Take COVID-19 measures seriously

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

Coronavirus seems to be everywhere. It feels as if in a matter of days, the pandemic has gone from being something people were aware of to something that impacts all aspects of daily life.

Along with school being moved online for the rest of the semester, nearly all social events for the next few months are cancelled. In some areas, restaurants and bars are also closed off to the public besides opportunities for pick up or takeout.

The CDC recommends that gatherings of more than 10 that may include at-risk members be cancelled, and its been encouraged to increase social distancing and to self-quarantine if someone experiences symptoms or comes into contact with someone that has symptoms.

Although it can be a confusing and difficult time due to so many changes being made in such a short amount of time, the guidelines are incredibly necessary, and should be taken seriously.

WHO has reported the mortality rate of coronavirus to be between 3-4%, although that takes into account at-risk populations like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. The mortality rate for the majority of the population is realistically much lower. This fact can make it easy to ignore some of the measures being taken— if it won’t kill you personally, then why take such drastic measures and avoid social interaction?

In this case, it’s best to think of the bigger picture. Although many would not die from contracting coronavirus, they could easily spread it to someone who could. For the safety of others, it’s best to follow local regulations and practice social distancing techniques.

It’s also important to do this regardless of whether you experience symptoms or not. It’s highly possible that many have contracted coronavirus while experiencing mild if any symptoms at all. For example, Idris Elba posted Monday in a Twitter video that he has tested positive for coronavirus, yet he has experienced no symptoms. Other reported cases have reported only mild symptoms to the illness. Many who contract coronavirus may not experience severe symptoms, but without social distancing, they could easily pass it on to someone for whom it could be fatal.

Finally, it’s important to practice recommended measures since it’s likely that many who have coronavirus aren’t even aware of it. The symptoms can be similar to those of strep throat, the flu, or even allergies or the common cold. Also, in many areas, only certain populations are being tested for coronavirus due to a shortage of test kits. These populations, depending on area, may include being in contact with someone who has tested positive, experiencing respiratory symptoms, being older or having chronic medical conditions, or having recently traveled to specified countries.

Due to these current restrictions from being tested in some areas, there may be a large population of cases going unreported. Because coronavirus can be easily spread, and many may have the illness without even knowing it, it’s imperative that everyone temporarily practice techniques like social distancing, not attending large social gatherings, and self-quarantining.

If not just for your health, for the health of those who may be unable to fight off the illness.