The coronavirus should remind us that it is necessary to take care of ourselves

Alex McLean

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has become a global epidemic in the last few months. It reached the United States and is currently at more than 100 cases. As of March 2, there are nine reported deaths in Washington state.

As students at a small liberal arts college in Illinois, coronavirus seems like worlds away from our Augustana bubble. Unfortunately, this virus is incredibly contagious; thus, it is incredibly important that students take precautions with their health until the threat has passed. The college lifestyle, however, does not tend to account for healthy living.

Our school has a knack for cultivating sickness, coined the “Augie Plague.” Whether it’s due to our smaller size or close-knit living or some other reason, Augustana students claim a poor record against illness.

This also speaks to the impact of proper sleep and eating. it is even more necessary that students hold themselves to sleeping around eight hours a day as well as intaking a healthier diet now that there is an active epidemic.

Understandably, this doesn’t tend to happen, ever. College education has become much more of a “sleep three hours then take two exams” experience, rather than a place for genuine learning. It’s almost like a badge of honor to avoid sleep for studying.

Especially for students looking towards postgraduate education, every exam is meaningful. However, the biggest thing for students to recognize is that taking an exam is way harder when you’re sleep deprived from cramming all night.

In the same sense, being sleep deprived leads to a weakened immune system and becoming much more susceptible to illness like COVID-19.

If we’re going to avoid spreading coronavirus or similar contagions to the Quad Cities and to Augustana, we have to be better about our tendencies toward self-destruction. College can leads us to be susceptible to unhealthy habits, often out of necessity.

The World Health Organization notes that avoiding the spread of the coronavirus involves appropriate hygiene. Likewise, we could all use some sleep because getting an A isn’t worth contracting a respiratory virus.