Column: COVID-19 is not a conspiracy

Gillian Eubanks

COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc on the world since the beginning of 2020. We’ve been in quarantine since March. Masks have kind of become a new fashion statement. I know we are all tired of it. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Data Tracker, the U.S. has had 6.57 million cases, with 195,053 deaths as of Wednesday. 

Illinois alone, has had 12,034 new cases in the last week, according to The New York Times’ “Covid in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Map.” 

It took me five minutes to look that information up and type it on here. With access to this data so readily available to us, why does it seem like COVID-19 is a controversial topic?

I find myself hesitant to speak about it with people other than my friends. It is starting to become like a conversation at dinner that is inappropriate. I have watched as it has become a political issue, somehow. So many people talk about COVID-19 like it’s not real or that it’s not serious. I have heard people say that it’s a form of control that the government is trying to exert. 

I am just as into conspiracies as the next person, but not when it comes to this. This is a serious public health concern that has greatly altered everyone’s lives this year.

Too many people are not taking this seriously. Too many people are participating in reckless behavior and putting themselves and those around them at risk. 

People are dying from this virus and the long-lasting effects are unknown. Hypothetically speaking, if I was infected and were to pass it on to someone with pre-existing conditions that put them at risk, they will die. Also hypothetically speaking, if I got it, 20 years down the line I could have heart disease or breathing issues because of COVID-19. Who knows what kind of new condition could even be created because of the virus?

I know that we cannot stop our lives or live in fear, so I am by no means suggesting that we do that, but I am asking for some responsibility. If we want this pandemic to end, we have to collectively work together on this. I believe we have gotten too comfortable with adjusting and learning to live with COVID-19. There is absolutely no reason to not wear a mask, to not social distance and to put your life at risk. 

This is a very real virus that puts the public health in danger; it is not governmental control. 

 

Gillian Eubanks is a junior health communications major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]