Do Latin Students Take the Stay-At-Home Order Seriously Enough?


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As the weather gets warmer, crowds form in public parks, defying the stay-at-home order

Nina Burik, Staff Writer

As the coronavirus pandemic remains a prevalent issue across the globe, it is evident that people must do their part to flatten the curve. For many states, such action has been taken through the implementation of stay-at-home orders. However, some Americans have failed to take this mandate seriously. People walk closely without masks on, congregate in public parks, and walk their dogs regularly. Do these behaviors honor the stay-at-home order, and is the Latin community taking the order seriously enough?

Dr. Katie Baer, a speech pathologist at AMITA Resurrection Medical Center Hospital, shared her opinions on the matter with The Forum. “I believe that there are some areas of the country that are making their best effort,” she says, “but as a whole, I feel like there remains skepticism about the seriousness of the virus and the effectiveness of stay-at-home practices.” Although research behind COVID-19 is limited and mostly speculative, it is an individual’s civic duty to follow the stay-at-home mandate. That said, Dr. Baer adds, “it is absolutely okay to get outside to soak up the sun and get some fresh air—this is so important for our physical and mental health.” While it is beneficial to remain inside, there is no shame in taking an occasional stroll. “Just remember those masks on crowded sidewalks,” Dr. Baer says.

With regards to Latin specifically, Nurse Yacu  says, “I am confident that everyone in the Latin community has taken the orders seriously because we know the positive impact we can make when we do things together.” She emphasizes that now more than ever, it is essential to have confidence in each other. “As Romans, we endure and overcome adversity because we have each other for support, collaboration, enthusiasm, and trust,” she says. To Nurse Yacu’s point, whether you are in agreement with someone’s actions or not, at this time, respect should be extended to all members of the community. Like Dr. Baer, Nurse Yacu agrees that it is acceptable, even necessary, to go outside once in a while. She says, “staying physically active is one of the best ways to keep your mind and body healthy, not to mention, fresh air is safer!” However, Nurse Yacu does mention a few ways to stay safe when leaving your home. “Everyone should take the necessary precautions—staying 6ft away from others, avoiding crowded areas, staying home if sick, etc.,” she adds.

Senior Sophie Golub comments on those in the community who are acting against the order. “Although there have been times where slightly larger groups have hung out, it seemed like it was not for a very long time,” she says. Golub also mentions the safety precautions people have taken if they do choose to congregate. She says, “a lot of the time they [are] social distancing while being with a group.” Golub also agrees that all people should leave their house occasionally. “I think going outside for even a few minutes can give people a break from the stress of being stuck in their house,” she adds. It is possible that for some, following the state’s mandate could be detrimental to their mental health; rather than judging the decisions made by individuals, it is crucial to consider why they may have made such decisions. Above all, Golub extends her well wishes for all Romans. “I hope everyone is trying to stay as happy and positive as possible,” she says.

Ninth grader Carly Warms says, “by cancelling school, sports and social events, the Latin community is able to try and decrease the risk of the virus spreading.” Although this might be true in the Latin community, Warms feels that the nation must take the order more seriously. “I think that the country as a whole is not taking the stay-at-home order serious enough,” she adds, “a couple of states are removing the stay-at-home order, even though a vaccine for the virus has not been found yet.” Even so, it is unlikely that normalcy will be suspended until a vaccine is found—but it is fair to wonder how the country will safely return to life before then.

It is clear that the world, the nation, and the Latin community are in a time of crisis. In such a period of uncertainty and indecision, it is inevitable that people will cope with their new reality in varying ways. It is impossible to know the most effective way to eradicate the virus; but if all citizens do their best to follow the stay-at- home order and focus on their own health, the end will likely be in sight. Based on her experiences in the hospital, Dr. Baer confirms this claim. She says, “I encourage all to connect with friends and family in the safest manner possible—I believe we can get through this safely if we work together and support these efforts.”