COVID-19 Felt Throughout the States
BY TORI GRAY- STAFF WRITER
The coronavirus has turned from an outbreak into a nationwide pandemic. As of today, the United States is now leading in total cases with close to close to 1 million confirmed cases. Other countries like China, have over 80,000 cases, Spain has just over 200,000 cases and Italy is close to 200,000 cases according to world meters.info, a site tracking the outbreak.
In the United States, New York State has remained the highest in infected with close to 300,000 cases and 22,612 total deaths. Because of this, college students to the working class and even to the elderly residents, each resident in the US has been dealing with the quarantine and restrictions, depending on the state they currently live in.
For the students at Long Island University, the school announced their transition to online classes on March 11, during the university’s spring break. With many of the students and faculty away from campus, many people apart of the LIU community were away from their belongings and school material needed for online classes. Being in one of the cities that are more prone to the virus made it more difficult for students and faculty to adjust. With all the struggles that people inside the city are facing, there are also many struggles and restrictions to people outside of the city.
“One of the main problems that came from the outbreak was my shoulder surgery being cancelled. I was injured back in fall 2019 and I had to wait six months for the surgery, only for it to be cancelled until I return back to school in September,” said Samantha Kidd, 20, a third year education major at LIU who is from Toronto Canada.
With the Coronavirus sweeping through the United States, especially New York, Kidd found it extremely difficult to get back home to her family. “I already spend most of the year away from my family, so in a time with all this chaos, all I wanted to do was be with them,” said Kidd.
Her first run-in with the pandemic was when LIU’s women’s lacrosse team had their season cancelled, along with her classes being moved to online. Kidd then learned that she would be unable to return to home until it was deemed safe to travel, making it impossible to leave Long Island for another two weeks. After Kidd was finally allowed to return to Toronto, she was placed on a two week quarantine, distancing from her family yet again.
Valerie Soto, 22, graduated from LIU Brooklyn last fall with Bachelor degrees in Political Science and English Literature. She is now working as a retail worker in Manhattan. Since the quarantine has begun, New York employees in similar work fields have been placed on furlough, or a temporary leave of absence, for as long as their business can do so.
“There are 5 of us in one household so it's difficult to stay afloat with money... It’s also difficult when my cousin's baptism is cancelled and my aunt is afraid of losing her babies since she works at the hospital. We are always in fear that one person is going to get infected and the rest of us will be doomed,” Soto said.
Even though the city is one of the epicenters of the pandemic, other people outside of the city have been facing similar situations. Alex Strohman, 21, currently lives in Annapolis, Maryland and has had a difficult time adjusting to the restrictions put in place for the pandemic.
“I’m just a very social person, so not being able to go outside with other people, restaurants being closed and grocery stores being understocked is really hard for me,” said Strohman.
The new restrictions include staying at least six feet apart from anyone who is not living in your home and limiting the time you leave your house unless it is for exercise or the essentials. In New York, on April 17, Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered residents to wear masks whenever they leave their house. Other states like Maryland have also taken similar actions.
Following the second extension for quarantine announced on Monday, April 30, Strohman went for a walk with her dog. While outside, she was stopped by a state trooper saying that she was not allowed to be outside at all and if seen again, he could give her name to the local attorney.
“I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own town and I can get in trouble even when I follow the guidelines,” said Strohman.