COVID-19 has taken enough from us already. From seniors losing graduation, leaving the dirty, to missing our friends; Trump’s recent announcement to extend social distancing until the end of April has left numerous impressions on society.

According to John Hopkins University, confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States have spiked from below 50,000 cases since about the third week in March to currently over 150,000 cases. The number of confirmed cases has continuously been increasing daily.

We all keep making jokes on how we will tell our future children that we survived a horrific virus and we have all seen the memes of ending up in biology and history books one day. I understand resulting to humor to cope with the seriousness of the virus, but I also think that there are still many who are not taking it very seriously.

I will honestly admit that I did not take the virus very seriously earlier in March; however, I am also fortunate enough to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and a healthy family.

Unlike many, there are people who are not afforded the same resources and opportunities as others. As many of us know, the elderly, children, and those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to the coronavirus than others.

Many of us have the luxury of being able to step outside without the fear of catching the virus. Social distancing may seem like a nuisance, but it is necessary to flatten the curve.

Flattening the curve refers to decreasing or maintaining the amount of confirmed cases in the United States rather than increasing.

Simply going to the grocery store for essentials or visiting family and friends spreads undetectable symptoms. For example, as a 21-year-old, imagine going to the grocery store and accidently coming into contact with the virus, but then also going home to my grandmother and parents.

Although the virus may not directly influence my health, it may jump to family members who are more susceptible.

In fact, after spring breakers returned to their permanent home, confirmed cases increased. After thousands of college students filled shores and bars, many also tested positive for the coronavirus.

As Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen said, “Get over yourselves. Whether you think this is an issue or not, it is. Whether you think it could affect you or not, it does. The reality of it is, if I’m a college kid who’s going to spring break in Mexico, you’re affecting a lot of people. Grow up.”

As a college student, I understand that things keep getting taken away from us, but we need to understand that things are being taken away from everyone. COVID-19 is not only impacting you, but also everyone around you.

Not only has the medical system become overwhelmed, but so have funeral homes. Funeral homes cannot keep up with the demand of families and friends who have passed due to COVID-19 and other illnesses.

Federal guidelines have resulted to keeping funeral gatherings to 10 people or less. Thus, people are forced to change the way they mourn.   

Social distancing is not fun for anyone, but it is the price we need to pay to take control of the situation. We can all go right back to partying and seeing our friends once the virus is under control, so be responsible and grow up!

I understand that it is overwhelming having to pick up your whole life, move back home, deal with online classes and any other obstacles. However, be grateful for what you have.

There are tons of international students who are stuck in the United States because they cannot return home to their families. Some students are forced to return to an unsafe home and other students are unsure if they will be able to afford rent.

Unfortunately, there is always someone who has it worse than you. You have the right to feel overwhelmed and upset but remember to not to dig yourself into a hole.

COVID-19 is real and we need to be serious about its consequences.