• Flux Magazine

"Stay Home and Stay Selfless" by Noelle S. Dahl

In the wake of the rampant coronavirus, we all find ourselves faced with an ethical dilemma—should I stay at home or accept the risk of leaving my house? Three weeks ago, I wasn’t taking covid-19 as seriously as I should’ve been, but the reality is that this pandemic changed much quicker than anyone could have anticipated. A few weeks ago, I was in lecture halls sitting elbow to elbow with friends prattling on about spring break plans. Today, schools and universities nationwide are deserted and I haven’t left my house in over a week yet cases of coronavirus are rising and we haven’t necessarily even hit the peak of fatalities. As covid-19 is effectively uncontainable, I am shocked and disheartened to see young adults dismiss the CDC and health worker’s advice to stay home. While spring breakers and other young adults intentionally distract themselves from the realities of our escalating global pandemic, here’s why everyone, regardless of age and health complications, should stay home.

Staying home is not only an act of solidarity and selflessness but is an act of compassion. Why? Because the coronavirus preys on the vulnerable. This doesn’t mean that since you are young and healthy you cannot contract the virus, only that the risks of fatality are exponentially higher if you have serious health conditions or are over sixty-five years old. And the older the individual, the higher the risk. I would argue that we have a civil duty to contribute to ceasing the spread of coronavirus and to do this is very simple. So simple that it could be summed up by two words—stay home.

And if your social life justifies putting thousands of people around you at risk of contradicting the coronavirus, here’s a reason why it will harm you and your future career if you are not taking this seriously. Time and time again, current employers are warning young adults that if they are seen incautiously participating in social events, they evidently will not be hired. Consider the view all over social media of young breakers. Students from the University of Tampa consented in giving their names after their interviews while on spring break in Miami and now famed for their ignorance regarding the coronavirus as one student notably declared, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me.” Now any employer can and will look up their names and this interview is what will surface along with the forty-million views.

I spoke to Dr. Hollis Robbins, Dean of Arts and Humanities at Sonoma State University, on this matter seeing that she is an accomplished leader and has been on several hiring boards.

“The world is taking the spread of Covid-19 seriously. Businesses are taking the impact of Covid-19 seriously and will want to hire young people who are part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

So here’s my advice: heed these warnings and next time you leave your house for non-essential purposes, recognize that you are not only endangering yourself and your future career, but you are endangering the lives of others. In our reality, ignorance is not bliss—ignorance could potentially mean a surge of fatalities in our current global pandemic. Whether you will or will not be part of the solution is entirely up to you.

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