Editorial: Fighting fears

COVID-19 outbreak causes pandemonium


Valerie Benzinger

COVID-19 has found its way to north Texas, causing panic among the public.

It’s everywhere.

COVID-19. The coronavirus.

Out in the open, unmistakably the center of attention.

The virus has been trending on Twitter for weeks as celebrities and politicians contract it, weighing in on the constant debate of how to best contain the pandemic.

Not nearly enough people take into account the social and economic effects of the coronavirus frenzy. The stock market has suffered greatly due to the temporary ban on travel between the United States and Europe, as well as several cruises and concert venues closing their doors. The values of cryptocurrencies have fallen drastically as well. With people pulling out of the stock market, the lasting effects are yet to be measured.

Amusement parks are becoming barren wastelands amid fears of contracting the virus. The tourism industry is suffering; due to closing its park in Shanghai, China, Disney could lose up to $300 million. COVID-19 is causing the economy to take a hit, which will have lasting impacts on the economy after the craze ends.

Though the virus itself is solely a health hazard, its wide-reaching effects are changing the way we live our lives today.

With the country, as well as the world, seemingly going on lockdown, we need to protect our most vulnerable citizens from the virus. It is well-known that COVID-19 is most deadly to elderly and immunocompromised individuals, but it is the public’s duty to self-contain if infected in order to protect fellow citizens who may not be able to fight it off as effectively.

Some argue the government is overreacting and the virus isn’t as serious as it seems. The cancellation of concerts, festivals and school events may put a drag on spring break plans, but the issue is more dire than seeing a celebrity or group.

Colleges and school districts have postponed classes and events, prioritizing students’ and teachers’ safety. Students are being kicked out of their dorms or forced to transition into online classes. While the coronavirus needs to be taken seriously, safety and housing concerns of students need to be taken into account. Telling students to leave campus with short warning puts them at risk of homelessness or more exposure to the virus in other public housing settings.

Though the virus may not appear to be any worse than the flu, if it infects the wrong person, it can be the difference between life and death. This pandemic is serious; we need to treat it as such.