Stay home to help save lives

commentary

There is a lot of understandable frustration with “social distancing” and “shelter-at-home” recommendations. However, there is scientific evidence of their effectiveness.

California plans to reopen its economy in four phases: in Phase 1 everyone is either staying at home or a member of the essential workforce, in Phase 2 reopening lower risk workplaces, including schools, in Phase 3 reopening higher risk workplaces, which require close proximity to other people, including hair and nail salons, gyms, movie theaters. Finally in Phase 4 ending the stay-at-home order, which would allow for the reopening of concert venues, convention centers, and sporting events with live audiences. As state’s begin tentatively reopening nonessential businesses and easing restrictions on movement, individuals should maintain precautions with physical distancing measures. In spite of emotional turmoil and troubles that occur, we must continue to follow social distancing protocol—for the sake of our own health and others.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other public health agencies attribute the rapid spread of the coronavirus, or COVID-19 to the  close contact of infected individuals  with no or very mild symptoms—namely, those who are unaware that they even have the virus. That is why social distancing still remains an important measure to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Researchers estimate that there would have been 10 times greater spread by April 27 without the shelter in place orders. Because one infected person has an average of 45 contacts without these measures, the potential for spread is astounding.

You are not only protecting yourself but also protecting others, saving more lives. There’s nothing we can do to help save people’s lives, the only thing we can do is to follow the social distancing order, which would also make frontline workers jobs a little easier. National Nurses Week and National Hospital Week are recognized annually in May. As citizens, we should be considerate of the sacrifices frontline workers make, in order for us to be safe. These workers spend their days in obscurity, while trying to make sure the people they serve never get to the hospital. The least we can do is to stay at home.

As of May 12, the Irvine City Council approved a 4-phase plan for reopening City facilities, services, and programs that are guided. Some may argue that these obstacles are unbearable, feeling like they are oppressed  or being trapped in the house. Yet, if empirical data shows one thing, it is that humans are resilient. After the Great Depression, people were able to stand back up and regain hope of the future. We cannot lose hope yet. Every action we do now will impact the future. Thinking of the day we are able to bounce back from these challenges, one must stay steady in their resilience and hope for a better day.

Slowing the spread of the coronavirus with state-imposed social distancing is the only thing we can do. Every one of us can do that right now. While health officials develop vaccines, medications and testing procedures, we should stay at home to make their and frontline workers’ jobs easier. We can beat it together.