Wells: Take social distancing seriously


Editor-in-Chief Annelise Wells encourages others to take social distancing seriously. She writes that the quicker we follow directions and take this seriously, the better the situation will turn out. 

Annelise Wells

Like many of you, most of my days have been almost completely consumed with online media. Whether that’s through Zoom and my online classes or browsing Twitter and Instagram for hours on end, social distancing has led me to living my life even more online than I already was, which to be honest, was already a lot.

While I use social media to pass the days that are starting to blur together, it has started to make me angry as people are documenting their group outings and all the things they are doing that are obviously against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and government’s recommendations.

I mainly see this from the people my age and younger on social media. While this isn’t exclusive to this group, they are the people I mainly follow on my accounts. It makes me frustrated because social distancing is very important and it seems that a lot of people aren’t taking the severity of this situation into account.

The bottom line is the sooner you want to return to your “normal” life, the more you need to encourage others to stay home and stay safe.

Social distancing doesn’t mean not being social, it just means not being physically social. While I know it’s not the same, hosting online movie nights, FaceTime dates or Zoom calls with family and friends can make you feel a little less alone during this odd time. 

If you’re in quarantine with your roommates or family, try to do activities that don’t rely on technology, whether that is breaking out the Uno cards or doing a 500-piece puzzle. But beware, arguments are definitely going to happen. Your eyes will thank you from the screen break. 

But I also recognize that not everyone is quarantined in the situation they want to be or feel safe in. The Domestic Abuse Hotline has a variety of resources if there is a threat in your home and you don’t feel safe. 

I know it’s difficult, and as a college student uprooted from all my friends, significant other and even my extended family, I know how hard it is. But I’m trying and feel lucky that social media is so big right now as I don’t feel as far away from my loved ones as I might otherwise.

My main point of this column is that it’s not cool to post photos of yourself with your friends saying, “sorry social distancing” or “definitely closer than 6 feet apart.”

By doing that, you are perpetuating bad behavior and encouraging others to do the same. I am sure you have a lot of old photos saved, so why not post throwback photos of a trip or of your friends! You also can post about a new hobby or activity that you have picked up from being inside. There’s more to social media than to post about you breaking safety recommendations and not taking social distancing seriously.

I know all of this is easier said than done, and it’s 100 percent valid to grieve whatever has been taken away from you during this time: formals, graduation, vacations, study abroad or whatever else you had planned. 

But just remember, by staying home you are staying safe. You are not only protecting yourself, but others. You could be asymptomatic and could be putting other people in a lot of risk, including communities and groups that are in that high risk category. 

Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you are immune to this completely. Don’t be selfish, don’t go outside and interact with people outside your immediate group. 

The more seriously we take this now, the better the situation will turn out. Think about the world and think about how the less you do right now, the better. Stay safe and stay healthy.