Just stay home


Senior Connor Earegood

As the United States braces for weeks of self quarantine — including the next two weeks that officials say could be the deadliest yet — I can’t help but feel frustrated with the actions of my fellow Americans as the COVID-19 pandemic tightens its grip.

Just stay home.

When a contagious and novel virus is sweeping across the world and killing thousands in its wake, it seems — no, it is — asinine to further expose yourself and those in your household to the outside world, an outside world in which you could come in contact with the virus.

In the first week or so of self quarantine, it might have been tolerable, although just as inadvisable, for some to go out before the outbreak worsened.

Even I ventured out during the first week of school closure before reports showed the virus had made its way to Genesee County. This was also before the Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders were made.

But now as COVID-19 overwhelms hospitals and threatens the lives of countless Americans, the time for unneeded expeditions into the quarantined world has long passed.

Inevitably, people will have to go out. Buying groceries and other household needs must be met, even during a devastating crisis.

But not everyone leaving their homes during this pandemic needs to.

Some are making trips to get fast food, visit friends, or pick up unessential items from those stores that remain open.

Those who hit up the local McDonald’s for a Big Mac put themselves, fast food workers, and anyone else they contact at risk of contracting the virus.

While some might have to frequent fast food for a cheap meal, the vast majority of those buying chicken nuggets could just as easily have fired up the oven and made a meal in the safety of their own home.

You owe it to essential workers to avoid their services. The cashier at Taco Bell still gets paid if no one shows up on their shift.

You won’t die if you can’t see your friend in the flesh. Try Zoom or call them if you want to have their company.

What a terrible friend you would be if you spread COVID-19 to them.

And if you won’t die without a product, maybe you should wait until the stay-at-home orders are lifted to get it.

If you go to a store, you will likely come in contact with a cashier. That cashier comes into contact with hundreds of people every day.

Just stay home.

And on the subject of the home, it isn’t like we lack millions of ways to entertain ourselves.

Obviously we can all partake in the digital media we normally frequent, but the analog classics of puzzles, board games, and — I dare say — books can still be utilized in this time of panic and boredom.

It’s better to play it safe and stay home than to go out and expose yourself to a world where a deadly virus can lay in wait on any surface.

COVID-19 can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and on plastic or steel for 72 hours. I would bet the $1.92 in my piggy bank that you’ll touch those throughout your frivolous expeditions into the world on lockdown.

While some may claim that the number of COVID-19-related deaths in the United States is dwarfed by those caused by the flu, traffic accidents, and other common ailments, what those geniuses forget to account for is that our nation is essentially on lockdown.

Of course the death toll will be lower if half of the world, including most citizens of the United States, are stuck in their homes.

And while millions of people get the flu each year, we’ve tangoed with our old friend influenza long enough to know how to properly minimize its effects.

It’s truly saddening that our local and state governments must expand their stay-at-home directives to account for those who just can’t grasp how dangerous this epidemic really is.

Do yourself a favor and stay at home. If not for yourself, then think of the friends, family, and others who you might inadvertently affect.