Note: I will not include the names of anyone I know personally in this article. I would like to keep these identities private and I hope you understand. Thank you.
Currently, the world is engulfed in flames of anxiety and panic- all because of one thing.
In December 2019, the coronavirus (COVID-19) became and still is a major outbreak in China. Since then, the virus has spread to every single continent except for Antarctica and is mainly in China, Italy, and South Korea. There have been several confirmed cases in the US; thus unleashing a wave of fear that is flooding the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. A pandemic is a disease that is spread globally. So many countries have been hit by this spell. But this case is more like a curse. “The novel coronavirus has infected over 115,800 people- including at least 1,000 people in the United States- and killed over 4,200 people worldwide,” CNN states. News about this medical crisis spreads quickly in my grade and I’d rather it not. One of my other friends and I are concerned due to our having relationships with people in countries that are severely affected by the coronavirus. And when people are treating this like this is a joke and it’s okay to say things about it- I get sensitive. So I ask for people to not treat this situation like that. There are people how are suffering from this and people should think about that.
According to CNN, “Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York City could take at least six months to get back to some sense of normalcy because of coronavirus.” Six months. That is how much this has affected us. We have become more self-conscious because of this. People now carry hand sanitizer in their pencil cases. We don’t share things. People are repeating the phrase “wash our hands often.” Considering that it’s flu season, we should be doing that. But now the sentence “don’t touch your face” has connected with washing hands. Honestly, it’s really hard not to touch your face. But I understand.
As of March 11, 2020, at 4:41 p.m., New York currently has 53 confirmed coronavirus cases. New York officials have traced more than 50 coronavirus cases to one attorney. Everything is chaotic. There is so much news about this. And the news spreads quickly.
I find that many people are concerned about this at North Shore Middle School (as a sixth-grader, I don’t have any evidence about what is happening at NSHS) and I would like to address that fact. There have been rumors about school shutting down due to other districts’ closings, lots of conversations about this, and most importantly, the tension that is unavoidable at every turn. People exaggerate new additions, such as the hand sanitizers in every classroom. My teachers have talked to us about this discovery and what to do in the event in which school is closed. They have told us not to worry, but it is hard not to.
I take this situation differently. Unlike most people in NSMS, I take this matter very seriously. However, others do not see this in the same way that I do. Some of my friends make jokes about this when this is an affair of life and death. Events are being taken into consideration very thoughtfully. Field trips are being canceled and even the eighth grade trip to Washington D.C. has been postponed. When events are considered and put above other events and then that event is canceled, this can cause outrage and confusion. Districts in Nassau County such as Locust Valley and Glen Cove Schools have closed down. A student from NSMS even put a post on social media that the middle school was closing down. I don’t know who did it- I think this student’s identity should be kept secret- but I’d like to express my opinion on that. I think that was an unwise choice to make. There is no use to spread lies and create more pandemonium that there already is.
Teachers have plans of what to do if North Shore Schools closes down. Notice I say if. One of my teachers has said that some people want school to be shut down. But think about it. If school closes, then that means someone- a teacher, a student, a custodian, a security guard, anyone- has been infected. So do you want that to happen? I should hope not.
This is a serious case. (It’s not as bad as Earth on the Brink, but still bad.) And unfortunately, some people don’t realize that. People are suffering greatly because of this. The whole of China and Italy are on lockdown. No one is allowed to travel in and out of the country. According to CarbonaraDude781 on Reddit, “There is no space left in intensive care, so if I get really sick, they would have to remove someone else to save me since I have a better chance of surviving… I don’t want to be the reason for someone’s death.” This is from a person who lives in Italy and is experiencing a different kind of shock and anxiety than we are. Imagine hospital rooms filled to their maximum capacity. Doctors are risking getting the virus themselves to save other’s lives. This is a severe matter. This has turned the world upside down. The world is now in flames.
But we have survived worse than this. We’ve survived Spanish flu, the plague, and more. So maybe we shouldn’t worry as much, but we should still care. Someone once told me, “Don’t worry until it happens. Then it’s okay.”
So don’t freak out. And maybe you don’t want to pray for school to be canceled for the rest of the school year. One of my teachers said that we have to redo everything that we missed if that happens. I just don’t hope school closes down in general.
So stay healthy. Don’t worry until it happens. Which, hopefully, will be later than sooner.