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Go home, stay home

At least 200,000 people are likely to die from COVID-19.

This is a conservative estimate, assuming United States officials and citizens do everything possible to prevent the spread of coronavirus. According to reports from The New York Times, “as many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die. And, the calculations based on the C.D.C.’s scenarios suggested, 2.4 million to 21 million people in the United States could require hospitalization, potentially crushing the nation’s medical system, which has only about 925,000 staffed hospital beds.”

This is the world we live in. And while hope is essential in times like these, we must also heed the advice of scientists and take the virus seriously. While older people do have larger risk of contracting and potentially dying from the virus, ABC reports age is not the only risk for severe coronavirus disease. We are all susceptible. We are all at risk. Therefore, we must all be careful.

Last week, Keaton Ross wrote an important editorial about why we should all take coronavirus seriously. In the article, he wrote when this time of quarantine and COVID-19 is over he “would much rather talk about how boring things were than how many people died because people refused to take coronavirus seriously.” I agree. 

We are living in history. Since we live in the social media age, there will be plenty of evidence stacked against my generation for helping to spread the virus. CNN reports a group of young people in Kentucky held a party in opposition to social distancing orders. At least one person contracted the virus. 

I am confused as to why I still see people in my generation spring breaking, throwing parties and hanging out with friends as if this virus has not killed thousands of people. Plenty of news sources and commercials have told us not to travel as we could potentially put our grandparents at risk, yet people all over America ignore CDC guidelines.

In case you have not noticed, America is shut down. The stock market has reached unimaginable lows, most colleges have resorted to online learning and a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits since the outbreak came to this country. 

If this is not enough, students at Oklahoma Christian University have been affected. I have seen more than one couple move their wedding dates, and seniors who once had job security are now facing declined offers and difficulty finding a place to live after graduation, all because of COVID-19. The world looks different today than I ever could have imagined.

Even the president, who only days ago said life would be back to normal by Easter, is now admitting the country has challenging times ahead.

Considering we are living through an unprecedented crisis, why do I see Millennial and Generation Z citizens on social media going about their lives like everything is normal? Nothing is normal. In fact, with the lack of surveillance testing, we hardly have a grasp on the legitimate amount of people who have contracted the virus.

Please, stay at home. And before you make the decision to go out, remember doctors, nurses, truck drivers, first responders and everyone who is putting their lives at risk to ensure your safety during this time. Every time you go out, you put them at risk.

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