By Caylee Hanna, Staff Reporter
As the coronavirus continues to dominate conversation around the globe, Amarillo College as well as the city of Amarillo are taking measures to encourage social distancing in the community.
“I think it is important to socially distance yourself from others because you never know if you or someone else has been exposed to the virus. When someone constantly places themselves in public settings, they are at a higher risk of contaminating others at an exponential rate,” Lizbeth Hernandez, a biology major, said.
To help slow the spread of the virus, classes at Amarillo College recently moved to tech assisted learning to complete classes, while citizens of Amarillo have been told to shelter-in-place, requiring people to stay home unless for vital tasks.
“Self quarantine is a simple method that can help reduce the number of cases and a way to ensure we all return to our normal school, work and daily life routines as soon as possible. Even if it means that everyone stays home all day, a small action can have a beneficial and life-saving reaction for others,” Hernandez said.
Sierra Ochoa, a nursing major, said she is distancing herself from everyone, even her family at times, and believes that it is best for everyone to follow the social distancing procedures.
“Social distancing is about looking after your health and keeping space so not only you but the people that may be around can be safe,” she said. “I am practicing social distancing by not going out with friends or even family. Even though it is very hard to do this, it’s not only for my well-being but theirs too.”
Ochoa said she believes that social distancing is a crucial step in order to make sure everyone remains healthy and thinks that everyone should be staying inside, whether they’re feeling healthy or not.
“We are socially distancing for a reason. We are doing this so we can keep each other from getting sick. Even if you think you’re the cleanest or healthiest person, things can happen so we should all take this situation seriously,” Ochoa said.
Hernandez said that she defines social distancing as avoiding large gatherings, as a way to limit the spread of the virus.
“Social distancing is a vital precaution to avoid the rapid spread of an illness by decreasing human interaction or contact,” Hernandez said. “By avoiding large public settings and gatherings, we can decrease the possibility of more people developing and spreading harmful pathogens.”
Hernandez is practicing social distancing by staying home and limiting human contact as much as possible.
“It’s an abnormal feeling not being able to go to work, see friends, or attend class, but definitely a significant way of overcoming the virus,” Hernandez said.
Cecilia Mendoza, a visual arts major, said that the people in her family are attempting to distance themselves from others as much as possible.
“I have been trying to stay inside as much as I can and my family is also trying to keep away from people when they do go out,” she said. “It’s important to distance yourself so you can protect you and your family from possibly coming into contact with someone who is sick.”
Despite the shelter-in-place, there are people who continue to leave home, either for essential or non-essential activities. Mendoza said she wishes the best for the people who are not socially distancing themselves and is hoping that they remain healthy and safe.
“They really should stay home as much as they possibly can because it could hurt them, their family and the people they come into contact with out on the street,” Mendoza said.