learn about COVID-19, its impact, and what you can do about it.
As of June 26, 12 more Pennsylvania counties have entered the green zone, leaving Lebanon county as the sole area with yellow status. In the yellow phase, the stay at home order is lifted for aggressive mitigation, gatherings of over 25 people are prohibited, masks are required in all public spaces, indoor recreational facilities remain closed, in-person instruction in schools must follow guidance by the Department of Education, and outdoor dining is allowed to open. The green zone is Governor Tom Wolf's least restrictive phase, which allows the economy to continue to reopen, while still issuing a stay-at-home order. In the green zone, businesses must follow all of the updated safety requirements for in-person operations, and they may increase their capacity from 50% to 75%. All prisons and hospitals have determined specific restrictions for each facility. Congregate care facilities also have specific restrictions. Daycares are able to open with guidance. Construction can return at full capacity, as long as they follow safety measures. Gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited. Restaurants, bars, entertainment centers, indoor recreation centers, health and wellness facilities, and personal care services can open at 50% capacity, as long as you make an appointment at the personal care facilities. Many places of work have their own regulations for when employees will be returning. Governor Wolf stated that schools were set to open with some aspect of in-person learning when students return in the fall, though they are not yet sure how exactly that will look. Wolf reported that he will be providing guidelines for what school should look like when it reopens, but specific start dates and how each school will go about their in-person learning will be up to local education authorities.
Though the city of Philadelphia is in the green zone, Thomas Farley, Philadelphia's Health Commissioner, has decided to pause some of its plans to reopen by prohibiting the opening of fitness centers and indoor dining until at least August 1. Philadelphia is also requiring all visitors and returning residents to self-quarantine for 14 days following their return to the city.
Pennsylvania is among the states where new cases have been increasing in the past two weeks. After hitting an all-time high of 1,989 cases on April 9th, Coronavirus cases had been steadily declining until June 15th, around the time that PA counties began to enter the green zone. Since then, cases have been on the rise, with 832 cases on July 2nd, the highest amount of daily cases since May 22nd. As a result, it has been announced that wearing face coverings will be required when residents are out in public. Governor Wolf's advice for being safe includes wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, social distancing when possible, washing your hands often, and staying home if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Written by Sarah Lessig
On Thursday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker outlined guidelines that the district can use to safely and effectively reopen schools without causing another surge in coronavirus cases. Despite backlash from the teacher’s unions and parents, Baker urged that he wants to prioritize the mental and physical health of the students as isolation poses a very real risk to developing minds. The new guidelines require adults and students in second-grade and above to wear masks, and encourages it for children in kindergarten and first-grade. Desks should be spaced at least 3 feet apart — 6 feet when possible — and meals will likely be eaten in classrooms. He also noted that daily temperature checks and limiting classroom size would not be necessary, as it could create issues for schools that are not equipped with those resources. Despite these new guidelines Baker is ultimately leaving districts the choice on how they will manage to bring students back to school in the fall. Additionally, the state will provide nearly $200 million in additional funding to help schools with coronavirus-related costs, plus $25 million in federal funds for technology upgrades as it is still a possibility that COVID-19 could make a resurgence in the fall, resulting in a switch back to remote learning.
This news comes as Massachusetts enters week 6 of their phased reopening plan. Most businesses, excluding entertainment spaces, have been allowed to open with restrictions, such as limiting capacity and requiring employees and customers to wear masks upon entry into the establishment. Although Massachusetts was one of the hardest-hit states by COVID-19, with cases surpassing 100,000 and deaths over 8,000, they were named one of only 4 states that were on track to successfully contain the coronavirus by the organization Covid Act Now. The collection of epidemiologists, health and public policy experts, and technologists found that the state’s infection rate has dropped to 0.75 from a peak of 2.76 in March and the positive test rate is at 2.3 percent, down from an apex of 28.9 percent on April 15. One technology that is significantly helping limit infections is the contact tracing program. Covid Act Now concluded that with the 2,500 contact tracers Massachusetts currently has, they are in a very good place considering, as their site says, “with an average of 202 new daily cases, Massachusetts needs 1,010 contact tracing staff to trace all new cases in 48 hours before too many other people are infected. This means that Massachusetts is likely able to trace 100 percent of new COVID infections in 48 hours. When this level of tracing is coupled with widely available testing, COVID can be contained without resorting to lockdowns.” Coupled with that widely used technology, Massachusetts is also among the top four states in the country for regular mask usage, according to data collected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
The second part of phase 2 began last Monday, allowing indoor dining, increased office space capacity, open fitting rooms in retail stores, as well as other indoor beauty services, so Baker would like to see the cases continue to decrease before allowing phase 3, which would allow movie theaters, bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment to open as well. States must continue to be cautious of reopening as Florida, Texas, and California have seen drastic increases in cases and deaths as a result of easing restrictions too soon or refraining from enforcing CDC guidelines such as wearing masks in public and social distancing whenever possible. As we can see with Massachusetts, regular mask usage combined with access to testing and contact tracing information allows for the economy to thrive while also keeping citizens safe.
