Perspective Reporter's Notebook Top

Not social distancing? You’re part of the problem.

Coronavirus graffiti in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. (Isabel Slippen/YJI)

Croton-on-Hudson, NEW YORK – I miss my friends, I miss my extended family, I miss learning in a normal environment, but most importantly, I miss functioning in a society. We all do.

This I know, as I see individuals posting pictures with their friends on social media, using captions like, “Corona’s got nothing on us” and “F*** Corona.”

What these individuals do not realize or are ignoring is the fact that although nobody is a fan of the virus. Some of us are doing our part and working hard to put an end to the tragic situation while the individuals posting pictures like this are a part of the problem.

No matter what kind of circumstances one’s home life offers, I think that we can all agree that everyone is ready to get out of their houses. The thing is, in order to not play a direct role in killing thousands of people, it is crucial that individuals stay home.

You may have spent time with your friends while staying the recommended “six feet apart.”

Or instead you could be going on walks with loved ones and choosing not to enter each other’s houses. Although these may all be better than the alternative, it is still playing a direct, negative impact on the pandemic situation.

The best thing that an individual could be doing is staying home. Tan in your own backyard as opposed to the park or a friend’s house, get food delivered or pick it up as opposed to throwing on a mask and entering the grocery store. Video chat with your friends instead of endangering thousands of lives merely to help put an end to your boredom.

My friends and family members have not necessarily been following these guidelines – not because they don’t care, not even because they’re being selfish – but because they genuinely are unaware of the fact that their seemingly minute existence has the power to end thousands of lives.

Researchers at the Imperial College of London expect that each infected person has the potential ability to infect upwards of two or three other individuals. As each of these individuals spread it to two or three more people, the effects are devastating.

Each and every person who thinks that seeing their one or two friends won’t make a difference has no idea whether or not they are carrying the virus, as the symptoms could appear very minimal, almost like common seasonal allergies, or they could show up a full two weeks later – after the individual has already infected their friends, their friends’ friends, and so on.

Unless you are sharing a quarantine space with someone, you need to simply stay away from them.

This isolation will not last forever. If everyone were to do it, this could be over in a month or two. But as more and more people work towards quenching their boredom, the longer and longer this pandemic will go on.

I encourage everyone to take a page out of the virus’ book and warn their friends to warn their friends to warn their friends to stay home.

By doing so, you will single-handedly be saving lives. In this situation, if you are not a part of the solution, you are a part of the problem.

Isabel Slippen is a Junior Reporter with Youth Journalism International.

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