National Updates on COVID-19

Despite+warnings%2C+dozens+of+people+were+spotted+on+the+beaches+of+Florida+for+their+spring+break+vacation+last+week.

Despite warnings, dozens of people were spotted on the beaches of Florida for their spring break vacation last week.

Mika Maynard, Staff Writer

As the numbers of confirmed cases, deaths, and the urge to panic buy at grocery stores across the nation rapidly increases, many Americans are unsure of what the next step to take is with fighting COVID-19.

As of March 23 at 4 PM, the CDC reported a total of 33,404 cases, 400 deaths, and 54 jurisdictions (50 states, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and US Virgin Islands) reporting cases. The sources of exposure include 449 travel-related exposures, 539 close contact exposures, and 32,416 cases that are still under investigation. Under this data on their website, it clarifies that the numbers given “include both confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 reported to CDC or tested at CDC since January 21, 2020, with the exception of testing results for persons repatriated to the United States from Wuhan, China and Japan.”

Many news websites, such as the New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, are making their COVID-19 update articles free to read to keep the public informed. The New York Times has released a statement on many of their topical articles saying that “[they] are providing free access to the most important news and useful guidance on the coronavirus outbreak to help readers understand the pandemic.” Despite large news corporations and the CDC’s coverage and warnings of how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, many have decided to disregard this advice and do as they please.

In a video released by BBC where they interviewed young people on spring break in Florida, the first man to appear on the screen (who was later identified as spring break goer Brady Sluder) can be heard saying, “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not gonna let it stop me from partying.” This level of ignorance to the severity of this disease is, unfortunately, not uncommon at all. Despite all the resources many have at hand, thousands of Americans choose to disregard vital steps that must be taken in order to successfully slow the rate of progression of this pandemic in our country. It was reported only a few days after the video in question went viral that at least five students who were on vacation in Florida for spring break ended up testing positive for COVID-19.

Because some people are refusing to cooperate with the government’s orders of social distancing and only going out when it is absolutely mandatory, popular tourist spots in Florida are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Miami Beach closed South Beach indefinitely, followed by Fort Lauderdale and Clearwater, who closed all of their beaches until further notice.

Other states, such as California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, along with many others, have implemented a “lockdown” of their state, where those who live there are mandated to stay at home at all times unless it is absolutely unavoidable to do so. Michigan’s lockdown starts today, March 24, and will go through April 14 after they saw a 600% increase in confirmed cases over the weekend.