Social Distancing (Opinion Editorial)

How social distancing can help flatten the curve of Covid 19.

      With the rise of coronavirus, citizens of the United States have been panicking, but the issue is many don’t know the facts. The media is flooded with “this product will be out of stock” and “these people are sick”, but that only tells you how specific things are affected, but what caused all this? Post after post on your social media stream fills you with unease and anxiety while you ask yourself: what is going on? Most people feel the same way, knowing only the basics we have all been told: Covid 19 is a flu-like virus. 

      As high school students, it does not feel like we can influence the situation, but we can astronomically cut down on the spread of Covid 19. In the article, Does closing schools slow the spread of coronavirus?, a Yale Social Scientist and Physician by the name of Nicholas Christakis helps answer that question. He mentions the difference between proactive and reactive closings, and how it is most important to close schools and other public establishments before there are known cases. Proactive closings can reduce the spread of Covid 19 and “reduces the cumulative infection rate by about 25%”. On Sunday 15, 2020, Governor Sununu declared all New Hampshire public schools will be closed and will use remote learning until at least April 3, 2020, in hopes to reduce the spread of Covid 19. With only 13 cases declared at the time of New Hampshire school closures, the Governor’s decision was proactive.

      Though public school closure will largely reduce the spread of this virus, citizens must also take action on their own, and no, I am not saying “buy all the toilet paper”, as a local Souhegan student said his family was preparing for the Covid outbreak. Many health officials are hoping that citizens will adopt the technique of social distancing. In the Washington Post article, Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”, a number of simulations are made in order to show a general representation of how the coronavirus spreads, and how social distancing reduces the curve. “Health officials have encouraged people to avoid public gatherings, to stay home more often and keep their distances from others”. Social distancing can save thousands of people, and allow the few that are sick (in New Hampshire), to get the medical assistance they need.

      This is all very new to students across the United States, but remote learning and social distancing will help “flatten the curve”. During this time all students should try to reduce human contact and public outings. To help out, The Claw asked our fellow students to tell us how their families are preparing. Though one student felt the need to tell us they had surrounded their home with lighter fluid “because zombies”, others had more practical ideas. These included “buying a lot of snacks to limit trips to the grocery store”, “getting better WiFi”, “stocked up on supplies, limited exposure to large groups”, and “became more cautious, and stayed updated with everything in the news”. I would urge everyone to use phones as a way to connect. If a family member wants to see a friend, tell them to use their phone to text, call, facetime, etc. them. Stay up to date on the situation by following trusted news sources, and please don’t slack off. Use that school-issued laptop and be flexible with remote learning. It is a new concept for most, and we all need to be open-minded at a time like this.