Why We Need To Stay Home

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Emily Zimmerman, Reporter

     On March 23, Governor David Ige ordered all persons in the state of Hawai’i to stay at home through April 30. This proclamation was put into effect to combat the spread of COVID-19. While this order was not necessarily shocking considering the rest of the United States is also taking such drastic measures, it was and continues to be eye opening to human nature.

     When COVID-19 first extended our spring break, many of us didn’t realize the severity of events soon to occur. At first, the cancellations of our proms and sporting events were the top worry on our minds, not the global pandemic. Seniors worried about their graduation. Juniors were anxious about their exams. Very few took a step back and realized that the world was and still is in a state of emergency.

     Looking back at how I first reacted to everything, I realize how naive and even selfish I was about the current world we live in. I didn’t think that it was that big of a deal. At this time, we only had around 12 cases on the island. I wanted to go out. I wanted to see my friends. I wanted to go to prom. I wanted to live a normal life. I didn’t understand why it was such a big deal that I couldn’t do these normal, everyday activities. I understand now how harmful those activities could be to not only me but those around me.

     As teenagers, we typically live in a self-involved world. We don’t mean to, but we typically prioritize ourselves first, which is normally acceptable — but not for the world we live in now. When everything started going down, many of us freaked out about how it would affect us and didn’t even consider how this is affecting others. There was this toxic mindset going around that “I’m young. If I get the virus I’ll probably be fine,” spreading all over social media. 

     Chances are, if a teenager or young adult were to contract the virus, they would probably be fine. But what about everyone else? We are not just protecting ourselves from the virus by staying inside. If we limit the chances we have to contract and spread the virus, we can decrease the number of people that become infected. The people that are more susceptible to the virus need our help.

     Many of us here in Hawai’i live in homes with multiple generations. If we were to go out and bring this virus back home to them, the effects could be detrimental. We have to stop thinking just about ourselves and think about the greater good. I understand how hard it is to give up a normal life to be stuck at home, doing online school when you wish you could be out with friends doing normal teenager things. We as a generation have to be willing to sacrifice our “youth” in order to put a stop to everything. If we don’t all take a stand and stay home, things will not get better and we will have to live like this for even longer. 

     Try to find the silver lining in all of this. Spend time with your family, find a new hobby, clean your room, exercise, better yourself so that when this lockdown is over, you can come out being the best version of you that you can be. Right now, I’m still struggling to make the best of this situation, but I’m trying. I pass the time by trying to keep up with my enrichment activities, taking my dog on walks (following protocol with a mask and gloves whenever I’m outside) and watching a movie with my family anytime we get the chance. This situation isn’t the best of course, but we can all get through this together.