Disobeying calls to distance

Gabriela Dulworth '22, Staff Writer

Davey, up north with a friend, enjoys the outdoors with a walk through trails in the woods. Photo courtesy of Anne Davey

As coronavirus knocked on Michigan’s front door and forced schools and businesses to close, social isolation became what seemed like a curse to highschoolers, dooming any and all plans with friends or events.

Some, however, slipped through the cracks and were still allowed outdoors and with others despite Michigan government’s recommended quarantine. Anne Davey ‘22 is one of those students.

“This [coronavirus] is going to affect a whole lot of people, and we should not be constricting teenagers from things that produce a healthy mental state and make their lives normal,” Davey said.

The “stay home, stay safe” order was enforced one minute after midnight on Monday, March 23. Despite restricting work and travel, it does not state that one person cannot go visit another in a residential home.

The eight-page order, signed by Whitmer, begins with a warning that it “must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.”

For those who are forced to isolate themselves in order to protect those close to them, people like Ellie Groustra ‘22, going out is a privilege that society just can’t afford right now.

“People that are going out are being very selfish and not thinking about others,” Groustra said. “Especially their own families, because anyone can carry it and it is very serious. They don’t know everything, so why should somebody risk it?”

As of Saturday, about 800 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Michigan and at least eight have died, according to the Center for Disease Control.

“If we do nothing, very rough models estimate that the number of cases in Michigan could increase five-fold in the next week,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive said. “We are acting right now to decrease that number.”

Regardless of the numbers, Davey thinks that those not at high risk to get the virus should not be restricted from their normal lives.

If you feel sick, stay home,” Davey said. “Everyone is at risk but we need to see the facts. My mom is a medical professional and does not see as to why teenagers should be constricted at the same level as those who are high-risk.”

Groustra sees it in a whole different light. According to her, acting now will lesser consequences in the future.

“The reality of it is, if we do it now it won’t have to be as strict later,” Groustra said. “I think everyone should listen and social isolate so that we don’t have to deal with this later and we can get back to our normal lives as soon as possible.”

In a live interview with the Detroit Free Press, Whitmer stated that the situation is still developing, but they are doing their best to keep up with the evolution and ensure the safety of their citizens.

“We have been very aggressive,” Whitmer said. “We are analyzing what is happening and we’re always going to be aggressive and make the best decisions based on the facts as we have them.”

Davey is also keeping up with the facts and is taking every precaution she can in order to be safe while also being social.

“I try to distance myself from my family members so that I don’t receive or give anything,” Davey said. “I am not working right now because I work in a nursing home. I am doing light exercises in areas where I do not run the risk of coming in contact with people.”

In order to stay content whilst spending time with others, Davey recommends communication and knowing where others have been or what they may have come in contact with.

“My friends and I have very open conversations and if you feel sick, you stay home,” Davey said. “If you think you have come in contact with it, you are keeping to yourself for a couple of days. You just have to be open and honest with those that you choose to spend your time with and those that you love.”

When all you can do is stay home, however, seeing others posting on social media having fun and being with others is hard, according to Groustra.

“I don’t want to expose it to my grandparents or my parents, so I have to quarantine myself,” Groustraa said. “At times when I want to go out I can’t and it becomes really annoying. Especially when I see that my friends can go out.”

Whether or not you can go out, the coronavirus is a very dangerous pandemic and everybody should be doing all they can to prevent spreading it. Whitmer encourages this in her twitter, with uplifting messages of perseverance.

“I’ve always said our state is an extraordinary place to live because of those who call it home, and you’re proving that to be true,” Whitmer tweeted. “Michiganders are tough. We’re going to get through this together.”