Social distancing becoming optional, still obligatory


Graphic by Lia Chen ’20

Lia Chen ’20, Associate Managing Editor

At long last, after what has felt like an eternity, summer is finally beginning to approach us. All around our community, there are signs that life seems to be returning to normal: the weather is starting to warm up; seniors are embarking on their internships; Compo has reopened; On May 20, Connecticut will be reopening restaurants, offices, hair salons and barbershops, retail stores and outdoor museums and zoos. Around the nation, other states are also beginning to reopen.

With this semblance of normalcy and all of these changes to our lives, many have chosen to also follow the strict social distancing rules that have governed our lives the past two months. Although it may be tempting to return to life as it was before, I believe people should still avoid social gatherings, even if it is no longer mandated by the government.

The first reason social distancing should be maintained is that we should be using these summer months to brace ourselves for a second wave of the virus. According to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a second wave of infections is inevitable. 

Many medical experts believe infections will rise again in the fall, as according to the CDC, COVID-19 will follow the pattern of four other common coronaviruses in peaking in the winter months. 

Some, such as researchers at the University of Minnesota, even claim that the second wave of cases will be even more numerous than the initial wave of cases that we are experiencing. Thus, we should do as much as possible to prepare now, instead of aggravating the situation by not social distancing, people should try to get as healthy as possible and continue using face masks. 

Additionally, hospitals and clinics need to use this time to stock up their supplies of personal protective equipment and testing supplies, which they will not be able to do if people continue to get sick.

Secondly, social distancing is the ethical thing to do. Coming into contact with friends, even if you personally think you are healthy, can place the lives of the elderly, sick and immunocompromised at danger, and is unfair to others in the community who are staying at home and doing their part to deter the spread of the virus.

Ultimately, while it is up to individuals to decide whether they want to social distance or not, it is important to remember the stakes at hand and what we risk, as well as the actions of others that we are negating by hanging with our friends.