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Area Youth

Updated: Apr 8, 2020

By Valeria Quezada What started out at as dozens of cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause in China late in December has turned into a global pandemic known as the Coronavirus. The Coronavirus has similar symptoms to the flu; cough, fever, tiredness, and difficulty breathing. The lives of teenagers, children, adults, and the elderly are being turned upside down as the issue escalates. We are being urged to stay at home. Students are doing online classwork and adults are being told to work from home. Grandparents are especially being kept at a distance, since they are affected more by the COVID-19. Personally, I am a junior at the Early College High School, and it was incredible to see how fast the virus escalated. It changed my day-to-day routine significantly and made me adapt to a whole new routine. It is safe to say that my fellow classmates and other teens feel the same way.

The COVID-19 stripped away many sports seasons, band competitions, and other events for many school-led organizations. As a precaution to this dangerous virus, we are being kept home from our friends, our “normal” school routine, and other activities that played a huge role in our lives prior to the virus. In some ways, it is possible to say that the people weren’t prepared for everything that COVID-19 brought. Many jokes, memes, and other humors comments were circulated by people of different ages before the number of people affected escalated significantly. Now, it’s scary to think that anyone can be affected and not know for a number of weeks. During those weeks the virus can spread to more people. It is especially difficult for families to adapt to this change. Especially for parents who typically work, but now have their kids at home every day. Everyone is having to adapt to the new circumstances, especially as new results and changes emerge every single day. The most interesting thing is seeing how local teenagers are responding to the COVID-19, especially since they are at an age where they can respond more maturely to such situations. Chasity Olivas, who is a senior and works at Southwest Pharmacy said, “ It is really crazy and scary honestly. I didn’t think it would ever be in New Mexico and now that it is, it won’t stop growing. It worries me for the people who are more at risk. I just hope everyone follows the isolation guidance rules so we can prevent as many cases at possible.” Recent graduate Bryan Pulido says, “the Coronavirus has affected people’s lives drastically and it will in the near future too. When we first heard of the virus, we didn’t take it seriously, we joked about it and never thought that it would affect us. Now that we are being told to stay at home we realize how serious the problem is. The virus is affecting not only us, but our families and friends, and the families and friends of others. If we don’t follow the instructions that we are receiving about staying at home and social distancing, we could suffer a raise on deaths reported and our economy could be drastically affected as well. That is why it is so important to follow the rules so that we can protect the ones we love and ensure a good future.” Adriana Ramirez, 17, explains, “The pandemic right now, is something we should all definitely take serious, even us as teenagers who are rarely affected by it. It’s something we would rarely expect, we haven’t seen something like this since the Ebola outbreak, which barely even affected America. At first, I did think everyone was overreacting by stocking up on stuff, such as toilet paper, meat, cleaning supplies, but then the cases of COVID-19 increased steadily in the next few days in New Mexico. I think it’s very important for everyone to wash their hands, and to stay home, even if they are not infected, unless for necessary essentials and such. Doing so would help the disease from spreading. However, it does make me sad that many of my senior friends will probably not have the chance to experience their last moments as they have wished for, but it is for the better.” During these moments, it is more important than ever to realize that it is important to maintain social distance, wash our hands, and follow all the instructions given to us by the New Mexico Department of Health, the City of Carlsbad, and other higher authority. The more closely instructions are followed, the quicker the spread of the COVID-19 will be stopped and put to an end in the months to follow. Anyone who feels they are becoming ill and thinks they might have COVID-19 is urged not to go to the Carlsbad Medical Center, the emergency room, or a personal physician. Instead, call 1-855-600-3453 to reach the New Mexico Department of Health.

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