by James Solley
When I walk into a classroom at the beginning of the semester, students wonder, is that the teacher? But no, I’m just the old guy in the class. I take classes because I became out-of-date technically and in today’s world that is not acceptable.
We are all now living through a pandemic. The World Health Organization definition is “A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world, and most people do not have immunity.”
On March 23, what does the CDC tell us that we are living through with COVID-19? (updated March 26, 2020)
● United States – 69,026 cases
● United States – 1,037 deaths
● New York – 33,013 cases
● California – 3,180 cases
● Texas – 1,303 cases
● Maine – 142 cases
● Falmouth Maine Oceanview Retirement Community – 6 cases with 3 in hospital
Who is affected by COVID-19?
● 85% of cases are mild similar to the flu but 15% of the cases require medical assistance
● In Italy, 25% of the cases are young people between the ages of 19 to 40.
● 90% of deaths are people over the age of 60.
● The virus severely affects people whose immune system is compromised.
● The virus also affects healthy young people in a mysterious manner – my daughter is
following a case of a healthy 40 year-old in Connecticut who has been in a coma for over
What is Social Distancing?
● Forbes website says “Social distancing is a public health strategy attempting to prevent or slow the spread of an infectious pathogen like a virus. It includes any method to keep
people physically separate from each other because physical proximity is how many
pathogens go from one body to another. This includes isolating people who are infected,
quarantining people who may have infected, and keeping people separate from each
other in general.”
Why should young people comply with Social Distancing?
● To protect your parents and grandparents – the faster we stop the virus from spreading
the safer everyone will be.
● To prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed – without social distancing the
number of cases will double every three days. Within a month the number of cases will
be 1,000 times higher – just do the math!
● Hospitals in Italy have become overwhelmed and 8% of people getting the virus die.
Most countries are only experiencing a 1-2% death rate.
● If US hospitals become overwhelmed our death rate will explode like Italy.
I am old and I know that my immune system is not what it used to be. My body loves to play jokes on me and I am continually going through some fine tuning and servicing by health professionals. I know that for me Social Distancing is a must. My odds if I get the virus are not the same as younger students. So, for me the gamble is not worth it – I will practice Social Distance. I am asking younger students to also exercise Social Distancing for your grandparents and other old students like me. Let’s stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus before our hospitals can no longer take new patients! Thanks for your help!