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Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Stay alert and be prepared


Public health experts around the globe are scrambling to understand, track, and contain a new virus that appeared in Wuhan, China, at the beginning of December 2019. The World Health Organization named the disease caused by the virus COVID-19, which references the type of virus and the year it emerged. The WHO declared that the virus is a pandemic.

The Verge is regularly updating this page with all the latest news and analysis.

You can see where and how many cases of the illness have been reported in this map. The majority of the illnesses were initially in China, where the virus first emerged, but the rate of new cases there has nearly stopped. There are now many times more cases outside of China than there were inside of it at the height of the outbreak. There are large outbreaks of the disease in multiple places, including Spain, Italy, and the United States, which currently has the worst outbreak of any country in the world.

As this important story continues to unfold, our hope is to answer all of your questions as people work to understand this virus and contain its spread.

Table of contents

Where did the virus come from?

At the end of December, public health officials from China informed the World Health Organization that they had a problem: an unknown, new virus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan. They quickly determined that it was a coronavirus and that it was rapidly spreading through and outside of Wuhan.

Concern In China As Mystery Virus SpreadsPhoto by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Coronaviruses are common in animals of all kinds, and they sometimes can evolve into forms that can infect humans. Since the start of the century, two other coronaviruses have jumped to humans, causing the SARS outbreak in 2002 and the MERS outbreak in 2012.

Scientists think this new virus first became capable of jumping to humans at the beginning of December. It originally seemed like the virus first infected people at a seafood market in Wuhan and spread from there. But one analysis of early cases of the illness, published January 24th, found that the first patient to get sick did not have any contact with the market. Experts are still trying to trace the outbreak back to its source.

The type of animal the virus originated from is not clear, although one analysis found that the genetic sequence of the new virus is 96 percent identical to one coronavirus found in bats. Both SARS and MERS originated in bats.

Where is it spreading?

The virus is now spreading all over the world.

Although it originated in China, the country took aggressive action at the start of the outbreak, shutting down transportation in some cities and suspending public gatherings. Officials isolated sick people and aggressively tracked their contacts, and had a dedicated network of hospitals to test for the virus. The number of new infections reported in China has been declining, which indicated to WHO officials that transmission was slowing down — and that their containment measures were working.

Now, the WHO says, the epicenter of the pandemic is in Europe, which now has more new cases reported each day than China did at the height of its outbreak. In the US, though, the outbreak is accelerating faster than anywhere else in the world. New York City has the highest number of cases in the country. Previous US hot spots included a nursing home in Washington state, New Rochelle, New York, and the Boston area, where disease spread at a conference.

How dangerous is this new virus?

It takes information about both how severe an illness is and how easily it can spread to determine how “bad” it can be. Epidemiologists often use this tool to assess new strains of the flu, for example:

Image: Centers for Disease Control

If an illness isn’t very severe (and kills only a small percentage of people), but it’s highly transmissible, it can still be devastating. An easily-transmitted illness that kills a small percentage of the people it infects can still cause a lot of deaths, precisely because so many people get sick.

The WHO named the illness caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 — “co” and “vi” for coronavirus, “d” for disease, and “19” for the year when the disease emerged.

COVID-19 is a serious illness, and it’s more dangerous than the flu. One CDC projection suggests that between 160 to 214 million people will be infected in the US, and that between 200,000 and 1.7 million could die. That doesn’t take into account actions taken to slow down the outbreak, though.

The symptoms of COVID-19 have ranged from mild, like those in a cold, to severe. Around 80 percent of confirmed cases are mild and don’t require hospitalization — at least, 80 percent of the cases that we know about. It’s still possible that there are more mild cases of the illness that haven’t been flagged, which would shrink the percentage of cases that are severe. In about 15 percent of people, the illness is severe enough that they need to be hospitalized, and about 5 percent of cases are critical. It appears around half of the people with critical cases of the illness die from it.

So far, experts say that around 1 or 2 percent of people who get sick with COVID-19 will die, though it’s too early to say for sure how often it is fatal. Those numbers may change as the outbreak progresses, and will be different in different places, depending on the demographics of the population. By comparison, 14 to 15 percent of people who got sick from SARS died.

