As I lay in my bed awaiting test results to figure out if I am COVID-19 positive, I think of what more I could have done to prevent being infected by this pandemic. I am a regular mask wearer; I wash my hands every hour and use hand sanitizer often. I social distance to the best of my ability.
Yet, through my job as a bookkeeper at a local grocery store, I still come into contact with multiple people not wearing masks, licking their fingers to count their money before handing it to me, coughing into their hands and then touching “high contact” surfaces, and yelling at me: “The virus isn’t real! It was made up by the government!” This particular customer then proceeded to cough in my face.
Even though I am personally conscious of the possibility of transmitting this virus to others, it seems that large parts of the community do not share this feeling. According to the Center for Disease Control, there are still more than 10.5 million cases in the U.S., with 41,500 cases within the last seven days.
From the general hear-say, it seems that a large amount of people think that the virus is parallel to the common cold or the flu, yet one major difference is: The flu has a vaccine that has been developed and tested since the 1930’s, where as COVID-19 still has no Food and Drug Administration approved vaccine.
With this all being said, what is being done to prevent COVID-19 from doing more damage than it has already done? Not enough in my opinion. Many people barely remember when the first time we, the U.S., went into a nationwide lockdown and currently, according to The New York Times, only five states in the U.S. have a “stay-at-home” advisory.
As a large community, we need to be doing better in order to gain control of this pandemic. This should include allowing communities and business’ time to prepare for a nation-wide lockdown, allowing essential businesses to remain open as long as they follow CDC protocols, enforcing masks in all buildings and informing the public that because the election is over, does not mean that the virus is over.
I believe that the U.S. should go on a mandatory lockdown for the recommended time from the CDC. Instead of opening up businesses and sending children back to school, we need to fight this virus seriously this time around. The public needs to be educated on just how deadly the virus is, and I believe the first step is a mandatory nationwide lockdown.
Some will say that shutting down the country will destroy our economy, but I’d rather risk our economy than risk American lives. At the current rate of 7,952 deaths per the last seven days, we may not have enough healthy Americans to fix our economy by the end of the pandemic. Now is the time to fight this pandemic seriously.
Emily Brodowski is a student at Diablo Valley College participating in Journalism 110.