COVID-19: A Race Against Patience

BY: CLAIRE KIM

“Flattening the curve.”

Politicians. Health officials, Administrators. We’ve all heard them advocate this phrase since the dawn of the Coronavirus. It’s a trend that, if accomplished, can mitigate fears and risks within the second half of the year. The main focus of this plan? Social distancing: sacrificing time spent outdoors so that another person’s life is not sacrificed.

To some, social distancing seems all but a myth that aims to hurt the economic spectrum without much effect on the public health trend. Staying indoors all day, all week, it’s natural for many to believe that the coronavirus situation is not improving when news articles and amber alerts constantly alert them that the pandemic is getting worse. So, is social distancing effective? Can’t I go out if I wear a mask?

Well, to the skepticism above, my answer is simple: just stay in place. When one person decides it’s okay to go around in public, family members, friends, co-workers are all influenced by such behavior. It may seem harmless at first, but once everyone mobilizes, the supposed curve we envisioned will fall out of place, so out of place that we will never be able to rearrange it correctly because it’ll be too late.

Patience is hard for a species like us. We are “social animals” after all, hardwired to seek social interactions for pleasure. But, just this one time, for the sake of everyone both struggling and not, could we all just help one another by following public health regulations?

It will be hard.

It will drive some of us insane.

But, if we all pitch in a little care for the world, the pandemic will end, much quicker than we expect.

As Deborah Birx, from the Coronvirus task force says, “There’s no magic bullet. There’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors. Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic. Over the next 30 days.”

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