#Quarantinelife is the no. 1 trending hashtag in the United States today, and for a good reason. Centers For Disease Control have warned people to “stay home as much as possible,” while concerned health care professionals joined for a manifesto that basically begs everyone to “#stayhome and save lives” in a national campaign.
But some reckless bar-goers all around the country decided first to quench their thirst. Crowds of people were spotted standing in lines waiting to get their hands on a drink before bars close down for good. The annual St. Patrick’s Holiday could be to blame, but it’s in no way an excuse to put the lives of others at risk. Today, social distancing is a responsibility and not an option. And no one will blame you for having a drink or two behind closed doors at home!
Scroll down below for Bored Panda’s interview with Akiko Iwasaki, an immunology professor at Yale University recognized for her work on the immune response to viral infections. She explained why social distancing is vital in order to curb the pandemic.
Many of us could walk around infected but totally unaware, without any symptoms, for weeks. Plus, realistically, the vaccine for COVID-19 will probably not be ready until at least the middle of next year. That’s why social distancing—maintaining at least 3 feet of distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing—plays a vital role in pandemic control.
Prof. Akiko Iwasaki told Bored Panda that it’s not the time to be going to bars. “Every infected person can infect 2 to 3 other people on average.” But this number can be much higher in close contact situations.
Iwasaki believes that we need to change our attitude. “The time for complacency and life as we know it is over. We need to switch our mind to focusing on this question: 'what can I be doing to best reduce viral transmission?' Start by social distancing. Every day matters—the earlier you practice, the better to flatten the curve,” the professor explained.
Millennials like to think that COVID-19 is a danger only to the elderly and people with a weak immune system. But the immunologist claims that this is a misconception. “Let’s say we focus only on the millennials and no other age groups. Millennials, ages 23-38, in China had a death rate of 0.2% from COVID19. This number seems small, but 0.2% of millennials in the US (~83 million) is 166,000 people.” Even a fraction of that number dying from coronavirus would be disastrous.
Plus, “those who will become severely ill will require hospitalization and ventilators,” which we won’t have nearly enough of. Prof. Iwasaki also mentioned “the economic impact of losing a highly productive workforce” that would all add to the disaster further. So it’s really not only about who falls ill and who stays away from the virus.
The Immunologist stated that “social isolation is pretty much the only tool we have at our disposal to control the virus right now.” In the future, she said, “we hope to have enough testing to determine who is infected, who is exposed and at risk so we can contain and reduce exposure. Also, vaccines, antivirals, and therapeutics will be great tools to control the virus as they become available.” But there’s none of that at the moment, so any risks are really not worth taking.
By Sunday evening, the US had confirmed more than 3.8K cases of the disease COVID-19, 69 of which were fatalities. More and more places around the country are deciding to take more drastic measures to curb the pandemic. New York has announced signing an executive order limiting all restaurants, bars, and cafes to takeout and delivery only from the 17th of March. Los Angeles followed NY by shutting all entertainment venues until at least March 31. Ohio, Washington, and New Orleans announced ceasing the operations of restaurants and bars from March 15. Illinois and New Jersey are said to be shutting the bars today.