Social distancing necessary for progress

When going to grocery stores, the CDC has advised staying six feet apart from others. Many stores have implemented systems to intentionally separate groups of people when shopping.

Photo submitted by Glenn Butler via Flickr licensed by CC 2.0

When going to grocery stores, the CDC has advised staying six feet apart from others. Many stores have implemented systems to intentionally separate groups of people when shopping.

Julia Bennett, Social Media Editor-in-Chief

COVID-19 has changed the way many people live their day-to-day lives. While it may be difficult, the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to social distance as much as possible. Unnecessary contact with others will continue the spread of the virus and further alter the road to normalcy.

Social distancing means staying six feet away from anyone not living in your home. Avoiding large groups, crowded spaces and mass gatherings is also recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“There is so much unknown surrounding COVID-19, but the CDC believes it can spread easily and before someone develops symptoms. If we can keep our distance and keep the progression at the slowest rate possible, why wouldn’t we,” registered nurse Lonissa Aus explained.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can take up to two weeks to surface. Those going out, visiting friends and continuing to gather in large groups of people could infect hundreds without even knowing. 

“I absolutely think it’s selfish for people to be going out when it’s totally unnecessary. On the flip side, I understand how hard it is, especially at a young age to comprehend fully the consequences of our actions. Even with good intentions, that selfishness is still there,” senior Grace Wirkkala added.

Higher risk individuals, and those with pre-existing conditions should definitely stay inside. High risk individuals can become high risk patients. Healthcare workers can only do so much with the resources and help they are given.

“There is so much unknown surrounding COVID-19, but the CDC believes it can spread easily and before someone develops symptoms.”

— Lonissa Aus

“The medical equipment and the medical professionals need to keep their head above water. Some may feel like they’re young, strong, and untouchable, and they may be. Yet they must know someone with a weakened immune system who can’t afford to get sick. Maybe a dear grandparent, someone going through cancer treatment, or a newborn baby,” Aus explained. 

Teenagers and young adults are said to be at a lower risk for contracting this virus. However, they are still able to spread the virus to others without even knowing. 

“As young people in our community, we have a responsibility to keep the rest of our community members safe and healthy,” Wirkkala said. “People my age tend to forget that our parents, grandparents and family friends who are older or aging are at a higher risk for fatality by COVID-19.”

Essential workers are often unable to work from home. Those that have the ability to do so, should take advantage of the opportunity. 

“I would currently be going into homes to do reviews, but my supervisor has allowed me to work from home. I have been trying my best to manage and work with staff to the best of my ability over the phone. This has been difficult for me but I very much appreciate the ability to do so with my personal situation,” Aus said.

Collective action can limit the amount of new confirmed cases. Without everyone’s efforts, government officials will need to continuously extend stay at home orders for months to come. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.”

Everyone has had some part of their life taken way or drastically changed. Times like these can be stressful, and difficult to understand. It would be ideal to spend time with friends or family to process everything, but that will only put others at risk.

“I hope people my age will open their minds and come to understand the gravity of this situation and how it can deeply impact other people, as many families across the country are losing loved ones much too soon,” Wirkkala said. 

Each and every person can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Calling friends and family instead of visiting them, ordering groceries online and staying home whenever possible will help everyone stay healthy. Put others above yourself, and do what is right.