As the number of positive coronavirus cases continues to increase exponentially in the United States, as well as the number of deaths, I have come to a realization that something needs to be done to enforce social distancing for those who have not done so already.
Social distancing is crucial in times like these because it "flattens the curve." However, it is not effective if everyone fails to participate. Flattening the rate of infection curve is important because it slows the spread of the virus, reduces the number of people who are admitted into hospitals, and allows the hospitals to give the quality care that each and every patient needs. If the curve doesn't flatten, then the number of people that get infected with the virus will continue to rise, possibly to a point where it is uncontrollable.
When a country has reached this point, there is a devastating increase in the number of hospitalizations. This leads to hospitals exceeding their patient capacity, causing doctors to have less time with each patient, and resulting in patients not getting the quality care that is usually guaranteed for them when the hospitals are not overwhelmed. When hospitals run out of available hospital beds while there is still an increase in those who are getting infected, deaths will occur. In a worst-case scenario, those deaths will also become uncontrollable. If the United States hasn't reached this devastating point yet, we will soon come to it.
So, to prevent this scary domino effect that can be caused if social distancing isn't taken seriously, I am starting a movement using the preexisting hashtag #togetherapart.
My name is Allison Solis, and I was born seven and a half weeks premature with three holes in my heart. I had open-heart surgery when I was three months old. I constantly got the flu or pneumonia growing up, and every time I did, I struggled to get better. In fact, when I was in second grade, I was in ICU for approximately two weeks with pneumonia.
If I were to contract the coronavirus, who knows how long I'd be hospitalized!
I have no idea how bad my body will respond to the coronavirus if I were to contract it, but the idea of possibly not making it worries me because I wouldn't be able to achieve my dream goal of becoming an infectious disease physician. So please, take into consideration those who have underlying health issues and start social distancing if you haven't already.
It's important to spread awareness of how those with underlying health issues, including myself, can be affected, which can help to stop the spread of the coronavirus and bring awareness of the importance of social distancing during this very unusual time. Hopefully, those who haven't already started socially distancing themselves will start to realize how important it is and will do so immediately.
If you, family members, or friends have an underlying health issue, I encourage you to share your story on social media using the hashtag #togetherapart in hopes of bringing everyone together to start social distancing, stop the spread of the coronavirus, and prevent more innocent lives from being taken away too soon from something that is preventable.