Different groups of people, though, are more at risk of having a severe case of the illness or of dying from it. Most deaths in this outbreak have been in older people and those who have underlying health issues, like heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. In that group, people are more at risk of dying. Around 14 percent of people over the age of 80 who get sick will die, for example.

How easily can the virus spread?

The virus is moving rapidly around the world. The new coronavirus spreads quickly in contained environments, like on the cruise ship the Diamond Princess.

Early evidence suggested that, like other coronaviruses, the virus jumps between people who are in very close contact with each other. It also probably spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Coughs and sneezes produce little droplets of mucus and saliva. If these droplets make it into another person’s eyes, mouth or nose, they can get sick. The viruses in those little droplets can also fall onto surfaces, like tables or doorknobs — if someone touches that surface and touches their eyes, mouth or nose, they can also get sick.

Early research shows that the virus can linger on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for a few days, which is why it’s important to clean countertops, doorknobs, and other places people touch regularly. The virus doesn’t appear to stay infectious on cardboard for longer than a day — so packages should be safe.

Scientists are still trying to figure out how long tiny droplets containing virus could linger in the air if a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks. They know that certain procedures done in the hospital can spray the virus into the air, where it can linger for a few hours, which is why it’s so important for doctors and nurses doing those procedures have masks that can filter it out. But it’s still not clear how much the virus stays in the air normally, without those artificial interventions.

We also don’t know when people with COVID-19 become contagious, or how long being contagious lasts. One study of nine people in Germany with mild cases of the illness found that they had high levels of the virus in their throats early on in the course of the disease, before they felt very sick. That may mean that people can spread the virus before they know they have it.

Preliminary research suggests that people without symptoms or mild, almost unnoticeable symptoms may be driving the epidemic. That will make containing the spread of the virus more complicated.

Chinese officials have said that they have seen cases where people with the virus infected others before they started showing symptoms. Research out of China showed that people without symptoms still have high levels of the virus in their throats and noses, so they may be passing it along if they cough or sneeze. In one case, a family in Anyang, China appeared to be sickened by an asymptomatic family member, according to a study in The Journal of the American Medical Association. A cluster of cases in Massachusetts appears to have been driven by people who spread the virus while they were asymptomatic.

Those numbers are called the virus’s R0 (pronounced “R-naught”). The R0 is the mathematical representation of how well an infection might be able to spread. The higher the number, the easier the disease is to spread. For comparison, the R0 for SARS was between two and five. But that doesn’t mean each sick person will actually infect that many people; quarantines and other actions taken to control outbreaks of a virus can bring down the number of people a sick person infects.

Can we treat this virus?

There aren’t any proven treatments for COVID-19, but there are dozens of studies underway to find some. One leading candidate is remdesivir, an antiviral medication originally developed to treat Ebola. There are clinical trials testing it in patients in China, in the US, and around the world. While there’s a lot of hype around the anti-malaria medication chloroquine, there’s still no evidence it — or any other drug — actually works.

Research teams and pharmaceutical companies are also working to develop a vaccine that can protect people from infection. However, vaccine development takes a long time. Even if everything goes smoothly, it will be around a year to 18 months before one is available, said Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

What can I do to protect myself and others?

Stay home as much as possible, especially if you’re feeling sick. Stay home even if you’re not feeling sick — evidence suggests people can be contagious even if they don’t have symptoms. Wash your hands, wipe down surfaces with disinfectant, and cover your mouth if you cough.

If you’re a young, healthy person, you might not feel very sick if you catch COVID-19. But if you don’t stay home and away from others, you could pass it on to someone older or with a chronic health condition, who is more likely to have a severe case of the disease.

One of the best ways to slow the spread of an outbreak is by staying away from other people, which is also called “social distancing.” That gives a virus less opportunity to jump from person to person. It’s why everyone is being asked to stay home. Those measures help blunt the impact of an outbreak by slowing the virus. If fewer people get sick at once, it’s easier for healthcare providers to give everyone good care.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Should I travel?

To blunt the spread of COIVD-19, everyone should avoid any unnecessary travel. The CDC recommends that older adults, in particular, or anyone who might be more at risk of having a severe case of illness should stay home.

