At this point, we’ve all heard about social distancing and its importance in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing includes maintaining a distance of at least six feet between yourself and others at all times, limiting group gatherings to less than ten people, working or going to school from home, and socializing with others virtually rather than in-person. Because COVID-19 primarily threatens older adults and those with preexisting health conditions, many adolescents and young adults may be wondering why they need to practice social distancing when their own health isn’t at risk. While young people may not be personally affected by this virus, it is still extremely important that they follow these guidelines.
Now that the virus is present in the US in almost every region, it is important to keep it from infecting more people. Dr. Maria Cohut of Medical News Today notes that the vast and rapid spread of the virus is likely due to the movement of those with either mild or no symptoms at all. It is possible to have the virus and be completely asymptomatic which gives you the ability to function normally and pass it along to others. Unfortunately, this situation was demonstrated recently as thousands of college students flocked to Florida’s beaches for spring break, ignoring the social distancing guidelines which they felt didn’t pertain to them. As a result, the cases of COVID-19 have spiked in the state with at least five students from the University of Tampa testing positive. Florida is also home to a large population of elderly adults who will be seriously impacted by this uptick in incidence.
The only way social distancing works is if everyone participates. It may be hard staying inside away from friends but in order to “flatten the curve,” we all have to do our part. We all have someone in our lives that we need to protect from this virus, whether it be a grandparent, an aunt, or a sister with asthma. Please, don’t be like those spring breakers. It may not feel like it, but by staying home, you really are having a positive effect on your community and the ones you love. Stay well and #flattenthecurve!
Abby Haslem – Copy Editor