Social distancing efforts prove heartbreaking but lifesaving

There+are+165+confirmed+COVID-19+cases+in+Westport+as+of+April+7%2C+and+social+distancing%2C+which+Governor+Lamont+implemented+with+his+stay+at+home+order+on+March+23%2C+is+meant+to+prevent+the+outbreak+from+surpassing+what+our+local+healthcare+system+can+manage%2C+according+to+the+Center+for+Disease+Control+and+Prevention.

Photo by Rachel Suggs '21

There are 165 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westport as of April 7, and social distancing, which Governor Lamont implemented with his stay at home order on March 23, is meant to prevent the outbreak from surpassing what our local healthcare system can manage, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rachel Suggs ’21, Web Managing Editor

Precautions against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been immensely disruptive. Schools are canceled, SAT testing centers shut down, AP exams modified, fourth-quarter moved to pass/fail and extracurricular events put on hold due to the outbreak. 

Yes, these are all activities that we, as full-time students, live for. But while these cancellations have left many broken-hearted, they are absolutely valid and necessary. 

There are 165 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Westport as of April 7, and social distancing, which Governor Lamont implemented with his stay at home order on March 23, is meant to prevent the outbreak from surpassing what our local healthcare system can manage, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

And social distancing works. In fact, it worked in South Korea, which effectively “bent” its COVID-19 epidemic curve, according to Business Insider. During their peak, their death toll was 900 cases a day throughout the whole country (for comparison, New York’s death toll alone is 700 cases a day), and two months later, they have reduced their daily outbreak to one-tenth of their peak. This “bend” in the curve occurred because events were canceled and people stayed home.

The US, on the other hand, has just reached the highest death toll in the world, with over 81,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. This means that we need to practice extreme social distancing to prevent even more damage. But unfortunately, many individuals are ignoring social distancing guidelines and continuing to attend gatherings. This will just force us to isolate for a longer period of time.

But unfortunately, many individuals are ignoring social distancing guidelines and continuing to attend gatherings. This will just force us to isolate for a longer period of time. ”

So let’s keep practicing social distancing, because it works.  “[The current rate of an infection] is an indication, despite all the suffering and the death that has occurred, that what we have been doing has been working,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading expert on infectious diseases, said according to USA Today. “Keep it up.”

I know that everyone is itching to return to normalcy, like school and work, by the end of May. But if we don’t self-isolate and continue on our current trajectory, many will lose their lives not just to the symptoms of the virus, but the inability to receive healthcare in overwhelmed medical facilities. 

As Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginzberg said in Shelby County v Holder, to overturn a policy that is meant to prevent danger just because that danger is not currently present is like “throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”