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An Appeal: Love In the Time of Corona

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

This is only the beginning of a long and taxing path to a sustainable and safe environment as a result of COVID-19. A substantial rise in reports of young people affected without underlying health conditions who have been affected has come to light, on the 21st March 21 year old Chloe Middleton passed away due to the virus. The young woman was seen to be fit and healthy, within the age group that the government want to build up an immunity to it.

This is a sign that we, the youngest generations, need to acknowledge:

We are not invincible and we must be careful.

The international community of medics and scientists are showing an admirable camaraderie that will allow the global population to beat this virus, but for now the public have been given advice that will reduce the virus's harm and capability to spread.

In a ministerial broadcast Boris Johnson announced what I refer to as a 'soft-lockdown', where citizens within the United Kingdom should only leave their homes for essentials such as food and medicine, if they are key workers or attending school due to being children of, and once a day in a group of maximum two for vital exercise.

You may have also seen a slightly eerie yet effective video on prime time television of Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, reinstating this protocol. These alert-like advertisements bring us back to a War-time era, and admittedly Prime Minister Boris Johnson is running his cabinet such as a war-time one. Every day is treated with increasing urgency and devoured thought over solutions and consequences, and every statistic is mercilessly reviewed and its impacts forecasted (you may remember the Graph-work of Sir Patrick Vallance).

Stay Inside they repeatedly plead to the public, regardless of the nature of their announcement. And why? Because it is simple yet extremely effective, and this means that it's easy for the public to follow, or so you would think.

The day after this serious broadcast the whole of the UK decided that it was the perfect day to flock to the parks across the nation in masses, the younger generation often going with friends and some taking a four-pack of stella and a football or frisbee for the extra bit of fun, because we're definitely not facing some of the most challenging times we've seen in modern day science. We don't really seem to get it, do we?

I'm not here to rant and rave in the way that some of the fanatics are, practically leaping backwards from you when you walk in their direction, as if you'd held a hammer up at them; however, I do feel as if some people aren't getting it, but blatantly are trying not to.

To start, don't see your friend; you can go without and the extremely probable consequences are not worth it. By seeing other people the rate of infection doubles, and after passing that infection three or four more sets of expansive infection chains set out, and three times more lives are at risk than they would've been beforehand. If you do decide to take the noble decision of seeing your friends you must try and stay 2 meters apart, reducing the risk of passing on any infection; this is even encouraged within the household.

If you are the group who decides to congregate together, do us all a favour and do not post it all over your stories. Its embarrassing to put it bluntly. Regardless of what others think, you are responsible for actively increasing the severity of this disease that is having a vicious effect on our population, that is putting a stressed number of medical staff on the front line of the NHS. They're the ones out there facing and attending to the sick, putting their own lives at risk, so help them and just follow the simple ask of staying at home with your loved ones.

Imagine getting up everyday as a health worker, having to ask yourself "Is this the day I catch it?"

"It's boring." So what? The War-time generation had to do this for five years, and not to sound like an overbearing parent, but they didn't have phones, some of them didn't have any material to keep themselves entertained, they endured severe rationing and had to spend most of the time either in remote spaces or in shelters hiding. All people are being asked to do is just stay put whilst the ones at risk grapple with this virus face-to-face; help them by doing this, and if some people can't respect that then you have to take a look at them and ask yourself a few things. The Virus is not spreading itself, we are spreading the virus.

I will reiterate what I said before: we are not invincible. Maybe the early data made us think that young people were somewhat immune, I would agree that medical professionals and the continued-running of schools reinforced that view, but as Chloe Middleton's tragic death illustrates, we are at risk.

It's an incredibly volatile time, especially for some of the youngest amongst the younger generations, with A-Levels and GCSEs cancelled and the international education system thrown into mayhem. No one really knows whats happening and there's an anxiety hanging in the atmosphere. I feel it, we all do, and that is why we all have a responsibility to tackle what is causing this unrest.

The only way to beat this virus is by beating it together, and I know that is a phrase that has been voiced to the public hundreds of times, but its been voiced because it is the entire truth. We have such strength as a nation and within our communities that will allow us to persevere through this. We just need to be grateful for what we do have and what we will continue to have: we have an incredible NHS service risking their own lives every day to fight this virus, we are fortunate enough to have insights from the most advanced medics and scientists into the details of this virus and how we can extinguish it, we are seeing progress on an antibody test (said to be roughly the same cost as a pregnancy test) that will allow us to know whether we have already had or currently have the virus, and this may seem insignificant to some of you but we have clean water to wash our hands, the majority of us have roofs over our heads, we have a government in devoted action doing what they can. Not all countries have access to this.

Take Venezuela for example: Heartbreaking. People in the country don't have any clean water so how can they be expected to wash their hands? 90% of Venezuelans live in poverty, a large majority of this percentage are homeless, how can they be sheltered to an extent from the virus if they're exposed constantly? People nationwide scavenge for food for their entire families anywhere they can so how can they be expected to maintain sanitary conditions? The health system has collapsed so where can people seek assistance? Since 2013, for 7 years due to political incompetence and the government led by Maduró, already depleted social resources have decreased and devastatingly worsened. These people are at huge risk, many with underlying health conditions due to their country lacking the basic human welfare system that is required in general, not just when a pandemic breaks.

You, me, all of us are so lucky to be able to say in a time like this: I have a family who cares, I have a health system that cares, I have a government that cares.

It's now time for us all to come together and show that we care, give back, and just follow the steps provided so that we can put an end to the nasty pandemic that has shaken the globe. It well and truly is about standing and acting together now as a global community, regardless of theory or pride.

We are not invincible, but we are powerful, and with the help of each other COVID-19 will be beat down.

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