A poster reminding students to wash their hands. A number of these posters have infiltrated Swenson Hall over the last week.
Photo by Jean Germano

About a month ago, reports emerged that the American public raced to Google to inquire about “Corona beer virus” or, alternatively, “beer virus.” Since that point, the COVID-19 virus, popularly known as coronavirus, has spread from its point of origin in China’s Hubei province to a global level with patients on every inhabited continent.  

At the University of Wisconsin-Superior, many students were calm about the matter. “Don’t care,” admitted Jocelyn Hassing and Laura Beres when asked if they were concerned about COVID-19. “I hate that people are using it as an excuse to be racist against Asian,” said Robin Harry-Ankarlo. 

In Ray Reinertsen’s HHP 102 class, he has been working on making students more conscientious of what they can do to avoid getting sick this flu season. Before class began, he had students wipe their arm rests with disinfectant wipes as a reminder to clean services they have regular contact with, a point reflected in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) workplace health guidelines. 

When asked about COVID-19, Reinertsen’s class acknowledged they knew what it was, and identified basic actions, like handwashing, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and avoiding touching your face frequently, to help avoid influenza type diseases. “Remember, spring break is coming up and when you kids are sucking face and traveling you want to keep these things in mind,” Reinertsen reminded his class. 

Earlier this month, Lindsey Dahlberg, campus Director of Human Health and Safety, sent out a campus-wide email updating the campus community on the university’s threat assessment of the virus. This threat assessment of COVID-19’s threat to the campus follows recommendations made by the Douglas County Health & Human Services Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, neither of which have recently made significant new announcements.  

On Thursday, Feb. 27, the office of Interim Provost Dr. Maria Cuzzo sent out an email cancelling UWS study away programs in South Korea. The university previously cancelled study abroad programs in China at the end of January.