The United States currently holds the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world and that number is growing by the day, making it dire that we all treat this pandemic with serious precautionary measures before it is too late.
The national total of confirmed cases currently stands at over 230,000, according to the New York Times, which includes over 5,000 deaths. Numerous states have begun to implement various forms of directives that urge residents to stay home and shelter in place, following the steps of Gov. Gavin Newsom, who made California the first to put in place a state-wide stay at home order.
However, through the eyes of social media, it has become apparent that not everyone is understanding the necessity of staying at home. Younger generations appear to hold feelings of invincibility because many of those dying from the virus are either old, or with preexisting health conditions. Viral videos of college students still traveling to Florida for their spring break plans amid the global pandemic prove this.
Los Angeles County has officially closed beaches and hiking trails until April 19, according to the public safety alert sent out Friday. New York has postponed its presidential primary until June, following a spike in deaths after 222 fatalities occurred within a 24-hour time period on Friday as well. According to the surgeon general Jerome Adams, New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit are emerging as new hot spots for the virus within the United States.
Day by day, the severity of the virus across America only worsens, and it is crucial that we all do our part in helping slow the spread. The probability of you personally surviving the symptoms of the coronavirus remain irrelevant when so many people are dying across the globe, it is time we stop the selfishness and start thinking of those around us who may be more susceptible.
According to mathematician Adam Kucharski, who studies disease outbreaks, one infected person can infect another 400 within the span of a month. The people most susceptible to the outbreak are depending on the actions of those around them, and with new cases rapidly spreading throughout the country we need to self-isolate and socially distance ourselves as much as possible. This is not the time for group meetups at a friend’s house, nor is it time for any of us to travel to various places unless absolutely essential, such as for medication and needed groceries.
Italy has been hit worst by the outbreak, reaching up to 889 deaths reported in a single day. If we do not start taking the necessary steps toward prevention, the United States will be in the same position as Italy. Doctors and medical professionals in Italy are being forced to make decisions between which patients will be granted ventilators. Funeral processions are being postponed after those infected are dying alone without their families by their side because hospitals in Italy are severely overcrowded and far too dangerous when it comes to the spreading of the virus.
America’s flawed health care system cannot handle the influx of patients if our situation worsens to the likes of Italy’s, although it seems as though we are already on our way there. Social distancing and self-isolation need to be practiced by all of us, regardless of age and health status. If you are not going to die from it, think of your own relatives or friends who might. Stay inside.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to wash their hands often and to avoid touching their face, as well as to practice social distancing if the virus has begun to spread within their community. For more information on the coronavirus outbreak and how to protect yourself, visit cdc.gov/coronavirus.