William M. Akin IV
Imagine the beginning of the new cutting-edge blockbuster movie starting out with a part of the world in a panic. A virus has originated from several animals and made its way to humans. Not being able to contain this virus, it has spread worldwide leaving people afraid, and now, in the middle of a pandemic.
That would be a great movie to watch. However, this scenario is no movie, but in fact our reality today.
This very real-life virus dates back to November of 2019. A 55-year-old man contracted the COVID-19 virus in China, according to Jeanna Bryner, Live Science Editor-in-Chief. From there, it has traveled and spread airborne to every continent in the world. It spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
We have all seen and read about different pandemics and deadly diseases in the past, such as the black plague, HIV/Aids, and more recently Ebola. Fright and chaos are currently among the people as we are living through more troubling times.
As of March 12th, 88 colleges and universities in the U.S. shut down due to the coronavirus, according to Eric Levenson. Not to mention the countless other colleges and public schools that are now moving to hybrid and online learning.
“64% of US employees are working from home now, compared to only around 7% before the COVID-19”, according to research conducted by SHRM’s COVID-19 Business Index.
Just yesterday I spoke with my father, William M. Akin III, to get his insight and his thought process on the coronavirus and all that it is doing to the community. The question I posed to him was “How is this whole situation affecting your job and how is the switch from personal to virtual?”
Mr. Akin stated that “It takes you out of your workflow, environment, and day to day tasks. There are pros and cons to working at home and online. One pro is that you do not have to be driving around and wasting gas. But at the same time, you don’t want to be lackadaisical just because you are home…”
Many businesses and their employees are transitioning to an online platform to continue their daily tasks. I think this comes to show how reliant and grateful we should be for our modern technology and social connecting tools. Even with a pandemic like this one, most are able to stay up to date with news and updates and some are able to work from home with their own technology.
“As you get older, your risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s.” according to the The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC).
I also had a brief sit-down yesterday with my childhood friend, David Lavy. He attends the University of Delaware, and as many other colleges, his school made major adjustments due to the coronavirus.
I asked David what his standpoints and views were on the pandemic. He responded with “For me, it’s definitely scary because my Dad is at a high risk because of his heart disease. So as tough as it can be to be isolated, and in a “risk-reward” with trying to go out and see people, it would not be worth it for me if it meant putting my dad’s life at risk”.
“There are also other factors that can increase your risk for severe illness, such as having underlying medical conditions. By understanding the factors that put you at an increased risk, you can make decisions about what kind of precautions to take in your daily life…” said the CDC.
David’s’ reply really stuck out with me because many people don’t take physical separation seriously, unless you or someone you know is affected by it. We might think that it is worth going out with our friends for one night or having fun in a public place. But is it really worth risking your life and the lives of people you love just for a little fun?
Isolation may be hard for some people. I know this because it is especially hard for me. But in the long run, I think taking care of yourself first eliminates potential spreading and can lead to a faster solution.
Although being online and virtual is one of the main transitions for people, there are many others effects due to COVID-19. The CDC’s main advice is to wash your hands often with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, and stay home when you are sick.
Let’s all try to stay safe, calm, and healthy during this time of stress and panic.