At the time this was written, 372,698 worldwide, 42,076 in the United States, and 1,328 in Michigan confirmed COVID-19 cases were known – yet individuals are seemingly withdrawing from the possible future effects this virus will bring upon civilization. With the mortality rate of the coronavirus being extremely slim, many don’t believe the seriousness of this pandemic since it “only kills old people.”
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a stay-at-home order March 23 that goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. March 24 that will last until April 13 at 11:59 p.m. The order is a “temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.”
Many individuals have been aware of the coronavirus for almost two months or so and never took it seriously. Instead, prejudices against those native to China were developed, misconstrued information gave the public little time to react to the outbreak, and humans began to show their true colors. Whitmer is giving Michiganders one more chance to show they can demonstrate correct actions during this pandemic, otherwise, it will be due time before we are officially locked-down.
Although seemingly ironic that I would travel to such a place during this time, I wanted to get a first-hand experience (with precautions taken seriously) as to how the public would react to this news. I went to Gaines Marketplace Meijer March 23 and saw exactly what I expected – a parking lot packed with vehicles, not a single cart available for customers in the designated grocery area, check-out lanes overflowing with customers hardly standing four feet apart, and carts filled to the brim.
Everyone is becoming aware of the scarcity of common household items, and this can be credited to the lack of awareness individuals had for this virus. Instead of allowing everyone to have access to a reasonable amount of toilet paper, eggs, meats, and many more commodities, hoarding began to take place with a mindset of “survival of the fittest.” The only way humans can fight something together is if everyone is granted access to the necessary resources.
The CBS News Twitter page posted a video that contains interviews with college students in Florida during spring break. The students reacted to the coronavirus’ effects on bars, traveling, and public get-togethers.
“If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”
“It’s really messing with my spring break. I think they’re blowing it way out of proportion.”
“We need a refund – the virus ain’t that serious. There’s more serious things out there like hunger and poverty.”
When it comes to millennials, most older individuals label them as “immature” or “never having to work as hard as others”, although millennials will argue that they are more self-aware and conscious of others. Yet the statements made previously are becoming the mentality of young individuals, and that isn’t a healthy sign for the future.
People are still traveling, college students didn’t hesitate to empty-out liquor stores the first-day classes ended to party, and social distancing is a phrase that is taken half-heartedly. Since the virus is more severe among older individuals, the risk of spreading the disease isn’t taken seriously enough by the youth. Some may have the virus and never experience symptoms but can pass it to another individual who is a diabetic, has a weak immune system, or battles pneumonia frequently.
Not all young individuals are participating in such ridiculous actions. I myself have only left the house when completely necessary in the past weeks, friends have limited contact, and with more businesses closing for the sake of preventing the spread, many others are staying home in bed.
Hospitals are now limiting access to those who need medical attention which leaves family members with the hopeless thought that it will be the last time they see that person. Imagine you were in this situation or one of your aunts, grandmothers, father, or brother was experiencing this hardship? If you carry the virus into your home, those germs can be spread with simple actions made by you, leaving your family members at risk for contracting it themselves.
Practicing social distancing is beyond critical for not only Michiganders but society as a whole. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, refrain from touching your face, eyes, and mouth, and keep your distance from others. This will help reduce the chances of the virus being contracted by millions of more individuals and allow you to stay healthy.
Keep in mind this stay-at-home order is not a lockdown, but a precaution for the public’s health. Stores including Meijer and Walmart and take-out/delivery services by restaurants will still be available. If you would like to know more about the necessary steps towards preventing the coronavirus, visit the World Health Organization (WHO) webpage.
One can only wonder – is this how humans are constructed to react during pandemics or can we thank the lack of leadership this country is receiving?