Ignorance is not bliss: when will people start taking coronavirus seriously?

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Art by Juliana Hamel

For over a month, LHS students and staff, along with the rest of the nation, have been ordered to practice standard social distancing procedures to help slow the spread of COVID-19. That means no gatherings of more than 10 people, standing six feet apart when in public, and staying home unless absolutely necessary. Right now, social distancing is the best defense we have against this ruthless virus. So why are people still not listening?

Recently, my Instagram and Snapchat have been inundated with photos of people hanging out with their friends after weeks of being apart. Others can’t stand staying away from their significant others. This distance is likely putting a strain on many relationships.

And between the recent onslaught of wind and cold rain, those few days in between full of sunshine and cloudless skies are practically begging you to escape the confinement of your home. The weather will only get better, and it’s hard to stay indoors when it’s just so nice out.

I get it. It’s hard for me, too. I miss my friends and I want to go somewhere that isn’t my backyard. I was supposed to be on a cruise in the Mediterranean last week, for goodness sake! My family finally splurged on a big vacation, a final send-off before I head to college in the fall and vacations become nonexistent. I don’t want to be stuck inside my Londonderry home while I’m supposed to be taking in the beautiful Italian coastline. 

But I’m doing it. I’m staying home. And you should be, too.

As much as we all hate to admit it, social distancing is vital right now. If anything has been made abundantly clear during these past few weeks, it’s that this virus spreads like wildfire, and there’s no vaccine to stop it. By staying home, not only are you preventing yourself from contracting the virus, but you are also protecting others.

And if you do need to go out, be smart. Wear a mask if you have one, and if you don’t, wrap something around your face that covers your mouth and nose. Don’t get all up in people’s business and make sure wash your hands thoroughly when you get home.

What I’m saying might sound like common sense, but a surprising amount of people are blatantly ignoring the many, many, many warnings we have been given. It’s just unacceptable, and dangerous, quite frankly, to be walking around and behaving like nothing is happening.

Like I said, I understand how hard it is to stay home. We’re social creatures by nature, and the lack of face-to-face interaction is affecting all of us. But we don’t have to cut all contact with each other just because we’re socially distancing.

FaceTime or video chat with your friends. While it’s not nearly as good as being with them in person, it’s refreshing to have a conversation with someone other than your parents and siblings. Try out a Netflix watch party too. Movie nights don’t have to be spent alone if you can get your friends together and watch something from the comfort of your own homes. And if you’re desperate for in-person interaction, meet up in your cars somewhere. As long as everyone stays in their own cars at least six feet apart, what’s the harm?

There are so many ways to stay connected, even if that means we have to see each other through our screens. It’s tempting, but is ignoring the rules worth the risk of getting infected? Is it worth putting others at risk?

So please, for the love of all that is holy, stay home. You can literally save lives by staying in bed in your pajamas. Who would’ve thought? It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know, but the sooner we all start doing what we are supposed to, the sooner we can get out of this quarantine for good and the sooner we can get back to life as we knew it… well, as close to life as we knew it as possible.

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