Welcome to the year 2020. We live in a simulation.
Okay, not actually, but it sure does feel like it.
Today is Friday, March 13, 2020. Yes, Friday the 13th. Yes, Friday the 13th just so happens to also be taking place on one of the craziest and most hectic weeks in United States history. Don't remind me.
Yesterday I received an email from my school, High Point University, notifying me that we have an extended spring break and we will be resuming classes online on Monday, March 23. It is TBD if we will ever return to campus again for the rest of the semester due to the coronavirus outbreak. It is needless to say, I am not very happy.
Although I do respect the university's decisions and I know that it is in the best interest of the students for classes to remain online, but are we kidding? The semester is possibly over? I can't see my friends until possibly AUGUST? What about the seniors? I could not IMAGINE not only leaving college behind, but leaving it behind two months early with no warning.
I was also notified that my trip to Los Angeles with the Media Fellows at HPU is cancelled because of coronavirus. A trip that has been planned for over a year. This trip is in August. Yes, that is five months away. Cancelled. DONE.
So enough about me and my own misery, let's talk about how the United States is doing. How are we doing? One word: CORONA.
It started in China, made it's way over to parts of Europe, and now we are all being effected. In classic American fashion, we obviously didn't take the virus seriously enough in the beginning so now it is not just spreading, but it is spreading fast.
The coronavirus is currently in 127 countries with roughly 135,000 total cases around the world. People are in serious condition and some have even died from the pandemic. In the past week alone, President Trump established a travel ban from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days, multiple states have closed down all schools, the NBA suspended its season indefinitely, the NHL's season is taking a "pause," the MLB cancelled their spring training and their regular season is delayed, multiple other sports leagues are calling their seasons off, and Tom Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, have the virus and are quarantined in Australia. Oh, and in case anyone else cares, in the middle of all of this, Peter Weber did in fact propose to Hannah Ann, took it back, is in love with Madison, and his mom is a raging lunatic.
This all happened just this week.
What else has happened in 2020? Australia caught on fire, Kobe Bryant and his daughter died in a helicopter crash, we "almost had World War III," I honestly don't even know what's going on with the Democratic presidential race at this point, and in just a few months we plan to have the Summer Olympics (like that's even going to happen) AND a presidential election.
Like I said before, welcome to 2020. I can't tell if this is a movie or a fever dream, because there's no way in heck that this is real life.
It is hard for me to comprehend all of this and it is even harder to remain positive when this country is in a constant state of hysteria. Forgive me if my ignorance is showing, but is this disease really THAT bad to stop absolutely everything? According to www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ there's almost 5,000 people that have died from the coronavirus. Thats 5,000 out of about 135,000 total cases. Roughly 70,000 of those people have actually recovered.
Let's also break this down: according to www.health.com, the CDC estimates that about 31 million Americans have caught the flu this season alone. Between 210,000 to 370,000 of those people were hospitalized and about 12,000 have died. All I'm saying is that the flu has been around for years, more people suffer from it every year, and there IS a cure for it. So is the coronavirus really that scary after all?
However, I am well aware that there is no cure for the coronavirus. I am well aware that this is very concerning for the elderly, infants, people with debilitating diseases, etc. Believe me, I know this is not a joking matter. I'm just saying that the flu doesn't look much better.
In my personal opinion, the media has not been a benefactor to this situation. It's on every news outlet you see, every person is talking about it, and it just so happens that not everyone's facts and stories are adding up. False information being produced by media outlets? You don't say.
The media is the reason that every American has turned into a walking panic attack. Toilet paper is going extinct, grocery stores are running out of bottled water, and all of the sudden people have started to use soap and water. I still don't understand the toilet paper and bottled water part, but I guess it's a good thing that some people are finally starting to learn basic hygiene.
This pandemic has been quite the learning experience. People are starting to realize that diseases can actually be contagious, there's more important things to worry about than who's winning what sports game, we all have to find new ways to make use of our time, and washing your hands is actually very important. Although this sucks, like really bad. Kind of feels like the world is ending. Let's just all take a breather and realize that most of us are healthy and okay. Let's continue to use preventative measures and do our best to stop this disease once and for all. I want to get back to regular life just as much as everyone else does. I got classes to attend, assignments to turn in, and a lot of weekends I don't want to miss. College me is calling my name.
All in all, someone wake me up when this dream is over. If someone wants to unplug 2020 and plug her back in to see if it works I won't be opposed. Will America ever stop freaking out? Will we find a cure for the coronavirus? Will I ever go back to college to finish my sophomore year? Updates to come. In the meantime, don't be an idiot. Wash your hands, cough into your elbow, and have some common sense. I'll see you when you're out of quarantine.