April 1, 2020

Do the world a favor and stay at home

By Grace Welsh —

The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted many lives since its first appearance in January. The world is facing unprecedented crises in terms of public health and the economy, and though it may seem easy to lose hope in this drastic time, everybody has social responsibilities to control the spread of the virus.

While most college students are not at a high risk of dying from the virus, it can very easily be spread to the elderly and those with prior health problems who have a lesser chance of recovery. Many people are asymptomatic, meaning not only can they have the disease and not know it, but they can also spread it to the surrounding population.

That is why it is essential at this time that everyone does their part to flatten the curve of infectivity and social distance.

Deaths will climb high with no intervention because there will still be enough infection created to overwhelm the healthcare system.

Hospitals around the country have extremely limited beds and equipment. We don’t have the resources to deal with this pandemic without severe measures.

The easiest way to do so is to stay home and self isolate, even if there are no symptoms present.

“Time and time again, it’s shown that transmission is ongoing before we have a grasp of the numbers,” says Erin Welsh, PhD, on her podcast “This Podcast Will Kill You,” “This is due to slow testing, transmission before symptoms, and the high numbers of asymptomatic individuals.”

Probably the scariest aspect of the Coronavirus is that it is extremely difficult to know who is infected because 79 percent of the early spread cases in Wuhan, China were due to undocumented/asymptomatic cases according to sciencemag.org.

That is why it is so important that people limit interactions as much as possible. A few states, such as California, Delaware and New York have implemented “shelter-in-place” guidelines. This means that non-essential businesses will be closed, leaving supermarkets, drug stores and other places that sell necessary materials open. They also limit where their citizens can go, making it so any non-essential trips may result in a misdemeanor.

This measure has been deemed by some to be drastic and severe, but as the governor of Illinois J.B. Pritzker said, “I fully recognize that in some cases I am choosing between saving people’s lives and saving people’s livelihoods. But ultimately you can’t have a livelihood if you don’t have your life.”

Experts say all states should do this, regardless of prevalence. Welsh said, “If you think your state is low in cases, that’s an illusion. There is no amount of ‘hanging out’ that is okay.”

Everyone has the responsibility to social distance and stay at home in order to flatten the curve. Everybody alike must do everything in their power to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

It may not seem like much fun, but the sooner there are no more infections, the sooner society can go back to normal, relatively speaking.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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