Written by Margot Galligan
On Thursday, June 25, Texas set a new daily record of more than 47 deaths and nearly 6,000 coronavirus cases. While Texas was one of the first states to begin the reopening process, efforts to reopen have not effectively mitigated against viral spread and the current situation in Texas and in other states like Florida, who have seen similar issues, are reaching headlines nationwide. In response to this development in the crisis, Texas governor Greg Abbott has decided to halt reopening, explaining in a statement on Thursday last week that “this temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business." According to the statement, businesses that were previously allowed to open under the state guidelines can still "continue to operate at the designated occupancy levels and under the minimum standard health protocols provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services.” These occupancy levels are now at 75% for indoor restaurants and 50% for indoor bars. Abbott has taken this approach anticipating that the state will not move backward in the reopening process while continuing to attempt to control the spread of the virus.
This halt in the reopening of Texas is also a response to the increased amount of hospitalization of COVID-19 patients. On June 14, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients was at 2,287 but has now spiked to double this number. Moreover, for 13 days in a row, Texas has seen record hospitalizations. The spike in these cases has been connected to the increased amount of testing as well as the increasing percent of positive results. The increase of positive results can be attributed to the increased amount of testing in Texas, especially in state prisons and meatpacking plants. It was only towards the beginning of June when Texas began to test these sites that are responsible for a portion of this increase. However, the increase of positive tests cannot be attributed to the increased amount of testing alone. It’s mainly a result of the initial attempts to reopen the state too quickly, causing the number of cases in the state to continue to grow. The increased number of positive test results indicates that the virus is continuing to spread, and that Texas must continue to take action to stop the spread of COVID-19. Abbott, in his statement also called for citizens to keep themselves safe as a result of the failures of reopening, reiterating the recommendations that have been ubiquitous during the pandemic: "As we work to contain this virus, I urge all Texans to do their part to help contain the spread by washing their hands regularly, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing." It is now up to states seeing recent spikes in cases like Texas to reevaluate reopening and safety, as acting accordingly will not only save lives in each state but will allow everyone to hope for a return to some kind of normalcy as soon as is truly safe.
Written by Megan Yee
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on communities across the globe from students to virus victims. However, there is another group being deeply impacted by quarantine isolation but often overlooked: elderly residents of assisted living facilities. These seniors are prohibited from seeing their loved ones during quarantine restrictions to limit compromises to their health, as well as to restrain further spread of the illness among facility employees. Although there are video chat platforms available for residents to stay in touch with their families, it just doesn't fulfill the gratification of personal physical interaction.
In an effort to alleviate the stresses felt by these residents, a nonprofit organization has arisen from Broward County, Florida to uplift spirits with the powerful and universal language of music. Singing For Seniors is an organization that rallies musicians of all genres and of all instrumentation to share their passions for a good cause. This group holds virtual performance sessions for these residents of assisted living facilities over the Zoom video chat platform. The musical acts vary widely from elementary students serenading with viola pieces to highschoolers belting uplifting tunes. Carynna Joseph, an avid member of the organization, recalls participating in the first session with the Angel House Assisted Living facility, “This experience will be one I’ll never forget! Being able to see how much the elderly enjoyed our performances warmed my heart.”
This organization proves the timeless quote by Plato: “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.” It’s important to acknowledge the mental impacts upon those who may not be infected by the virus but still impressed by its repercussions. Even through a digital screen, we can work towards healing the hearts of those affected by the isolation of quarantine, one note at a time.
