CommunityVoices
UTA to conduct Maymester, summer classes online only

University Center mall is practically unused March 14 after the campus was shut down due to concerns over COVID-19.

Now that the city of Arlington has officially joined Dallas and Fort Worth by closing bars and restaurant dining areas, it’s not hard to see how serious the coronavirus situation is getting in the Metroplex.

But we need to take our social distancing responsibility seriously. We need to stop going outside.

With a pandemic making its way through our country, it is our duty to do whatever we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

We as young people may be less likely to experience severe health problems, but that is no excuse to expose others.

You wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of somebody’s grandparent. But people over the age of 80 have a 15% chance of dying from COVID-19.

If a person that age gets infected, it is like they have just been forced to play a round of Russian roulette. If you got them infected, then you loaded the gun.

Do not be that person. Be smart.

It is our social responsibility to take action against infection.

JonathanDemarest

Demarest is a political science junior and Community Voices columnist for The Shorthorn.

Yes, that means we will need to put portions of our social lives on hold and live differently for a while. There are many things you can do to protect yourself and the community.

First of all, and this should go without saying, but no more going out and partying or large gatherings. It doesn’t matter how healthy everyone seems. COVID-19 can spread from person to person before they begin showing symptoms. As a result, we need to work with the mind-set that everyone is potentially infected.

If you are still traveling or considering traveling, forget it. There is absolutely no excuse for going to the beach right now. This isn’t your vacation time, this is the time to protect the vulnerable. We live in the digital age, so play online with your friends, watch Netflix or anything else.

Avoiding restaurants and bars shouldn’t be too difficult, as the Metroplex has closed its bars and restaurant dining areas anyway.

Avoiding grocery stores, on the other hand, is more tricky. We all need to go to the store, but Walmart might as well be a human petri dish at this point.

Solution? Bring hand sanitizer and practice social distancing. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from people at all times. It’s better to look paranoid and stay healthy than to end up sick.

When making purchases, use a card, then clean your card with Clorox wipes. Money is hard to clean and is handled by many people. Credit and debit cards are easy to clean and are only handled by you and the cashier.

It is still best to minimize time spent at the store altogether. If you must go out, make sure it’s for a good reason. And no, wanting to spontaneously buy Doritos is not a good reason.

When it comes to washing your hands, follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Use soap and clean everything. That includes under your nails, between your fingers and all the way up to your elbows. Wash for at least 20 seconds. If you feel like a paranoid germaphobe, you’re doing it right.

Most importantly, and this cannot be stressed enough: If you feel sick, do not go to work, do not go to the grocery store and do not try to hide your symptoms from other people. Stay home. If you show symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor. Do not just show up at a hospital; call and tell them you are coming. Let everyone you have had direct contact with over the last five days know about your symptoms as soon as possible.

Just being young does not guarantee you will be safe, and things are going to get much worse before they get better.

People as young as 19 have been hospitalized in Italy, and the virus can cause permanent lung damage, even after recovery.

Treat this disease like what it is: a pandemic. Stop partying, stop going out for no reason and start putting some thought into who you could be impacting.

Be safe, be cautious and do not take risks with your health or with the lives of others. UTA is a community. Arlington is a community. This nation is a community.

Protect this community, and then we can get back to normal.

@JonathanDemare1

opinion-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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