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Being quarantined is less than ideal: the sudden break in routine is overwhelming, not seeing people can feel lonely, and the anxiety that comes from a global pandemic is detrimental to people’s mental health.
However, simply feeling bored is no excuse for people not to practice social distancing. Going to the beach with friends or hosting a party because school is on a “break” is fueling the problem of COVID-19 spreading; everyone needs to stay in the house and keep their distance.
Especially among youth, COVID-19 is not being taken seriously because it hasn’t greatly affected younger people or people without underlying health issues. Though it is not life threatening for some, it is extremely dangerous for many. It’s self centered to think just because they won’t be too harshly impacted by it, there is nothing to be concerned about.
While it may seem harmless to only hang out with a small number of people occasionally, the spread of the coronavirus is not so simple. When people meet up, they are not just exposing themselves to one another but everyone else they are going to see in the future. Carriers of the virus can still be exposing the virus to other people, and that is what makes the virus so dangerous.
Many also think that it’s harmless to just hang out with one other person, such as a best friend or a significant other. Even if both families are quarantining, spending time with someone you don’t live with exposes their entire family, and anyone they come in contact with, to the disease. If them or anyone they come in contact with is an essential worker, it could further perpetuate the spreading of the disease. The only way to ensure that you’re doing your part is to only have contact with people you live with.
“It’s important to follow social distancing as much as we can because the idea is that if we do this, we can reduce the rate of spread of the virus, and reduce the amount of cases that present to the hospitals at once,” said Dr. Joel Katz, who works at Hoag Memorial Hospital in Newport Beach
Without social distancing, resources at hospitals will become scarce because there will be too many patients at once to care for, as seen in New York City.
“In the worst case scenario, the virus spreads rapidly through the community, and a lot of people get sick at the same time, and they all come to the hospital at once,” said Katz, “Ventilators, dialysis, and beds in the hospital are all things we have a limited supply of… the fear is if the virus spreads too quickly and too many people get sick at once, we won’t have enough resources to care for them.”
So far, COVID-19 has killed 16,679 Americans, and the peak is approaching. Dr. Mark Lurie, an associate professor of epidemiology of Brown University, predicts the peak followed by a decline in cases should occur approximately 2 or 3 weeks after strict social distancing rules are abided by.
Ultimately, the people refusing to self-quarantine are ignoring their societal obligation to flatten the coronavirus curve. The virus will only slow down when people social distance as they should. Everyone is anxious to get out of quarantine, but people going out and getting in contact with people, when they shouldn’t be, are only lengthening the time people will need to be inside. These ignorant people need to realize they need to start working with people not against them.