Written By Sophia Hai
Visit the Singing For Seniors official website for more information www.singingforseniors.us
COVID-19 has raised stress levels for all of us. It has torn us away from our friends and our daily routines and added concern about loved ones getting sick and even being hospitalized. All this stress is causing difficulty focusing and sleeping while possibly worsening chronic or mental health problems.
In a recent poll done in the United States by KFF, 45% of participants reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress caused by the virus. This means that a large part of our population is struggling to adapt to this new reality.
Adolescents and older adults are more likely to have especially pronounced mental health effects because they are already at increased risk for depression or suicidal ideation due to fluctuating hormone levels. When facing mental health issues it may be tempting to try and meet up with friends in person, but try to restrain yourself from doing so, especially since mental health and immunity are linked. According to an immunologist at St. Olav's Hospital, if you are facing mental health issues, your immunity may be partly compromised. That means seeing your friends in person could be more harmful than helpful to you in the end.
Positive things for your mental health like meditation or laughing can help your body produce more of the cells you need to fight off disease. For example, different types of T cells have shown to be affected by stress. Harmful things like depression and anxiety can lead your body to create chemicals like the stress hormone cortisol that weaken your immune system. When high levels of cortisol are present in your blood the number of white blood cells in your blood drop. When your white blood cells drop you are less able to fight infection and are more prone to becoming sick.
If you are facing mental health issues, you can try to take deep breaths, stretch, meditate, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. You can also FaceTime, call, and message friends to ward off loneliness and negative feelings. Remember: 45% of Americans are facing some sort of worry or stress because of this pandemic. You are not alone.
HOTLINES FOR MENTAL HEALTH:
Written by Maddie Cowgill
Quarantine precautions have been put in place across the globe. Although these are necessary safety advisories, it can be tremendously frustrating and inefficient for those at home. Mental health is especially an important topic during this time. One can see the effect quarantine burdens on people by analyzing data recorded during the SARS disease (or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) in 2003. A study in Canada “found a high prevalence of psychological distress symptoms. Twenty-nine percent of participants reported symptoms of post-traumatic stress and 31 percent of respondents reported symptoms of depression. Participants in this study described a sense of isolation and were particularly affected by the lack of social and physical contact with family members." It is reported that quarantine can increase stress, anxiety, depression, poor sleep habits/exhaustion, unhealthy lifestyles, insomnia, and other psychological distress symptoms. “Humans are social animals, and being isolated can have a big impact on our health, says Zlatin Ivanov, MD, a New York-based psychiatrist.” Quarantine, however, has resulted in extreme isolation and separation. The stress of the virus in addition to being limited in social interactions can have detrimental effects on mental health. It is important to take active steps to prevent a negative impact on mental health. Making wise and safe choices and keeping in contact with friends and family can prevent the deterioration of mental health during the pandemic.
Even more greatly affected are those combatting the virulence of COVID-19: the healthcare workers. Using the data collected during the SARS epidemic, it is clear to see that healthcare workers faced the worst psychological distress symptoms out of the general public. When quarantined, the general public exhibited less severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress than health care workers. Health-care workers had contracted significantly worse symptoms in all aspects. They experienced greater stigma, exhibited more avoidance after quarantine, reported a greater loss of income and greater psychological impact. Taylor et al. also reported “increased anger, annoyance, fear, frustration, guilt, helplessness, isolation, loneliness, nervousness, sadness, worry, and were less happy.” Healthcare workers are put through stressful situations each day while having to continue to stress about their own health. In their line of work, they are forced to see the despair of COVID-19 patients daily. Many are forced to rush to the aid of the tremendous amount of COVID-19 patients; time to cope with what they have experienced is limited and scarce. In addition, healthcare workers are constantly working during the pandemic, even when they lack a sufficient amount of supplies. Hospitals don’t have enough supplies that are needed for patients and doctors during the pandemic. Masks and gloves are necessary for healthcare workers, however, these are in short supply. “Older staff reported increased stress due to exhaustion due to prolonged work hours and lack of personal protective equipment.” Healthcare workers are especially stressed about their own health and their chances of contracting the virus. While they are doing their best to treat COVID-19 patients and other patients, they also don’t want to unexpectedly get the virus and accidentally spread it to those they love. “Among the studies included in the review, the mean age of the medical staff ranged between 26–40 years, and the predominant participants in 4 studies were females (68.7 %–85.5 %). Lai J, 2020 showed that being a woman and possessing an intermediate professional title was associated with higher anxiety, depression, and distress (Lai et al., 2020)." Healthcare workers with families were worried about infecting relatives while those without families were equally as worried for their health. “Medical staff aged 31–40 years were more worried about infecting their families whereas in staff>50 years of age patient’s death caused more stress. In staff aged 41–50 years, factors like worry regarding their safety were also important.”
