Is it okay to start relaxing on the measures that we’ve taken as a nation to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
No. No, no, no. Here’s why.
The rate of cases per day is only increasing. It has not stabilized, and it is certainly not in decline.
The United States of America has 1.27 million cases, and with our population of 328.2 million, our ratio of confirmed to unconfirmed is much, much higher than countries with greater populations. Our chances of testing positive on Day 48 since 10,000 cases are 38/10000, as opposed to China’s 5/10000 on Day 48. Day 48 in the US is May 7th, 2020. Many cities, counties, and states have been under lockdown situations, and due to the fact that people continued to socialize as normal, our rate stayed incredibly high at 26,000+ cases per day. Absolutely nothing about that graph says that it’s okay to relax the CDC guidelines.
Okay, so the virus is spreading.
Cool. It’s just a coronavirus, which is a family of flu-like viruses.
So what if I get it? I’ll just get sick like normal and get better, right?
No. Not right. Yes, COVID-19 does come from the coronavirus family, but it is not at ALL like the flu. We’ve all heard about the symptoms, but we don’t go into what actually having it feels like. According to the NY Times and the people they interviewed, it feels a lot like having an anvil on your chest. Hairstylist Aaron Kinchen, 39, described the headache it started with “like someone inside my head was trying to push my eyes out. I got a 100.6-degree fever.”
It took him 22 days to get his results back. Owner of a public relations firm, LaToya Henry, 43, described the experience after testing positive.
“It happened so fast. On Monday, I am in the parking lot of my allergist’s office with back pain and a cough that I thought was a sinus infection. On Saturday, I am in an ambulance headed to an emergency room. Three days later, the doctors placed me in a medically induced coma and put me on a ventilator. I was in the hospital for two weeks.”
General manager Jared Miller, 27, describes the experience days into it.
“It was chills on a level that I’ve never experienced. Intense shivering. It was very hard to move. I had really intense body aches. It felt like I was in a U.F.C. match and beaten up. Doing anything other than laying in bed and sleeping was difficult. You had to be in the right position in order for your chest to not hurt. Or you had to be in a certain position in order to be able to take a full, comfortable breath.”
Investigative reporter Mr. Hammer describes its continuity.
“The thing that makes this so scary is that it is not linear, and the recovery is not linear.”
Even if you test positive and end up being asymptomatic, you are risking spreading COVID-19 to your family and other people you choose to be around that may experience the virus asymptomatically. I could keep going about how this is a serious situation and that we should be taking more precautions than we currently are, but the numbers and the actual experience should be enough to illustrate the seriousness of the situation. If a 16-year-old is able to come to this conclusion with just the information she has access to from her bedroom, leaders and politicians have no excuse.