Social distancing is not an overreaction

The Clyde A. Lynch Memorial Building on campus, where the education department is on campus.

Raeann Walquist ’20, assistant editor

With the spread of COVID-19 overwhelming our day-to-day activities, closing schools and sports seasons put on hold, it can be easy to assume that these preventative measures are a massive overreaction.

While the average person has a relatively low risk of fatality from COVID-19, some are in much more troublesome circumstances. Individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised or have pre-existing conditions such as asthma would be at a much higher risk of death if they were to contract the virus than the rest of the population.

This type of isolation allows the entire population to “flatten the curve” or limit the number of total individuals who are exposed to the virus and thus lessening the total number of individuals who contract the virus.

Many have taken to social media to complain about being stuck at home or to call those who follow the CDC’s recommendations “babies” and “wimps.” This kind of reaction to social distancing is not only false, but it’s also incredibly irresponsible.

By ignoring the CDC’s suggestions to stay home and limit contact, you are putting those who do need to be worried about this virus at an even higher risk.

It’s all too easy to think, “I’m not at high risk even if I do contract this virus, so what’s the big deal?” The problem, however, is not specific individuals so much as it is the health of the entire American population.

Social distancing is not for the average 20-something with no health complications. Instead, it is for your grandmother whose immune system is not as strong as yours. Social distancing is for your neighbor who is battling cancer, who would likely not survive the virus while completing another round of chemotherapy.

Limiting social interactions and staying home a lot more is not the most appealing option to most; it is the most responsible thing to do to protect your neighbors and the people you care about.

While COVID-19 is not a direct threat to you, it is likely a threat to someone that you love. Instead of jumping to social media to complain, consider how this virus could affect your friends and family members.

This is a time where we all have to place the health and security of our country above our personal comforts. Please do the responsible thing. Stay home and protect those who are not as well off as you.