Editorial: COVID-19 is no joke. Stay at home to protect yourself, your community and your country

As shelter-in-place orders continue to be extended, it’ll start to get difficult to fully abide by social distancing rules.

Our home may start to feel more and more confined by the day, mental and physical health may start to deteriorate and at some point, distancing will no longer feel tolerable.

We — if we haven’t already — will want to give in.

We’ll want to break our social distancing.

Perhaps seeing a person or a group of people may not seem so bad. Perhaps they’re not at-risk individuals, so you won’t be as worried.

But we cannot allow that to happen. We need to stay home.

As of April 3, over 270,000 people have tested positive with COVID-19 in the U.S., according to data retrieved from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s about the same number of people as the entire population of Plano.

The coronavirus has led to over 7,000 deaths in the U.S. That’s more than double the number of people that died in 9/11.

That’s over 7,000 people that are leaving behind future goals, leaving behind families and friends because of their exposure to COVID-19.

Hospitals in the most impacted areas are in disarray, being compared to war zones. Our already fragile health care system is succumbing to the pressures that the coronavirus has brought.

Don’t contribute to the rise of these numbers or increase that pressure just because you wanted to go out.

When you don’t practice social distancing, you risk your life, the lives of anyone you come in contact with and anyone that they come in contact with, and so on.

At a Thursday White House briefing, coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx said if social distancing guidelines are not used, the U.S. could see between 1.5 million and 2.2 million deaths. With the guidelines being followed, the country can expect 200,000 deaths.

Following these guidelines is imperative to keeping the death toll as low as possible.

We all want this to end quickly. This “new normal” doesn’t feel OK or normal at all.

But we’re in it for the long haul. We have to stay disciplined, stay proactive and stay home.

The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of opinion editor David Silva Ramirez; Editor-in-Chief Brian Lopez; associate news editor Angelica Perez; multimedia editor Anna Geyer; Jacob Reyes, life and entertainment editor; news reporter Daisy Garcia; and copy editor Andrew Walter.

opinion-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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