The Importance of Self-Quarantine and Sheltering-in-Place
Coronavirus: a term, four months ago, that was seemingly only recognized by scientists and doctors but is now widely known and used in everyday life by people across the globe. Discovered in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019, the virus quickly spread all around the globe. The fear brought on by this pandemic has left people with questions: When will it all end? How do we stop it? Can we protect ourselves? People actually have more control over the situation than they think.
COVID19 is spread very easily, which is why it is so hard to control. One way to help stop the spread is self-quarantine. Self-quarantining is when people stay home for the incubation period (14 days) to help prevent the possible transmission of the virus, as you will likely exhibit symptoms during that period if you picked up the virus. However, everyone will be quarantined for much longer than just two weeks due to the shelter in place order, which is meant to slow the transmission of the virus by minimizing contact with those who are possibly infected.
Many people are not staying home because they believe that if they are young and healthy, the virus will not affect them, or will affect them minimally. Initially it was believed that only the elderly and the previously-ill would be harmed by the virus. Although that may partly be true, the young and healthy could easily pass it on to someone it would greatly affect, including those with diabetes and asthma, for example. And it is now apparent that being young does not make you immune, as you can still get sick. Many who have died in the US have been young and fit, with no other health conditions. That is why self-quarantining is so vital to preventing an escalation in cases. Act as if you have the virus and take precautions from there. You are aiming to stop the spread from your points of contact.
In some cases, people have had the coronavirus and had no symptoms, which is called being asymptomatic. These are dangerous cases, since those infected are unaware and therefore can pass or may have already passed it on to other people unknowingly. Simply staying home will help prevent this from occurring. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is the United States’ top infectious-disease expert. He has offered a great deal of information about the pandemic. “We need everyone to understand that they can infect someone or someone can infect you,” said Dr. Fauci. Just because you may not get horrible symptoms does not mean you cannot pass it on to someone who will.
Since it is extremely easy to contract the virus, it is strongly recommended, and in some places enforced by law, that people should stay home and limit going out as much as possible. Staying inside and away from other people will lessen the chances of getting infected or infecting someone else. Currently, the main priority is to flatten the curve (to slow down the growth of the virus). Just stay home, and it will be extremely beneficial to you and the rest of the population.