The Coronavirus Pandemic

A closer look into the coronavirus pandemic that has taken the world by storm, and how it has affected the Dearborn community.


Graphic by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In December of 2019, a deadly respiratory disease was detected in China and has now “spread to over 100 locations” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). COVID-19, more commonly known as the Coronavirus, has shocked the nation and triggered people into going into panic mode. Whether it be buying an unreasonable amount of toilet paper or profusely washing hands and applying hand sanitizer, people all over the world have been taking extreme measures to try to avoid contracting the virus.

Since the first case in December, there has been a steady increase of cases of the virus, however, by March of 2020, that steady increase has become an alarming pandemic. The International Health Regulations Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) has proclaimed the outbreak to be “a public health emergency of international concern.” While it is very important to be educated on the virus, the extreme news outbreak has caused a lot of misinformation to be spread throughout the internet. A common misconception being spread throughout social media is that COVID-19 is just like the common cold and nothing to be worried about. However, this is far from the truth and many aren’t grasping the severity of the virus.

What exactly is COVID-19?

The coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can be transferred from person to person both directly and indirectly through respiratory droplets. Patients with the virus experience three main symptoms: fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Severe complications from the virus includes pneumonia in both lungs, multi-organ failure, and even death. However, the risk of death is only higher in the elderly (above the age of 60), who are twice as likely to have a serious COVID-19 illness, and people with preexisting conditions. According to the CDC, almost 80% of people that have experienced mild symptoms can recover within the range of two weeks.

How to prevent the spread and stay safe:

Steps you can take to stay safe

While there is no official cure to the illness, many precautions can be taken to try to limit the spread of the virus. The most advised tip that people all over the globe are following is frequently washing hands with a lot of soap and water. When soap is not available, the second best option would be to keep alcohol- based hand sanitizer as a substitute. It is also important to not touch eyes, mouth, or nose with dirty hands. If you are around someone who is coughing or sneezing, be sure to stay at least six feet away from them and be sure to not greet someone by any form of touching and instead opt to a simple wave.

For people who are experiencing symptoms, in order to protect those around them, they must follow a few simple steps. First, be sure to not cough or sneeze into your hand but instead use the inner side of your elbow to contain any infection. Also, be sure to avoid crowded places and not travel when feeling ill. Wearing a mask whether you are personally experiencing symptoms or someone you are taking care of is a great option to limit the spread as well.

As a community, we can prevent spreading the virus by continuously following social distancing guidelines, like staying 6 feet apart from others at all times, and only leaving your home when necessary. If you need to leave your home, make sure to take the proper precautions like wearing gloves and masks.

Ramifications facing Dearborn Public Schools:

On March 13, Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered for all schools in Michigan to close until April 6. However, the conditions became worse and a month break turned into schools closing for the remainder of the year. By using applications like Remind, Ilearn, Google Classroom, and video chatting programs, teachers are able to communicate with their students and update them on what is to be expected during the break. In an Instagram post Superintendent of Dearborn Public Schools, Dr. Glenn Maleyko, said that the main intention of virtual learning is to allow students to keep up with their academics.

“The goal of doing online work is to ‘ensure students maintain the progress they have made and to continue to be engaged in learning,’’ Maleyko said. 

This unexpected closing has caused many important school related events to either be cancelled or postponed. Important Senior events like Prom and graduation have been put into question on when or if they are happening since they both include a huge gathering of people in close contact with each other.

The goal of doing online work is to ‘ensure students maintain the progress they have made and to continue to be engaged in learning’,

— Dr. Glenn Maleyko

The College Board decided to offer AP exam testing to students at home and took measures to limit possible cheating. Students were emailed e-tickets where they can access the exam at the same time as everyone else in the country and multiple versions were given of the same exam.They eliminated multiple choice questions from all exams and made them all short responses. By giving students a short time to respond to lengthy questions, it would give them less time to cheat. The questions asked were also written so that they couldn’t be found by searching it up online, and they instead required critical thinking.

