Stay home: Channels editors share their perspectives on quarantining

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN

Kai Zheng, Lucy Marx, and Serena Guentz

Kai Zheng, Opinion Editor

I don’t get to work from home during this pandemic. 

I work at a grocery store, one of the last standing essential businesses open to the public. 

Every shift, I risk exposing myself to the novel strain of coronavirus and bringing it back home to my family who is sheltering-in-place and working from home. 

Working face to face on the front lines makes the rules and guidelines put in place by California Gov. Gavin Newsom imperative to me and my family’s safety. 

Trader Joe’s has done its best to implement the new directions. Most recently, each register has been installed with a plexiglass shield. Before that, our crew added tape markings on the ground, approximately six feet apart to help promote social distancing while customers wait in line. 

Now, every employee in the store has been issued a cloth face mask to help slow the spread of the virus. Still, none of the new policies keep any of us safe if they aren’t followed down to a tee. 

I’ve had customers roll their eyes at me when instructed to stay six feet back until the transaction is over. I’ve seen a customer flip off my coworker because she felt that she was being ordered around by a cashier. 

These orders save lives. They make a difference, and they keep workers on the front lines safe. Refrain from making daily trips to the grocery store just to get out of the house. When you do make that big shopping trip, be aware of the space you’re in. 

So please, for all of us who have no choice but to leave the house for work, cover your face, stand back and stay home. 

 

Lucy Marx, News Editor

Lucy Marx

“I’ll probably be fine if I catch COVID-19.”

I’ve heard lots of people, especially fellow college students with youth and a good immune system on their side, use this idea to justify ignoring social distancing orders. 

I even found myself thinking the same thing for a while, until I remembered that social distancing isn’t for me, it’s for hospitals which may run out of space and people who cannot fight off the disease if they catch it. 

Social distancing isn’t just to keep me safe, it’s to keep others safe from me. 

It’s for people like my sister, who hasn’t been allowed to step foot outside since this all went into effect. 

My younger sister had bronchiolitis as a baby, a fairly common virus of the lungs, but in this case, she required hospitalization.
She couldn’t breathe and was given medicines and a nebulizer, and while she recovered from that initial bout, her lungs weren’t the same for years. 

Any cold she caught as a child turned into a month-long sickness in her lungs, forcing her to stay inside and making it very difficult to breathe. Her immune system was weak, and a sickness that I could get over in days would take her 10 times as long. 

As she got older, her lungs got better. Now she just has asthma, which is barely a concern after her childhood lung problems. 

But a sickness like COVID-19 could bring that all back. My family doesn’t know how it would affect her, and we’ve made up our mind that we will do anything in our power to keep it away from her. 

So for my sister’s sake, stay inside. For all the people like my sister who may be hit hard by this virus, stay six feet apart and remember: This isn’t just about you. 

 

Serena Guentz, Features Editor

I know it’s hard having to stay home all the time. I miss my friends and I’m disappointed about canceled events, but right now it is more important to stay home and practice social distancing.

My mom is a nurse in the Marian Regional Medical Center emergency department so I’ve been hearing about the number of patients that have been coming in with possible COVID-19 symptoms. One of the main reasons the shelter-in-place has been ordered is to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help keep hospitals from getting too overwhelmed.

In addition to working in the hospital, my mom is also on immunosuppressants. The medication she takes for an autoimmune disorder puts her at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. If she were to get sick, her body could also have a harder time fighting off the virus. 

I honestly don’t want to think about what would happen if she were to get COVID-19. 

Luckily, my mom is one of the assistant nurse managers in the ER, so she can take extra precautions and focus more on the management side of her job.

But people like her, with autoimmune diseases and who can’t work from home, are the reason we are staying home.

You can still talk to your friends and family via Zoom or FaceTime. Your friends will still be there to hang out after everything settles and it’s safe to go out. There will be parties, concerts and other events again.

So please follow the shelter-in-place orders and stay home, not only for your own health, but for the health and safety of those who can’t stay home or those who are at a higher risk.