At Drexel University health panel, experts break down all things coronavirus

A health panel at Drexel breaks down all things coronavirus.
Photo credit Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Before a panel of health experts spoke to Drexel University students and anyone else who wanted to come to Mitchell Auditorium on campus, a special request was made: The event's moderator asked everyone to move around so there's at least one empty seat between them and the person next to them.

"Social Distancing" — as it's called — was one of many things discussed at "Looking Beyond Fear: A Public Health Approach to Coronavirus." 

The talk focused on what people need to know about coronavirus and how to stop the spread.

"I think events like this are very important because, to me, the three most important things in an emergency are communication, communication and communication," said Dr. Jim Buehler, one of the panelists. "The more information people have, then they can act from a basis of knowledge, not from a basis of fear."

Buehler is a clinical professor at Drexel and a former health commissioner in Philadelphia.

It was mostly students on hand, including Neha Kansel.

"I feel like everyone has so many questions about coronavirus and we're all really nervous about it," she said. "We don't know how to feel, so I'm excited to learn more about it and all the precautions."

She's a graduate student at Drexel and says she's never experienced anything like this.

"I've never had to worry about this, about my health like this. It's scary," Kansel said. "We don't know what to do, we don't know if we should stay at home, if we should go to class, just like nervous sitting in a big group like this with people, like you don't know how to act. It's very nerve-wracking."

Drexel student Sarah Mitchell was there for peace of mind.

"I feel like every other minute I'm getting a new message about something," she told KYW Newsradio, "so it's just kind of overwhelming in that sense that you're constantly being fed something different and you don't know what to believe. And also, being a graduating senior, I can't really imagine my last term here being online, which I know is what people are saying could happen, but that's why I am here, to get the facts on it to not be as stressed about it."

She's also going to London soon and was hoping to learn what she should do to protect herself so she doesn't have to just cancel her trip.

The event  — which had a few hundred attendees — was live streamed, and an organizer told KYW Newsradio they were hoping people stayed home to watch online to avoid a large group being in the same place at once.