The SATs for juniors were originally supposed to be April 14th. Because of the pandemic, all SAT tests were cancelled through August. The plan is to have the SAT in October, but if schools happen to stay closed in the fall, the College Board will give the test online.

Impact on the Dearborn community:

There has been a gradual increase in cases in Michigan, with hundreds of cases being discovered everyday. In response to the surge in cases and wanting to keep the numbers from increasing due to social interactions, Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-9 on March 16. This bill temporarily closes theatres, bars, fitness centers, restaurants, and cafes. Although closed from social situations, restaurants will still be able to serve carry-out and delivery but under limitations. Grocery stores, office buildings, drug stores, health care facilities, and many more are excused from the bill and would still be running. Public libraries like Bryant and Esper Branch have also shut down as a response to the illness spreading. 

After the Executive order 2020-9, Whitmer continuously began to extend the stay-at-home orders and as of May 25th 2020, the order is set to be lifted on June 12. Many people are also reacting to the pandemic by stocking up on sanitary products and food, leaving shelves empty and many with nothing to buy. As a result, businesses had to start placing limits on certain items in order to ensure as many people can purchase these items.

In Dearborn, people are either being extremely cautious and wearing face masks everywhere they go and continue to social distance, or they are disregarding the orders and going out with friends and family. Many will continue to go out and not practice safety precautions, providing no help to the health of the community and potentially spreading the disease around the city.

What the city is doing to help: 

Since schools have been shut down for a long period of time, food-insecure students who depended on the free lunches provided by their school would struggle. As a result of this issue, Dearborn Schools are offering free breakfast and lunch pickups for students who are 18 or younger and are in need. Students would have access to these pickups at six different sites and it would continue everyday throughout the whole break, even offering students free lunch pickup during Ramadan.

Many businesses have also been providing help for those in need. For instance, local business Optimal Water has donated water and hand sanitizer to the eldery who need it. Also, PharmaCBD and Global Pharmacy Wholesale teamed up to provide free vitamins to help support people’s immune system. In order to help students complete online work, Liberty Auto has given laptops to Dearborn School students who don’t have one. Also, many restaurants like Avenue Brunch House, Big Al’s Pizza, Fratelli’s Pizza Cafe, and more have decided to give food to those who are desperate at no charge. Ramadan suhoor stands like Detroit Divine Dessert have also teamed up with charity organizations like Zaman International and began accepting food donations from customers in order to give to those in need during these times. Businesses like Papaya and Cedar Imports have also contributed by donating hundreds of pounds of rice, potatoes, and dates.

What’s happening now:

Now that the weather is getting nicer, and people have been in quarantine for about three months, people are starting to meet up with each other more. They are starting to disregard the virus because the numbers of cases are currently decreasing every day and death rates are going down. However, this doesn’t mean that the coronavirus is not still an issue. Bigger states like New York are still experiencing very bad conditions. While things are changing everyday, it’s very important to continue practicing social distancing guidelines in order to not push our progress backwards.

Dearborn Public Schools Update:

As for the 2020-2021 school year, it is not guaranteed that Dearborn Public Schools (DPS) will be open in the fall. Enrollment for the upcoming school year at DPS has been moved online at On May 15, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the formation of the Return to Learn Task Force. The group consists of members of the Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and health experts tasked with developing a plan for schools re-opening.

On May 26, State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice formed three work groups to complement the task force. Superintendent for Dearborn Public Schools, Dr. Glenn Maleyko, will co-chair one of the work groups. This will include what changes they need to make, and when they might reopen.

 Dearborn High School Principal Adam Martin said the Dearborn Public Schools district has put together a committee to decide how to make sure returning to school will be safe. “The district has developed a return to school committee that includes about 60 different individuals both administrators, teachers, district administrators, and parents of the district. We are going to work diligently to ensure that we put students, teachers, and families in the best possible situation given the constraints of the pandemic,” Martin said.