These are dark times–there’s no denying it. Businesses are shut down, schools are closed, people are sheltered in their homes, and the world is paralyzed in fear of a virus that is running rampant throughout it. And in this time, it is crucial that we take our actions seriously and with great caution. This is a virulent pandemic that is showing no signs of stopping. With it, we are seeing the collapse of the economy and logical reasoning. It is important to take this virus seriously, but to think critically about what actions should be taken and how to help others survive the storm.
First and foremost, stop buying massive amounts of toiletry products. There is no logical reason to buy mounds upon mounds of toilet paper and other products. This was created out of fear of the unknown, and with that, mass buyouts have been occuring. It is important to first look at the symptoms of the virus. The virus works very similarly to a respiratory virus, such as the common cold. The virus attacks the lungs, causing a dry cough and a fever. However, bowel issues such as diarrhea tend to be far rarer. This means that the fear for lack of toilet paper is not only unnecessary, but illogical. This also puts massive stress on retailers to sustain products for all, especially the at risk community such as those with underlying health issues or over the age of 65. The same issues go for respirator masks and hand sanitizer. These buyouts are not only illogical, they are dangerous. Without the widespread use of products such as hand sanitizer, the virus has very little resistance against the mass population.
It is also important to follow the guidelines given by the CDC. These are nonnegotiables at this point in time. I was quite irritated when I saw a massive group of college students go down to Florida for spring break when the CDC had warned otherwise. This was a reckless action that could have disastrous implications for the communities of these students. The CDC puts out guidelines not as a way to vex the public, but to prevent the spread of disease. It is crucial that we all follow these stipulations constantly.
The final action to take is to help local businesses. This is a catastrophe for small businesses. Many states have issued stay at home orders, which is gutting businesses to the core. Local restaurants are offering take out options or delivery via uber eats. I highly recommend using these options. This is a very difficult time for all. But a way to keep the local economy stimulated is to give back to restaurants and businesses in some way. Buy a gift card to be used at a later date. Enjoy some take out from a local chinese place. There are several ways that you can help keep local businesses afloat.
This is a hard time for all. The future is looking very uncertain right now. So it is all the more reason to keep each other safe from this virus. If you have not already, subscribe to the CDC’s new alerts to keep yourself updated on the top facts from researchers in this field of study. Try to ignore the news outlets, as they are sensationalizing the news, and not in a healthy way. I recommend the WHO or the CDC for information at this current time. Practice social distancing, but still try to connect to friends and family via facetime or skype. Try to have activities. My family is looking into having a meal together via Skype every week, so that we can stay connected. Hold your loved ones close (if they are not infected with COVID-19, that is). Finally, keep the many seniors who were looking forward to graduation in your hearts. This is a very hard time for us. To lose graduation as originally planned, the event we have worked so hard to receive, is a bitter loss. Take care of yourself and stay healthy.
Annie is a senior double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Heritage and Museum Studies, as well as minoring in German. She loves adventures, coffee, and dogs. This is her third year with the Concordian.