Editorial, Issue 9 — Volume CVIV

On Thursday, March 12, an email went out to the Parker community that detailed a two-week-long school closure (that now extends until April 21), effective on March 16. The modified schedule came in response to the growing Coronavirus, declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) the day prior.

Since COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) made landfall in the United States, a number of institutions—including education systems nationwide—have closed their doors to “flatten the curve” of reported Coronavirus cases.

While the number of cases in mainland China have drastically diminished as a result of draconian measures taken by the Chinese government, the number of cases in the U.S. is skyrocketing.

A recent projection from the Center For Disease Control (CDC) estimated that the U.S. coronavirus epidemic could infect between 160 million and 214 million people over the course of more than a year, and kill anywhere from 200,000 to 1.7 million people in the country. To avoid these grim numbers, news sources and experts keep reiterating the importance of social distancing.

Yet, despite all the warning signs and pleas from health officials, some people are refusing to remain inside. Some teenagers and young adults are instead opting for seaside tanning sessions and crowd-filled fun during spring vacations, while other vulnerable populations—particularly those above the age of 70 and those with compromised immune systems—could pay the price for that fun.

For those aiming to stay true to quarantine, it’s easy for boredom and fear to take hold. It’s normal for us to feel the need to see our friends and interact with strangers—we are a social species, after all. But “The Weekly” wants to take this opportunity to encourage you to replace your usual Friday night plans with a Skype session.

Scientists around the world agree the only way to stop this pandemic requires staying home. COVID-19 is aggressively contagious, and although small gatherings might seem harmless, we urge you to avoid them until the CDC says otherwise.

For seniors who feel cheated out of their final semester of high school and other students who are uncertain about the future of their academic career, the only way we will return to normalcy any time soon is if we take the necessary actions to halt the progression of this pandemic. Graduation, prom, and summer fun will have to be put on hold if we unnecessarily gather in groups.

For younger populations, it’s easy to shrug our shoulders at the coronavirus, the effects of which may not pose an alarming threat to our stronger immune systems and healthier bodies. Still, we encourage you to quarantine yourself for those who may not be as medically fortunate, for the medical system that will surely be overwhelmed if the number of US cases keeps ballooning out of control, and for the financial market that is experiencing a huge blow from the sudden shift in consumerism.

If you’ve been wondering what you can do to support your community and your country, this is your opportunity to make a difference and contribute to a greater cause. Please stay home. Don’t be afraid to jump on the social distancing bandwagon. It’s fine to grab a little fresh air and go on a walk, but make sure you’re taking all precautions to limit

your exposure to others and their germs. Meanwhile, catch up on a Netflix show you’ve been dying to watch, learn how to knit, or maybe read a few articles from “The Weekly.” We know you have plenty of time.