What could be causing local COVID-19 spikes?


Breanna Moore, Layout and Design Manager

Of everything that has occurred during this insane year of 2020, the most prominent and infamous atrocity that we have had to go through has been COVID-19, also known as coronavirus. The pandemic has changed our ways of living in countless forms, and some of them are not for the better. I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I can’t wait for the virus to become less of a threat so that we can all go back to our regular lives. However, recently throughout Illinois there have been COVID-19 hotspots and gradual increases in confirmed cases. A few months ago when our state reopened, it seemed as though things were only going to get better, but now it almost appears that they might have taken a turn for the worst. So what might be causing these COVID-19 spikes?

One reason that I believe these spikes in cases are occurring is due to the fact that not everyone wears a mask or facial protection while in a public place. While wearing a mask does not 100 percent completely prevent the spread of germs, it slows the spread of the virus and can help protect you and the people around you from possible exposure to COVID-19. People who go into public places and choose to not wear a mask are not only putting themselves at risk for infection, but also anyone that they happen to be around. Unless someone has a medical condition that makes wearing a mask difficult or not an option, everyone should be wearing them to help slow the virus down. I feel as though I see more people not wearing masks than I see people wearing them, which is probably why the number of confirmed cases continues to climb.

Another reason, which can be tied back to wearing a mask, is non-essential businesses and locations reopening. When these businesses opened their doors once again, they had new regulations and precautions to take into consideration to do their part in keeping their employees and customers healthy. However, I feel as though not all businesses are truly enforcing these regulations. I have seen several stores that have a sign on the door stating that a mask is required to enter, yet the people who I saw inside didn’t have any on. To me, it appeared as though the business had the visible notice on the door, yet weren’t actually enforcing it. Also, many businesses have requested that their customers follow social distancing protocols by maintaining a six-foot distance between each other, but are people actually following those guidelines? 

It is also important to realize the number of people who are going to these businesses. After being quarantined during the stay at home order, people are anxious to get out of the house and go do things with others. Shopping centers and sources of entertainment quickly began to fill up in the excitement of Illinois reopening. Even now that these businesses have been open for a few months, the general public still flock to these locations. These are perfect places for the coronavirus to spread in large numbers, especially if people are not staying home when they have symptoms or choose to not wear a mask. 

While society is trying its hardest to go back to the way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic, we must face the fact that this virus exists among us now and the chance of it fully disappearing is slim at the moment. People need to be aware of their own health conditions and have concern for those around them. Collectively as a community, we need to be aware of these things and with what is going on around us. Hopefully by doing so, these spikes in COVID-19 will diminish and we can come closer to everything going back to normal.

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