Take action by staying still

Take+action+by+staying+still

Maggie Duly

On Monday, March 23, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer enacted a statewide shelter in place order along with 11 other states.

This order was necessary because clearly people are not taking the spreadability of the virus seriously—primarily young people. If that continues, we will not see change. People will die, and it will spread to parents, grandparents and the immunocompromised.

I hope it is clear that this is not a vacation. This is a chapter in a history book. The hopes of things just falling back into place after the school year finishes is just a beacon of hope. It is not a guarantee. It’s unlikely.
Events as large as this are scary and hard to wrap the mind around, which is why it’s important to stay educated by paying attention to information from reliable sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), Associated Press and other trusted news outlets.

Numbers of cases are echoing in everyone’s heads but it’s important to stop and see just how quickly they climb within days, even hours.
It began on Dec. 31, 2019, when dozens of cases of pneumonia with unknown cause popped up in Wuhan, China. Ten days later, Chinese state media reported the first known death, a 61-year-old man who was a regular at the market in Wuhan where the virus is said to have originated, according to the CDC.

On Jan. 20, Japan, South Korea and Thailand had
confirmed cases of the virus. The next day, the United States reported its first known case, a man in his 30’s in Washington state who had just returned from Wuhan, according to
the CDC.

On Jan. 23 there were 570 cases worldwide and 17 deaths. The Chinese authorities closed down and shut off Wuhan, a city with a population of 11 million which is akin to shutting down Los Angeles or New York City.
Soon enough came the travel bans—any non-American citizen or immediate family of an American citizen who had traveled to China was not allowed into the United States on Jan. 31, announced by President Donald Trump. At that time 218 had died from COVID-19 and 9,800 were infected world-wide.

Fast-forward about a month. On Feb. 29, the United States had its first death from COVID-19, a patient near Seattle. There were then 87,000 cases worldwide, according to the CDC.

Today, as I write this, there have been 372,757 confirmed cases and 16,231 deaths worldwide, according to the WHO situation report 64. The case number climbed about 40,000 cases from the previous day, in just 24 hours. These numbers are despite the availability of testing, which has been hard to come by. How terrifying. Unable to be tested which would then delay possible medical care. That is simply inexcusable. Being unprepared is becoming a common thread across the world.

The virus is spreading like wild-fire across the ocean, seeping into countries one by one. We all saw it coming, we heard it rustle in the bushes like a bad horror film. We left the window cracked, heard the stairs creak, but we didn’t bother to grab the baseball bat from under the bed until it was right outside our bedroom door.

We didn’t want to be the boy who called wolf, the person who is overly nervous, the hypochondriac. So we went on business as usual, but why didn’t we listen? The WHO warned everyone, doctors in China warned the rest of the world in February, but Americans played invincible. Now we’re black and blue in the face.

The government declared a national emergency about two weeks after the first death on American soil, even though we knew how quickly it would spread.

Now, we’re locked away, sitting and waiting. No more “coronacation,” no more “my spring break wasn’t refundable.” No more carelessness. Take this seriously.

We mobilize our spirits, our minds and our will to go on with our daily lives as much as possible with the knowledge that we are living history. Our actions determine the fate of others and the fate of this nation, even other nations.

If we don’t take action to stand still, stay inside for a little while, well for one, it’s against the current Michigan law, but also we are only hurting ourselves and throwing the key to our own locked doors away. Be mindful and be serious and we all might be able to carry on just in time for all the snow in Marquette to melt.