COVID-19 caught everyone by surprise and greatly affected the livelihoods of many. Healthcare providers were forced to work overtime in harsh conditions. Although the situation is difficult for healthcare workers, we can help them, on small and large scales. People must remember the daily sacrifices those in the healthcare/medical field make for the community to fight against COVID-19 and protect everyone. “Acknowledgement by the community of health care workers role in saving lives, has a salutary effect on their morale.” Giving acknowledgment allows the healthcare workers to understand that we appreciate them and all they have done to help fight COVID-19. Support healthcare workers by donating masks and gloves to hospitals, posting about doctors and encouraging their work, and by sending mail (letters, drawings, etc.) to them. Although this time is hard for everyone, we must remember that we are all facing this together and that we are fighting COVID-19 together.
Written by Isabel Philip
As many already know, on May 25, 2020, George Floyd lost his life at the hands of vicious police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was a victim of racial prejudice, and his story has reiterated the heartbreaking reality that discrimination is still a prominent issue in today’s day and age. This tragedy has sparked protests across the nation and even made its influence into other countries advocating for the cause. CATF strongly believes in the principles of equality and stands with the Black Lives Matter movement during these times. We also greatly support the peaceful protests uniting communities together for this very important and probing issue that needs to be addressed. However, it is also important to remember that the COVID-19 virus is still existent and necessary health precautions should be taken to responsibly participate in protests.
Some advice to keep in mind in order to prevent further spread of the pandemic:
Please consider these precautions in order to safely protest while minimizing the probability of a second wave of the virus. Our voices are collectively being heard and will continue to be heard as the Black Lives Matter movement progresses through these times. With the assistance of the nation’s firm believers in justice, we will enact change. Be safe and thank you for using your voice in the name of equality.
For more information, visit the Black Lives Matter official website https://blacklivesmatter.com
Written By Sophia Hai
Many news sources such as USA Today and the New York Post reported a change in the CDC website. Previously, the CDC has warned that COVID-19 infection could spread by touching previously contaminated objects or surfaces. However, their website now reports that COVID-19 “does not spread easily” in this way and that because COVID-19 is a novel virus they are still learning about its spread. In the New England Journal of Medicine, a study claimed that coronavirus can “live on some surfaces for up to three days and up to three hours in the air. It can [also] live up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel.” This study in addition to CDC warnings resulted in many wiping down groceries and recently delivered packages. However, this study did not determine if people could actually be infected from touching the surfaces and was also not peer-reviewed. Additionally, the CDC now says that being infected by COVID-19 through take-out or packages is unlikely “because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces.” Especially with the uncertainties of this disease, it is important to continue practicing social distancing, utilizing proper hand-washing techniques, and wearing masks while in public in order to protect our families, friends, and communities. Remember that even if somebody does not show symptoms of COVID-19, they could simply be asymptomatic meaning that they can still spread COVID-19 to others.
On account of COVID-19 being a novel virus, not enough evidence has been collected from clinical trials that would allow the recommendation of a specific antiviral treatment. Most treatments of COVID-19 consist of respiratory/intensive care. Scientists are currently conducting different clinical trials (controlled experiments testing the efficacy, side effects, dosage, and other important considerations) to find a safe and effective antiviral treatment. Many of these studies involve drugs that have shown in the past to treat other viruses in the betacoronavirus family such as SARS-Cov-1 and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome). Examples of these repurposed drugs include interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin.
