Social Distance…For Real

Social+Distance...For+Real

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You are on your forearms, holding out a plank; thirty more secondsfifteen more seconds you think as you count down the seconds until the plank is over. Only ten more seconds, and at this point, you know you can do it. The next day, you are holding a plank again; however, this time, no one tells you how long you have to hold this plank for. All you know is that you have to keep on going until someone tells you to stop. The pain creeps in and you hold your breath, waiting, waiting for someone to alert you that the pain is over. The rain thumps on the roof, and you look outside to yet another dreary day. However, the weather forecast alerts you that it will be sunny in two days. Only two more days of rain, you think, and you know you can stay positive until then. It is 2020, and coronavirus is sweeping the globe. Since the major outbreak began at the start of this year, the fast-spreading virus has taken over 16,000 lives. As billions of people all over the globe are in quarantine, society is left wondering when this pandemic will come to an end. The truth is, right now, there is no good answer. So, here we are, waiting.

Plans are being canceled, jobs have been lost, and the world has been put on hold. Every single human being has been affected by coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Moreover, as many major events such as March Madness are not able to take place, people have started to complain. It is a natural, human instinct to be upset and complain if something is wrong. But there are two types of complainers: one type complains about things he/she can control, and others complain about things that they have no ability to fix. Someone is sitting in a house full of food, and they complain that they are hungry. They control this and get a snack. However, others may be extremely upset since a relative has a terminal illness: they cannot do anything to fix that. Here we are in 2020, and people are complaining about COVID-19, rightfully so; nevertheless, this is a complaint that many people have some small ability to control. Yes, the virus is growing exponentially and killing thousands. Every single human on this planet, however, has the ability to slow the spread a little bit, and the answer is simple: social distancing.

Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.”

— Hopkins Medicine (Hopkinsmedicine.org)

A bike ride with a few friends, a walk around the neighborhood with your neighbors, or a small get together. Sure, that is all acceptable… as long as everyone is six feet apart at all times. Let’s be honest, if you are leaving your house with anyone other than someone who lives in your house, chances are you are not social distancing. And this angers me. Social distancing was not pulled out of thin air; there is science behind it. Hopkins Medicine (Hopkinsmedicine.org) shared the scientific definition of “social distancing:” “Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.” Since the virus is not airborne, staying six feet away from others drastically lessens the chance that their saliva (which may contain the virus), will get on your face or into your body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gathers, and maintaining distance (approximately six feet) from others when possible,” CNN reports. The World Health Organization (WHO) explained the reasoning behind the six-feet rule: “When someone coughs or sneezes, small drops of liquid spray from his/her nose or mouth. If you’re standing too close, you can breathe in the droplets, which may contain the coronavirus if the person coughing is infected.” With this being said, since the virus is so contagious, it only makes sense for people to socially distance themselves from others.

Huge gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future, which is extremely reasonable since there would be too much risk associated with them. However, many people are not taking social distancing seriously enough, and as coronavirus continues to exponentially grow, the only way it will slow down is if people truly stay inside. Unless people are walking around outside by themselves or with people they live with, or if they are going out to shop for necessary items, people should be inside their homes. The virus is not going to stop spreading if people ignore social distancing.

China, specifically the Wuhan Province, was the original epicenter of the outbreak. The number of cases were exponentially growing, so a “state-imposed” lockdown was put in place, CNN explained. This meant that all buses, flights, and trains were cancelled, and highway entrances were blocked. The cases were escalating, which led to the government issuing additional mandates: people were not able to shop for groceries or leave their houses. While those measures were very severe, they seem to have worked, and the number of cases in China has been dropping. While drastic, the measures in China have shown that there is a possibility to contain the spread of the virus in America. People must be responsible and understand that they should separate themselves from others.

The measures taken by China were extreme, but they worked. If people in America did a fraction of what the Chinese were ordered to do, the spread of coronavirus would be hindered. Right now, the only way to combat coronavirus is to be smart and socially distance yourself from others. People need to realize this before it is too late.