Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, is still highly active and rapidly spreading. It has already been a year since the coronavirus was discovered. People believed that things would naturally improve as time went by, as the different seasons came and went. However, the situation has gotten worse. The fact is that the number of confirmed cases did not continuously or steadily fall over the year. Sometimes the number of infections decreased, at other times cases stabilized, but the number of new infections a day is increasing. Despite the efforts of many people, the number of confirmed cases continues to rise, and many people feel devastated. At the end of 2020, the government was considering whether to raise the social distancing level to 3. Those in favor wanted the government to implement new restrictions quickly. On the contrary, some people opposed raising the social distancing level to 3. In fact, the social distancing level must not be raised to 3.
Raising the social distancing level to 3 would limit people’s daily lives too much. It is simply unrealistic. To illustrate this, if social distancing measures are increased, people would be prohibited from gathering inside public amenities and, except for essential businesses, many businesses would have to suspend their operations. In addition, the operations of many outdoor public facilities would be suspended. For meetings and events, more than 10 people would not be allowed to gather, and watching sports in person would not be allowed. Regarding transportation, excluding aircraft, reservations would be limited to 50 percent or lower. There would also be stricter limits on religious activity, and no work-related social gatherings would be allowed. Raising the social distancing level to 3 would affect one’s living, one’s diet, one’s state of mind, and limit one’s satisfaction of natural needs. In other words, one would not be able to do anything except stay at home.
Students will continue to study from home as their classes are remote. This may have positive effects, but there are more negative effects. Since students are studying at home in their own environment, some are unable to concentrate fully on their studies since no one is watching over them. So remote learning is definitely not effective for them. As for exams, this situation may be the worst. First of all, there is a problem with the fairness of tests. Students are taking tests in places without proctors, and even though they are monitored online, there are limits to this. Students are not guaranteed to cheat, but some may do so when it is possible in many ways, for instance, sharing answers with friends or getting help from another during exams.
Working from home would be mandatory except for essential workers. Economic activity for many could come to a halt. However, people must continue to live their lives. Just as the economy has to keep going, just as students must go to school, adults have to go to work. Everyone has one's duty. Work is related to one's property and possessions, and, if one’s work is something that affects others, the cost of working from home can be huge.
Social distancing measures should be enforced region by region up to level 2.5. Each local government should be able to raise or lower social distancing levels, but raising the level to 3 is different. Regardless of whether there are many additional local infections or not, level 3 would be applied nationwide. Therefore, it is not easy to obtain consent from local governments in regions with fewer confirmed cases. This is one of the reasons why the government is still only considering raising the social distancing level. As it is difficult and unrealistic to increase the level to 3, people should not think complacently that they will not get infected or that they will get sick even if infected. Everyone should be more careful. A lot of people are having a hard time during the pandemic. But maybe this fight is not far off being won. People should continue to pay attention to prevention measures and refrain from meeting their loved ones, friends, and neighbors. People should not give up. Nobody is alone.
Seyoung Jeong Agriculture and Life Sciences/Senior
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