COVID-19: Everyone has opinions

Maddie Root, Contributing Writer

Over the last couple weeks, there’s one thing that has been on everyone’s mind: COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. It’s impossible not to think about. It’s everywhere. Whenever you turn on the TV, listen to music on Spotify, or even scroll through social media, there are warnings and precautions about what you can do to stay safe and limit the spread of the virus.

Even worse, everyone seems to have an opinion on what’s happening.

With each passing day, we learn more and more about the virus. Initially, as the virus began to grab our attention, journalists and politicians were very limited in their knowledge regarding the situation. These politicians and journalists often used their own opinions to express the “facts” about Coronavirus. These opinions have infiltrated journalism and politics more than ever.

In hindsight, perhaps one of the strongest opinions delivered by a politician occurred on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. President

Donald Trump explained, “Because of all we’ve done, the risk to the American people remains very low. … When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

Clearly, these sentences were not rooted in strong fact, science, or proof. When President Trump made this statement, there were only 15 confirmed cases in the US. As of last Monday, March 23, there were 41,708 confirmed cases and 573 total deaths in the United States. By Thursday, there were over 1000 deaths.  I’m positive that these numbers will be much greater by the time you are reading this.

Now, more facts and data regarding the virus are released every day. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on March 20, “I cannot see that all of a sudden, next week or two weeks from now it’s going to be over. I don’t think there’s a chance of that. I think it’s going to be several weeks.”

The point I’m trying to make is, many people have very different opinions about the virus. We all have a responsibility to evaluate our sources and examine and compare the “opposing” side’s opinion. I prefer to gather data and real facts from science rather than listen to opinions. Gathering data can help us tune out all the opinions and just focus on the facts.

No matter what political party you belong to or what you believe in, we all must remember that this pandemic is extremely serious. We must do everything that we can to limit the spread of the virus as much as possible. Remember to stay home, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.