As the global spread of COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, continues, those living in the United States must practice social distancing to help flatten the curve.
States, including Pennsylvania, have initiated stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the pandemic.
Some people have been practicing social distancing by staying in the house and staying 6 feet apart from others when making purposeful trips to the grocery store. However, there are still plenty of others who still roam the streets and do not seem to understand the severity of the situation.
While professionals are working on providing more ways to test people and find ways to prevent the virus, we have to do our part.
During these trying times, people can go outside for recreational purposes as long as social distancing precautions are taken.
However, there are other trips outside of the house that are not exactly necessary. When performing “essential” and “life-sustaining” activities, such as going to the pharmacy or the grocery store, we must move with a purpose.
While all five members of your family may be experiencing cabin fever and desperately want to go to the grocery store, it is not necessary for all of you to go. Send one or two members, who are low-risk, to do the shopping. Make a plan of where you are going by making a list ahead of your visit. Grab only what you need; do not browse or “impulse buy.” When you are done, leave.
Walking around aimlessly, making unnecessary trips to the remaining open businesses or gathering in groups of 10 or more while not practicing social distancing will only increase the risk of spreading the virus. Additionally, grab a face mask, make your own, or use a bandana to cover your nose and mouth to prevent spreading the virus yourself. You may have it and not display symptoms.
Though the term “social distancing” sounds as if you are supposed to stray away from communication with others, you can still remain social. Social distancing’s purpose is not meant for you to isolate yourself completely. Today’s technology makes it possible to stay in contact with friends without being in the same room as them.
As of right now, the U.S. does not have enough resources to test the rapidly increasing individuals who show symptoms of the virus everyday. If more people practice social distancing, there will be a reduced risk for everyone. If these people are not exposed to the virus, then they will not need medical attention from the overwhelmed healthcare system.
Understandably, staying in the house for long periods of time, whether you live alone or with others, is not ideal. However, the boredom of self-quarantine is just a small sacrifice compared to potential lives lost if we as a society do not practice social distancing.
In addition, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that members of the younger generation are less susceptible to having detrimental effects if they acquire the virus.
Even if our generation is not considered “high-risk,” we must be responsible in our actions. While we may not be as impacted by the coronavirus, we cannot put members of our family, our friends and our community at risk.
Those with underlying medical conditions such as pregnancy or compromised immune systems have an increased risk of experiencing serious symptoms.
Moreover, I can take from five days to up to two weeks for the virus symptoms to visibly show. If one was to test positive for the virus, all of the interactions made during that time can be put into question. It is much easier to calculate who you interacted with in your home versus tracking the interactions made while walking around in a populated area.
Everyone must practice social distancing during the stay-at-home order. If not, the order will be prolonged and it will take longer for businesses to reopen. It is imperative that we stay inside now and practice social distancing to get further ahead in decreasing the impact of the pandemic
The coronavirus has already intruded on activities planned for the 2020 spring semester. With summer approaching, we must practice social distancing and encourage others to do the same to keep our summer plans.