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Why Social Distancing is Important (Hint: It’s Not About You!)

With the first week of online classes over, I finally feel like I am not just staring up at the ceiling waiting for time to pass. I will admit since being told I cannot go back to Oakland and be with all my friends, it has been one of the toughest challenges I’ve had to overcome. I love constantly having something to do. I like being unrestricted and free to do whatever I like. It’s been an odd time. However, I knew it was necessary for the greater good of society.

Many of us have probably heard of the saying, “we need to flatten the curve.” There is still new data coming out practically every day about how Coronavirus is spread. The main feature is that it spreads through being in contact with someone who has the virus. That means no touching surfaces then proceeding to touch your face, washing your hands with either soap or using hand sanitizer and the great toilet paper shortage of 2020.

Unfortunately, with COVID-19, people sometimes do not show symptoms until 14 days after exposure. It is part of the reason why we are still seeing numbers of cases rise sometimes at an alarming rate. As people start to feel ill, they are getting tested. That is why officials on the state and federal levels have made the tough decision to close non-essential businesses and order for people to stay in their homes if they can help it. 

The easiest way to social distance is the standard six feetpolicy issued by the CDC. If you have to be out, keep to the policy. Yes, you can still go out for a jog but keep your distance. It doesn’t mean you can’t smile at those around you. Personally, I like the term physical distancing rather than social distancing because now than ever, we need to rely on one another to get through this difficult time. It might also mean that the concert you’ve been looking forward to for months may be postponed (as I am anxiously waiting to see if Harry Styles will postpone the Northern American leg of his tour).

I am fortunate enough to have no underlying health conditions and not in the age demographic that may put me at greater risk of catching the virus. I am one of the lucky ones.

Yet, there are people my age who still chose to go on their Spring Breaks and, even worse, continue to travel just because ticket prices are low. It was funny for the first couple of days when I would go on TikTok to see people “spending $33 for a trip to Miami.” I hate to break it to you, but this does not make you a cool kid just for flying for cheap during a pandemic. It makes you look ignorant.

I don’t get what is so hard about it. We always joke about how we like to just stay at home and watch Netflix anyways. This is the perfect opportunity! I am sure we can manage for a couple of weeks being homebound when some of us have probably chosen the comfort of our beds on cold winter mornings rather than attending that 10a.m. lecture.

There was no question for me when the governor of Pennsylvania ordered for all of us in the Commonwealth to stay at home. I didn’t like it at first, but I knew it was what was best. Even if you do not have symptoms, you may still be carrying the virus which goes back to why we need to “flatten the curve.” Health officials in the city of Pittsburgh have grown concerned over possible community spreading of the virus, which happens when people are out and about like nothing has happened.

 

In case you need a little bit of persuading to stay home for a little bit, even if it means not getting your nails done for a couple of weeks, I’ve come up with a couple of reasons why I am socially distancing for the timing being:

I am social distancing for my grandmother who is 93 and does not have the best immune system.

I social distance for my next door neighbor who is older and has underlying health issues.

I choose to stay at home if I can help it for my best friend who has severe asthma.

I stay at home for my co-worker who had a major back surgery a couple of years ago which puts her at greater risk of catching viruses.

I will gladly pick up a new hobby at home if it means keeping a friend’s newborn baby healthy that I keep seeing on Facebook. 

I do not meet up with my high school friends since I am home for a little bit now for the healthcare professionals who are working around the clock to combat the increasing numbers of COVID-19 patients.

I social distance for you.

 

 

 

 

 

Eva is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying Political Science and Gender, Sexuality, & Women's Studies. Outside of Her Campus, she is a part of Phi Alpha Delta and a tour guide on campus. In her free time, either at Starbucks "studying" or at apartment binge-watching Queer Eye.
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