With the decision by the federal government to pull the plug on the proposal of housing Californian coronavirus patients at the Fairview Development Center, Orange Coast College students can stop holding their breath.

As the virus continues to spread globally, in Costa Mesa we have had a close brush with a serious scare — but how long will it last before the pandemic truly hits home?

With more than 40 cases being reported in the state, California has begun to face this reality but only time will tell if we are in the midst of a full-blown pandemic.

Any time an international health crisis erupts, it seems that misinformation can travel faster than the disease.

The Coast Report Editorial Board believes that students should have an understanding of the virus and how to prevent infection but urges students to make sure they are getting information from credible sources.

Places like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will have the most up to date information as well as resources.

Shortages in supplies like hand sanitizer have already occurred with concerned citizens resorting to creating their own sanitizers. This led to concerns that homemade recipes may cause more harm than good.

Another growing shortage is of face masks which the CDC has said are ineffective in preventing new cases of the virus.

It can’t be emphasized enough that handwashing, avoiding touching your face and coughing or sneezing into your elbow are the most effective means of preventing disease. It’s basic information that we’ve been taught since preschool — it isn’t that hard.

A Coast Report staffer who attended the Feb. 24 court hearing was shocked to see a large number of people wearing masks but who didn’t use the hand sanitizer provided at the courtroom entrance.

Necessary measures to prevent the spread have already started abroad. Japan has shut down the island of Hokkaido and closed schools, restaurants and stadiums in an attempt to contain the virus.

If a quarantine were to happen today, mass panic could occur across the country.

President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to downplay the dangers caused by the coronavirus seems to have only created more panic and confusion.

We weren’t worried — then Vice President Mike Pence was put in charge.

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