Many countries, including the US, have travel restrictions in place and are placing travelers in quarantine if they’re suspected of having the disease or if they’ve been somewhere it’s spreading widely.

What’s happening in the US?

US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared a public health emergency in response to the coronavirus at the end of January, and President Trump declared a federal emergency in March.

The virus is spreading through the country, and multiple states and counties have made emergency declarations. Hot spots include Washington state, Louisiana, and New York. It may have been spreading in Washington and other states for weeks before it was first detected.

The US is on pace to have the worst outbreak of any country in the world so far.

As the case counts shoot up, governors and local officials have closed non-essential businesses and told people to work from home and stay away from others. Hospitals in New York City and other places are buckling under the strain of hundreds of critically ill people; they’re running short on protective equipment for nurses and ventilators to help patients breathe.

The virus spread undetected because CDC guidelines originally did not allow testing unless a sick person had been in a country with ongoing spread of the virus or who had been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of the disease could be tested. That delayed the diagnosis of patients who did not have those risk factors. They’ve since updated the guidance to say that doctors can use their best judgement based on a patient’s symptoms and location to decide if the patient should be tested.

Public health experts are struggling to slow the spread of disease because there are still a limited number of tests available. It took too long for the FDA and CDC to develop and distribute a functioning test, and longer still for testing capacity to increase. Thousands of people who think they’re sick still aren’t able to access testing.


September 13th

at Jackson Elementary School

Everett-WA for their:

  “Cub Scout Pack 90 Kickoff Party”

From 6:30PM to 7:30PM

Come and give a  

Shout out!

to your families and friends!

shout outtt

scout radio logo retina test 2nd gen 600x200

Past Events



Christian will be sharing with us how the Boy Scouts of America operates today, with all the technological changes and several ideologies moving and influencing the masses today.  He will share how the BSA is adapting to these changes. Thanks to the original vision of the founder of Scouting, this movement surpasses the differences within cultures and unites us all despite our social and political differences.  The Scouts of today, as well as yesterday, have always worked towards greatness and thanks to the strength and the liberties of this country they can achieve amazing accomplishments that reflect internationally that strength of character.


Christian E. Harnecker

Back in 1989 Christian started his mentorship in property management with his Uncle. Some of the projects focused on real estate capital, others in rental properties. From shopping malls to Motels and Inns Christian developed an interest in Tenant law and community awareness. After dealing extensively with the city of Seattle he created a nonvisitor zone for the Motels on Aurora Ave. He helped to free properties of drugs and protect the tenants. His major triumph was to increase the revenue from some of the properties by up to 147% within 36 months.

Parallel to his work in real estate he owned a music production company known as Sound Journey that ran for several years in the Puget Sound. This caught the interest of a publishing company that hired him to be in charge of International sales and did run trade shows in several states. The owner of the company was an old radio dog that mentored Christian in the Art of negotiating and marketing.

By 2008 Christian developed a streaming platform to be used in Internet to broadcast programming in 2 languages. He also MC’d several shows. In 2008 the first Hispanic Radio station with 24 hours programming was born. After a few months, he decided to help create a bilingual Radio Station that focused on empowering Hispanic American communities to work together. This station is still running today.

In 2010 he started as a guest on KNTS Radio 1680AM talking about technology and offering options on how to benefit from it. In 2011 he helped to open up a marketing agency and has a radio show supporting that agency. In 2014 he took over the management making it possible for it to still be on the air today.

In 2010 Christian, along with his two sons, got involved with the Boy Scout movement and became a Troop and Pack Assistant. Helping families to navigate within scouting and outside scouting creating a Cyber Bullying department where Hispanic families could express their concern within the school districts. Back in 2015 he became Pack Master of P90 in the city of Everett. Presently Christian is heavily involved with Scouting and the management of the first Scout Radio Station in The United States 100% Internet-based. It should also be noted that he has one boy about to become an Eagle Scout and one that just earned his Arrow of Light.

Because he is bilingual and is able to connect within two worlds, the Everett School district uses his services to be a bridge between the Hispanic families and the American communities. Helping the families to navigate and be a mediator with serious problems to-do with teen’s depression, cyberbullying and low self-esteem.