

In light of the coronavirus outbreak, Walnut Valley Unified School District has ordered the closing of all schools within the district including Diamond Bar High School.

Schools are expected to reopen their doors after Spring Break, on April 20. During this time, teachers will contact students through several applications including Google Classroom and Remind, but will not be assigning any work for a grade.

Due to the school’s sudden closure, DBHS announced that campus will be accessible to all students who need to pick up any materials from their lockers on March 17. 

The school will also offer free meals to students and families for the duration of the break. Children are not required to be WVUSD students to receive a meal however, they must be present for pick up. 

“I was expecting the school to close since COVID-19 is a pandemic, yet I was also worried for the others around me,” sophomore Carissa Wu said via Instagram. “I hope that everyone can stay safe and socially isolate themselves as the break from school is not used as an excuse for social events.”

The school closure puts on hold all sports and other after-school activities. The school will be closed to teachers and students alike starting on March 18.

The virus has also affected several other establishments, companies and celebrities, making its mark on popular culture. Amusement parks and tourist hotspots Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood have both made plans to close down after Newsom, alongside health officials, advised the public that gatherings of 250 people or more should be canceled as of last Friday. Since then, Disneyland officials have announced that the park will be closing for the duration of the month while Universal Studios officials state the park will reopen on March 28 however Universal CityWalk will continue to remain open. 

In the world of sports, the National Basketball Association has suspended its season after center player for the Utah Jazz Rudy Gobert was tested positive for coronavirus. Since then, the NBA has issued several protocols in order to protect their players at this time, advising players to avoid leaving their homes, ensuring they receive daily check-ins with team doctors and banning team practices. 

Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti ordered the closing of all gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and arcades in the city while Newsom has ordered the closure of all bars and wineries throughout the state. He has also called for all restaurants to only offer delivery or pick-up service until March 31 at the earliest.  

The most high-profile case of the virus is that of  Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson. Despite avoiding his flu-like symptoms while still in the U.S. Hanks said he and Wilson only went in for testing once the couple had left the country. Since testing positive, the pair have begun to live in isolation for two weeks at the Gold Coast University Hospital in Sydney, Australia. 

Health officials are tracing the movements of Hanks and Wilson, getting a clear view of anyone the couple may have come into recent contact with, including fans. 

Currently, 40 cases of the virus have been found in California alone with Los Angeles County accounting for its first death on March 12. On Feb. 25, San Francisco officially declared an emergency in response and since then has closed all public schools. Both LA and Orange counties have declared local emergencies on March 5 due to a sudden emergence of coronavirus cases, with six in LA County and two in Orange County.

Aside from California, the epidemic has also reached Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. As of March 16, around 70 deaths in the U.S. have resulted from the coronavirus, and close to 40 states have declared states of emergency.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has responded to the increase in coronavirus cases and claims they are working on how to prepare communities that are affected by the pandemic. Currently, the CDC encourages individuals to get flu vaccinations and to acquaint themselves with the current preventative recommendations for their own sake and the sake of their communities, according to the official CDC website.

Santa Clara Public Health Department Director Sara Cody and other officials are reminding civilians to avoid touching their faces.

In an interview with the Washington Post, she said, “Start working on not touching your face because one main way viruses spread is when you touch your own mouth, nose, or eyes.”

Cody also emphasized cleaning surfaces more often to help decrease chances of infection.

Members of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force spoke out about the issue on March 1. According to Politico.com, Vice President Mike Pence stated the team is focused on the mitigation of the virus’ spread. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn also spoke, claiming around 1 million tests for the coronavirus have been scheduled for the week of March 2.

At the national address, Trump declared a travel ban from most European countries, excluding the United Kingdom, to the U.S. for the next 30 days. He also exchanged information about the several economic relief plans, calling on Congress to give smaller businesses that have been affected by the virus “immediate payroll tax relief,” as stated in an article by the Washington Post.

 For more information on the government’s response to the pandemic, see the opinion article here.

As commotion over the virus continues to escalate, U.S. and Canadian citizens have flocked to their local Costco stores to stock up on supplies. Shoppers documenting the situation shared pictures on social media, capturing the massive lines of consumers that stretched outside the stores and even seeped into the parking lots. The sudden influx in customers left the stores’ shelves cleared of water and toilet paper.

In addition to this, stores like Home Depot, Amazon, eBay and Kroger have recently set limitations on the number of sanitization products a customer may buy due to high demands sparked from the outbreak. On March 2, Kroger released a statement on their website stating each customer would only be permitted to purchase five cold and flu and sanitization-related items.

The virus has also taken its toll on the stock market as seen in stock declines from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28. According to a New York Times article, economists witnessed one of the most detrimental weeks for the global market since the 2008 financial crisis.

The main reason behind this crash has much to do with investors selling their stocks in order to get their money out of the market or into more reliable stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average market summary provides an index of major, reputable stocks, otherwise referred to as blue-chip stocks. As seen in its records, the oil industry experienced a huge plummet in investments. The cause for this evident decline relates to less people traveling, factories in China closing, and manufacturers and deliveries faltering.