By Tiana Ono, Staff Writer
While the COVID-19 positive count continues to increase daily, the situation may seem less serious to students without symptoms who don’t know a friend, family member or co-worker with a confirmed case.
But the United States has become the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic as of March 26, surpassing China, according to the New York Times.
America is said to have at least 164,000 people infected with COVID-19 as of March 31, including over 67,000 in New York state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lydia Fraga, sophomore biomedicine major, does not have the coronavirus. Fraga is from Madrid which has the highest case count in Spain, making it temporarily impossible for her to return home. Therefore, she decided to reside with Kelsey Wright, junior education major who also doesn’t have the virus, for the rest of the semester.
“Thankfully, no one in my family has contracted COVID-19,” Fraga said. “Since everything is on lockdown in Spain, no one is allowed to be out in public. If a police officer catches you, you must pay a fee. The only way to go out is if you are going grocery shopping or walking a dog; one person per dog.”
Wright said she’s enjoyed living with Fraga and that she isn’t afraid of catching the new coronavirus.
“We made a fake campus in the basement, and have been painting often,” Fraga said.
Emily Tirado, a sophomore health science major who lives in Suffolk County, said she also does not have the new coronavirus and isn’t afraid of contracting it either. To stay occupied while at home, she works out in her backyard and goes on family walks.
“To prepare for lockdown, my family has stocked up on food. We go to the store once a week,” Tirado said. “My parents are working from home and my two sisters, one in college and one in high school, are all learning at home because of COVID.”
Julia Duffy, senior business administration major from Nassau County, doesn’t have COVID-19 either.
“I am afraid of getting coronavirus because I had the swine flu in 2009 and I have asthma,” Duffy said. “I haven’t left my house in about a week. My mom goes and gets groceries for the family.”
None of her family members have the virus, but her sister has a friend who has it who isn’t from the area.
“To pass time, I watch Netflix, do my online classes, and work out on the treadmill,” Duffy said.
Government officials, as well as medical workers on the frontlines, are taking care of the situation while they still can. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said the world could see over one million deaths if the virus isn’t contained.
So while the situation for some may not hit close to home, the battle against the virus is far from over. To avoid creating a real-life version of “Contagion,” Fauci highly recommends obeying the state’s stay-at-home orders to ensure the virus curve flattens.