COVID-19, otherwise known as coronavirus, has been plaguing news channels and social media feeds for weeks, overtaking the struggling economy and the 2020 presidential race.
Medical professionals have advocated for self-isolation, saying that by staying home and only going out when necessary, we can diminish the virus’s impact. Politicians have implemented regulations that will help decrease the spread of disease, including President Trump’s European travel ban and Governor Holcomb’s closure of Indiana restaurants with the exception of drive-through and delivery services.
While some people are panic shopping for hot commodities such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, others are taking advantage of the discounted prices of flights and hotel rooms by extending their spring break vacations. Hoarding supplies is selfish; traveling out-of-state is just plain stupid.
Many young Americans are snatching up the opportunity to cheaply travel halfway across the country to celebrate their “extended spring break,” thinking that because they are young and healthy the virus isn’t their problem. However, even if they remain asymptomatic, they can act as carriers of the disease, serving as the bridge that links Grandma Carol, a regular snowbird, with neighbor Hank, who is immunosuppressed by his chemotherapy.
Such ignorance may be an underlying cause of COVID’s rapid spread. If Americans were to stop traveling, the virus would have fewer connections between those who are sick and those who are not. Think of it as a domino effect. If even one domino is removed from the sequence, those beyond it have a lower chance of falling. As more dominoes are removed, the probability of those beyond them falling decreases. If more people stay home, fewer people are put at risk of catching the virus.
During this time of uncertainty, take advantage of the opportunity to relax in the comfort of your own home. There are countless ways to entertain yourself at home: take on a new hobby, do some spring cleaning, call your friends and family members to check up on them.
Most importantly, be mindful of others. Don’t visit compromised individuals (those who are elderly, immunosuppressed, have a respiratory condition that would make it harder for them to fight the illness) unless you are certain you aren’t a carrier. Be considerate of others when shopping. Don’t buy something unless you need it. Hoarding supplies is a selfish practice that impacts those who can’t afford to do it.
By listening to medical professionals and considering the guidelines set by political leaders, we can flatten the curve of COVID outbreaks and promote societal recovery.