OPINION: Students, please stay inside

Anthony Belinfante is a senior journalism major and news reporter for The George-Anne.

Anthony Belinfante

Lately, it seems like every time I get on social media, I see people hanging out by the pool, drinking with friends at home or playing basketball at public courts. Normally that would be fine, but right now it is not.

We are literally in the middle of a pandemic, and it seems like students don’t care or are failing to take it seriously. As of Monday, only one case of coronavirus has been reported in Bulloch County, but that number is bound to grow. There are more than 163,000 confirmed cases in the United States, along with more than 3,000 deaths.

It is time to start taking this virus seriously, and it is time to stay home.

When the coronavirus first started making headlines, the majority of the population downplayed the severity of it, especially young people. Around campus, I heard students talk about how they did not care if they got it or not because “only old people die from it.”

Just days before spring break began, I was told by a classmate that they were still planning on going on the cruise they had planned months in advance. They also said that they did not care if they got the virus.

Yes, we are young, which means that we are more likely to beat the coronavirus than not. But thinking that way is selfish and irresponsible. By failing to practice social distancing, not only are we endangering ourselves, but we’re endangering the people around us as well.

We cannot only think about ourselves at a time like this. It is important for us to keep the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions into consideration. I live with my 80-year-old grandmother, so I have to be extra cautious when deciding to leave the house, even if it means just going to the grocery store.

While most college students may not live with their grandparents, it is still important to think about the elderly when you’re going out. You could unknowingly get a stranger sick at the grocery store or at your job, because you decided to lay by the pool and drink beer with people you don’t even know on your “coronacation.” Also think about your roommates, who may be young, but also suffer from a pre-existing condition such as asthma. Getting the coronavirus could lead to hospitalization for them… unlike you, who would probably just have to self-quarantine at home for a few weeks until you no longer had the symptoms.

Hendley Properties have since closed their pool, and the basketball court behind the RAC is also closed, which is a step in the right direction. Now, it is time for students to really practice social distancing by staying home unless it’s absolutely necessary. And no, social distancing does not mean inviting groups of people to your house every night to hang out. Social distancing means that you are home alone, with your roommates, or someone that you plan to spend everyday with.

Staying at home should not be that hard. Binge watch a show on Netflix, listen to music or read a book. Do not risk the health of yourself and others, because you’re bored. Trust me, we are all bored. If we all stay inside, hopefully life will go back to normal sooner than later. So please, I’m begging you, stay inside.