Opinion: During pandemic, save a life, stay indoors

Kymoria Mottley, Staff Writer

With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC and other national health organizations have called for increased social distancing. Lately, this term has been tossed around quite frequently, but I am not sure that many people actually understand the significance of social distancing or what it entails. John Hopkins Medicine defines social distancing as “deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness.”

The CDC recommends that you stand at least six feet away from other people and stay away from large crowds. This does not just apply to public occurrences; you should avoid unnecessary home gatherings like house parties and sleepovers. Remain indoors as much as possible, and have minimal physical contact with outsiders. 

This is not a vacation. It is not the time to be going out with friends. Being upset about quarantining is completely valid, but there are several things you can still do. You are still able to go on walks and drives if you really need to get out of the house. This is not a lockdown, but you should still take precautions to stay healthy.

Self-isolation is a crucial factor in minimizing the spread of the virus. Currently, the U.S. has the most cases of COVID-19 in the world. We have to get this under control. Please stop traveling. Please stop leaving the house when you do not have to. You are not invincible; you can be infected. And if the threat to your own well-being is not enough for you to quarantine, do it for the well-being of others.

I have often heard young people toss around the belief that they do not need to worry about COVID-19 since it is only fatal to the elderly and immunocompromised people. This, first of all, is an incredibly damaging mindset because it suggests that those people are somehow expendable. They are not. They are people just like anyone else, and it is unfair that they should have to live in fear because others refuse to quarantine.

COVID-19 has an incubation period of about two weeks. It is very possible to be completely asymptomatic while still carrying the virus. Maybe your immune system is strong enough to fight off coronavirus, but what about everyone else that you are putting at risk? It only takes one person. They spread it to the people they interact with and then those people spread it even further. 

We have to be smart. We have to prioritize the safety of ourselves and others. By continuing to avoid safe practices, you are only worsening this pandemic. The faster you cooperate, the faster life can go back to normal. So I am once again asking that you please thoroughly wash your hands and practice social distancing. I promise that you will be saving lives.