Clinical trials typically go through five phases. In phase 0 of a clinical trial, scientists test drugs in small doses on a small group of patients to see if the drug will work as it is expected to. This phase is not always used but is low risk and can be useful to prevent costs if the drug does not work in future phases. In phase 1, scientists figure out if the drug is safe in humans, using a low dose on once again a small group of people. The goal is to determine the maximum dose that can be given while minimizing side effects. In phase 2 of a clinical trial, there are more participants and usually a higher dose. Scientists continue to observe for side effects that may not be as common as well as how well the treatment works. Should the drug seem safe and effective, it will proceed to phase 3. In phase 3, there are usually over a hundred patients in a clinical trial, and drugs are delivered over a longer period of time. They are even sometimes done around the world to have more diversity in patients. After phase 3 trials, drugs are usually submitted for FDA approval. Should the drug receive approval, they can become used in standard care and phase 4 trials usually commence. These trials are to watch for long term effects of the drug that take years to manifest, such as a patient’s quality of life after taking the drug.
Last week, a study was published in the journal, The Lancelet, regarding a phase 2 open-label randomized clinical trial. The trial tested a treatment including multiple drugs rather than a single drug because evidence from influenza patients indicated that a multi-drug treatment could be more effective in patients with a high viral load, meaning they have a high number of virus particles in their cell.1 This trial found that a combination of the three aforementioned drugs (interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin) could be successful in the treatment of moderate and mild cases of COVID-19.
Scientists surveyed 127 adult patients from six different public hospitals in Hong Kong who all tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).2 Patients were randomly assigned to either receive the combination of drugs (the combination group) or just lopinavir-ritonavir (the control group) over a period of 14 days. Rather than being a double-blind trial (in which neither patients nor doctors know if a patient is receiving a placebo or the treatment), both researchers and patients knew which treatment the participant was receiving. While the trial being open-label could allow for bias, the report claims all patients were assigned randomly.
In addition to standard care, patients in the control group received a certain dosage of lopinavir and ritonavir every 12 hours. Along with the lopinavir-ritonavir treatment received by the control group, patients in the combination group received ribavirin every 12 hours and a certain dosage of interferon beta-1b (depending on how many days treatment began after patients began showing symptoms).3 Some adjustments (in frequency) to these treatments were made for patients displaying certain conditions, such as high levels of alanine transaminase, an enzyme whose presence could indicate possible liver damage.4 (Damaged cells in the liver will release the ALT enzyme to the bloodstream).
The study reports that the group receiving the combination of medicine had a “significantly shorter median time from start of study treatment to negative nasopharyngeal swab” of 7 days as opposed to the control group’s 12 days.5 One member of the control group discontinued treatment after one week because alanine transaminase was over six times ULN (upper limit of normal) but all other patients finished their treatment. Both groups displayed side effects of nausea (which required no interference) and diarrhea. One patient in the control group discontinued lopinavir–ritonavir because of biochemical hepatitis. No patients died during the study. Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen from the University of Hong Kong and a lead researcher said:
“Our trial demonstrates that early treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 with a triple combination of antiviral drugs may rapidly suppress the amount of virus in a patient’s body, relieve symptoms, and reduce the risk to healthcare workers by reducing the duration and quantity of viral shedding (when the virus is detectable and potentially transmissible).”
While phase III clinical trials that include a larger patient sample to further confirm these findings are still required, the results from phase II are encouraging. Researchers on the team plan to investigate interferon beta-1b further; Dr. Jenny Lo, from Ruttonjee Hospital in Hong Kong, said: “Interferons are naturally occurring proteins, produced in response to viral infection, and the hope is that interferon beta-1b will boost the body’s ability to fight SARS-CoV-2.”7 With a world filled with anxiety and fear due to uncertainties surrounding this worldwide pandemic, this study provides hope to many that further phase III trials will confirm an effective and safe treatment.
Written by Jennifer Do-Dai
Spanish Version: https://www.covid19atf.org/blog/nuevo-sindrome-inflamatoria-en-ninos-posiblemente-conectado-a-covid-19
Many media organizations have been picking up on a new possible effect of COVID-19 almost exclusive to children: Novel Inflammatory Syndrome with gastrointestinal symptoms and cardiac inflammation.
