Students need to maintain social distancing to shorten quarantine


Sophie Burns

Despite the fact that public courts and parks have shut down, many people continue to use them.

We’ve been in quarantine for weeks now. No school, work, friends— virtually no remnants of a normal life are still intact. 

It can be difficult, perhaps even depressing to remain in isolation for so long. Some of us have given in; I’ve witnessed groups of people gathered on basketball courts or playgrounds and seen social media posts of spring breakers gathered on Florida beaches. 

Isolation is difficult, but ignoring social distancing is so much more detrimental. Pretending that life is normal will both hurt the people around us and extend quarantine.

Sophie Burns
Madison Elementary School closed down its playground and courts for public use.

I’m young and healthy. I’m not scared of the coronavirus, which is great for me. It’s not so great for all of the elderly and immunocompromised people around me that live in constant fear of getting sick. 

It is estimated that one in four coronavirus carriers are asymptomatic, and those who are asymptomatic are not the ones at risk of dying. 

Imagine you’re a carrier, but you don’t know it. You feel great, and you’re out and about, behaving as if life is normal. You don’t respect anyone’s space, and you come in close contact with an elderly person. You pass the virus onto them. Unlike you, they are not asymptomatic. 

That’s just one scenario. Another could be where you go out to a party or another group gathering and are in close contact with your friends. They are young and vivacious and become carriers as well. Say you pass the virus onto only two other people. If they too don’t respect social distancing, they could pass it on to a few more. And then a few more. Soon, they’ve spread it to a myriad of at-risk individuals.

Take into consideration the fact that there is an individual behind each coronavirus statistic. A grandma, grandpa, husband, wife, mother, or father. They have loved ones, just as you do. Ask yourself honestly, is it worth putting someone like that at risk just because you want to see your friends?

The virus spreads quickly and easily. You could unknowingly hurt or even kill someone by being careless. If you need a visual explanation, these graphics by The Washington Post show just how easily diseases like COVID-19 spread. 

I understand that it isn’t always possible to avoid going out. But going out to buy groceries or get gas is different from going out for the sake of reviving your social life. It’s necessary. There are also ways of practicing social distancing while still being outside. Take your dog for a walk, or go on a jog. You get to be outside, and no one is put at risk.

Protective measures should still be taken in situations like these. Maintain six feet of distance from other people, and wear a mask if you feel it is necessary.

Social distancing is the key to getting life back to normal. Without it, the virus continues to spread like wildfire, and it takes even longer to contain.

The term “flattening the curve” has been thrown around in recent weeks. This essentially means that by social

Courtesy of Vox
Protective measures such as social distancing will help “flatten the curve” and decrease the number of new cases of coronavirus.

distancing, the virus won’t spread as easily. There will still be cases, of course, but fewer and fewer new cases each day. The virus ceases to grow exponentially, and begins to slow, with a fraction of the cases if it was left unchecked. 

These charts show the spread of the virus given different scenarios. With social distancing, the virus grows at a slower rate and is thus easier to contain.

There is no doubt that social distancing slows the spread of the virus. Take Italy, for example. They have been under an extreme lockdown since March 9, much stricter than the one here, and the virus has started to slow. 

COVID-19 appeared to have peaked on March 20 in Italy, with more than 6,000 new cases on that day, but have seen improvement since. On March 29 and 30, there was a reported decrease in new cases.

It took three weeks of intense lockdown for Italy to begin to get the virus under control, a trend that has occurred all across Europe. If Americans treat the virus as a mild inconvenience, then it is impossible to estimate just how long it will take to control the outbreak.

Sophie Burns
There are plenty of ways of getting outside while still embracing social distancing, such as taking your dog for a walk.

It’s already April, and I’m sure most of us are looking forward to summer break, and we will have to work hard if we want a normal summer. We will need the virus to peak now so there will be virtually no new cases by June. The only way to ensure this is to social distance.

Seniors, if there is any chance of graduation or prom happening, social distancing must be a priority. If it isn’t, you will lose some of the most treasured moments of your high school experience.

It can be difficult to social distance right now, but our lives will continue to be dull for much longer if we ignore government regulations. Restaurants and stores will remain closed, and summer travel plans will be cancelled. We all have summer plans, plans we don’t want to cancel, which is what will happen if we give up on social distancing. 

This quarantine can seem impossible, but try to put it in perspective. It is truly not that bad. There are worse situations than being stuck at home, and there’s plenty of opportunities for entertainment in the house as well.

“To keep busy, I am doing some puzzles, running, painting, and learning French on Duolingo,” said Elizabeth Farah, junior. “I have also had to play wall-ball for lacrosse, and I’ve been doing a lot of chores and cleaning around the house.”