Schupbach: Should we be scared of COVID-19?

Columnist Trystian Schupbach declares that we shouldn’t live in fear, but we should live in respect to others in this new way of life.

Trystian Schupbach

I live in a small community of about 800 residents. Throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not personally known a single person that has contracted the virus. I have felt throughout the entire event that it was maybe a little bit blown out of proportion by the media. However, I know that we as Americans should do our part to prevent the spread of this virus, whether it is dangerous to us or not. I am in a pretty riskless group, as I am a healthy 19-year-old. I feel that we shouldn’t take chances of spreading this virus while also having a functioning economy and be able to survive financially. We should not let the fear of a new disease make our country grind to a halt. 

Up until this week, COVID-19 seemed so distant to me. I felt that local and national governments were going slightly overboard for a virus with something like a 90 percent survival rate. When things finally started to open back up, I was overjoyed. I had grown tired of not being able to sit around a fire with my friends, go out to eat or even just talk to them in person. 

Then, on Wednesday, I heard of the first case of whom I actually knew the patient. She is a 19-year-old like myself. We actually graduated in the same class. As I only had 26 class members, we know each other pretty well. I was told she was self-quarantining for 14 days per protocol. However, that night I saw a Snapchat photo of her with her boyfriend. Later that night, I also saw a photo of her hanging out with friends. 

I was a little perplexed. Even though I don’t agree with the measures that have been put in place such as lockdowns, I hope that I would have acted differently. If I would test positive for the virus, I would make sure to quarantine myself so I didn’t spread it, even if I was asymptomatic. 

I feel that it should be up to each individual to do what is best for themselves. However, I also believe that we should think about others and protect them if we contract a disease such as COVID-19. Basically, every American has a duty to protect themselves and those around them. Ultimately it is your choice to go out even if you test positive for COVID-19, however I think a little more thought and consideration should be given to the severity of this virus. 

As Americans, we should not be scared of this virus. Yes, it is deadly for some people. Yes, there are a lot of people who have it and who will get it. However, we should not be primarily driven by fear. I believe this is what we have seen in the past few months. We need to accept that there is a new level of risk to living in this world and we should work our best to move forward as best we can.