Thus far, understanding of this novel syndrome is minimal because it is rare in children. From the cases seen so far, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health created a case definition that has been adopted by the AHA´s Heart Council as well as a few other organizations of the mysterious illness. In order to have it, one must present with persistent fever, elevated CRP (white blood cell count), and evidence of multiple organ dysfunction. This case definition excludes those with any other microbial cause of symptoms. Testing positive for COVID-19 is not required for a diagnosis because while having suspected relation to COVID-19, these symptoms are often so delayed for days to weeks so the children do not test positive for the virus without an antibody test.
When comparing these newer symptoms to those seen in adults there are some similarities with the long term effects. For example, a study in Wuhan yielded that 27% of COVID-19 patients had kidney failure. Another study in Wuhan found that 20% of all patients had some form of heart damage while 44% of ICU patients had heart damage. In addition, some people with COVID-19 reported gastrointestinal symptoms. While none of these studies found a direct link between the studied symptom and COVID-19 the percentages themselves show a correlation.
COVID-19 damages more than just the lungs: the heart and kidneys may be affected, and some people can show gastrointestinal symptoms. Combined, these studies of less common symptoms and long term effects of COVID-19 point a tentative finger at the correlation between the rise of cases of Novel Inflammatory Syndrome in children and the current pandemic plaguing us.
Written by Maddie Cowgill
Spanish Translation: https://www.covid19atf.org/blog/reabriendo-nuestro-pais
Hokkaido, a Japanese Island, lifted their three-week lockdown too early after seeing a stabilization in mid-March. Catastrophic events followed. On the first day of reopening, they reached a record of new cases. A month after reopening there was about an 80% increase in new cases. Now Hokkaido will have to stay in lockdown for even longer than it would have before, dooming many small businesses.
Beginning on April 24th, the state of Georgia has progressively been reopened. It, like the small Japanese island, is seeing a significant uptick in cases. Previously the state was only reporting a range of 200 to 700 new cases a day. Within the first 24 hours, over 1,000 new cases were reported. On May 1st, they had 1,232 new cases.
The United States government is allowing states to open up when they feel that it is safe. This un-unified front causes problems: for example, people are crossing into different states to receive services like hair cuts. In order to reopen and stop the spread of COVID-19 as soon as possible, our country needs to present a united front because unlike Japan, our country is one big landmass rather than separate islands.
The Trump administration has now laid out phases of how our country should reopen but nowhere is a mandate requiring it. While most states will be inclined to follow these guidelines, some states may not and cause a second wave endangering our whole country.
A second wave could further stall our economy and make it harder to reopen in the fall when our nation's schools are planning to reopen. People are already having trouble putting food on the table, paying back debt, or keeping their businesses from going bankrupt. Our country's leaders need to be careful and to take precedent from what is happening elsewhere.
Spanish Version: https://www.covid19atf.org/blog/aplana-la-curva-con-nosotros
False information is dangerous as it spreads unnecessary fear and anxiety to the general public. It is our mission to spread awareness about the current situation and provide resources for those who need them most. We are a motivated group of teenagers passionate about science and dedicated to educating people about COVID-19 and supporting those in need.
COVID-19 is a disease that is caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. COVID-19 is a novel virus, which means developing a vaccine to create immunity to it is unknown territory. Scientists have yet to conduct much research on a vaccine. Some of what we know is that there are three main antigens (essentially toxic molecules that cause an immune response): the spike-protein, the membrane-protein, and the nucleocapsid-protein. These antigens bind to a receptor protein called ACE2 in human cells. The virus then uses the information encoded in its genetic material to reproduce. The copies of this virus then infect more cells, spreading the virus throughout the body.
While scientists try to find and ethically test an effective vaccine, it is our duty as a society to take measures to limit the spread as much as we can by practicing social distancing and wearing masks when in public. We also need to support each other as much as we can because this is a difficult time for everybody.
As a group, we are starting some different initiatives to do our part. Some of our projects include: creating educational resources to support elementary and middle school students and providing peer tutoring, bringing awareness to mental health issues that people are facing especially caused by the current crisis, as well as producing and distributing face masks to those who wouldn’t have access otherwise.
In order to effectively execute these projects, we need your support. Please subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on instagram (@covid19aft), and if you have money to spare, donate to our Venmo so we can support some amazing foundations. Any support or donation will help - all proceeds will go towards our Coronavirus relief fund. Thank you for your support.
Jennifer and Maddie
Authors and Editors