As the days begin to melt together and the concept of a regimented week is starting to fade into obscurity, the idea of quarantining and social distancing have become all too familiar. I like many other Americans have come to see an indoor disconnected lifestyle become the norm. As I type this up I had to reference my phone to realize that another Monday had come, signaling a new week of isolation. So how did we get to this point and what decisions were made to make this the new standard of living. Many governments have taken the ongoing pandemic head-on and put forth protocols for everyday living in order to slow the spread of the virus.
In America, “International flights are all but banned, but not domestic ones. California has ordered all residents to stay at home; New York was to shutter all nonessential businesses on Sunday evening.” giving the first steps towards separating all citizens (McNeil Jr.). Restaurants have been ordered to close all public seating and service making them transition into a curbside pick-up model in order to keep their businesses from crumbling. Public places like gyms and pools where mass groups of people congregate have been shut down and banned. Phone alerts that use to be reserved for the occasional amber alert now ring reminding people to stay inside for anything other than essential activities like buying groceries or getting medical attention.
The United States has seen a full halt of all extracurriculars at the behest of our government. Other countries have seen a similar fate. Italy had their government and, “Officials slowly and reluctantly closed restaurants, churches and museums, and banned weddings and funerals.” (McNeil Jr.). But their action hasn’t seen the results they wanted as “the country’s death count continues to rise.” and it seems something could have been done differently (McNeil Jr.). An opinion of one article states, “the problem is not that Italy didn’t respond to the coronavirus. The problem is that it always responded slightly too late and with slightly too much moderation.” showing that in the current state of our world all actions governments should take should be decided quickly and followed to a tee (Frank, Grady).
China demonstrated this decisiveness by taking the action to “shut down Wuhan — the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak — and restricted movement in much of the country on Jan. 23, when the country had a mere 500 cases and 17 deaths.” which lead to them decreasing the spread of the virus and having Italy surpass them in the current death toll count per country (Frank, Grady). These steps governments are taking are greatly differing across the world but seem to follow the same general rule that people need to be apart.
This virus has forced a wedge into the human need for physical touch and communication and every country is feeling the pain. But some are still striving to solve the issue with South Korea leading the preventative campaign by seeing “One option for COVID-19 testing — which South Korea has made more readily available than most other countries — involves public “phone booths.” A hospital in Seoul has installed them around its building to offer easy, quick testing to people worried they may have the disease.” (Frank, Grady). The world’s governments are being forced to test new methodologies of dealing with their citizens and learning how to truly protect their populations from adversity. Overall I personally believe they are making fantastic decisions on how to approach COVID-19 and decrease the time we all have to spend apart. In the end, time will be the only true signifier of whether the actions that have been taken were the right ones or if they could have done better.
Co-written and Edited by:
Watch Ryan Martin’s video here on social distancing and his experience with the quarantine.
Frank, A., & Grady, C. (2020, March 22). Phone booths, parades, and 10-minute test kits: How countries worldwide are fighting covid-19. Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2020/3/22/21189889/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-response-south-korea-phillipines-italy-nicaragua-senegal-hong-kong
Mcneil, D. (2020, March 22). The virus can be stopped, but only with harsh Steps, experts say. Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/22/health/coronavirus-restrictions-us.html
South China Morning Post (Director). (2020, March 19). South Korean hospital’s ‘phone booth’ coronavirus tests [Video file]. Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-33i9B8m6E