Opinion: While some are rational, other teens blow coronavirus out of proportion

A+snapshot+of+Rami+Fakih%27s+home+dining+room%2C+filled+with+groceries+to+last+him+and+his+roommate+months.

Photographer: Zuhoor A.

A snapshot of Rami Fakih's home dining room, filled with groceries to last him and his roommate months.

Teens express their reactions to the novel COVID-19 pandemic. Video by Zuhoor A.

Zuhoor A., Reporter

Although some teenagers remain calm and rational about this whole epidemic, others are blowing the COVID-19 way out of proportion due to their lack of education on the virus itself. First of all, scientists and other educated people refer to the virus as “COVID-19” because “coronavirus” is a name for a large array of viruses, and the pandemic we are facing today is merely a strand of the common flu we faced yesterday. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, “There are many different kinds of coronaviruses, and some cause disease,” meaning that others do not. 

The reason teenagers are being dramatic about it is because they are easily influenced by social media, and social media is causing more fear and panic than calm. Teenagers should instead educate themselves by looking at proper scholarly and trusted articles about the actual virus that provide scientific backing as opposed to learning about it through other ignorant teenagers’ opinions, fears, and inferences on social media. Very Well Family states that excessive use of social media “is a very real source of anxiety for many teens,” which is not ideal in this situation. People are already very anxious about the pandemic and need a source that supports and calms them, especially since they are isolated from their friends and some family members.

It is stated by psycom that herd mentality is big on social media, which is an issue because teenagers will often follow what the popular folks are thinking, regardless of how negative or ridiculous it may be. In response to how the coronavirus pandemic makes her feel, S. Panag, a senior at ASD, states that it doesn’t feel real because she hears about how dangerous the virus is every day, yet she does not know anyone who has gotten seriously ill or died. 

Although the worry often stems from an appropriate source such as the fact that the COVID-19 is new and spreading exponentially, these teenagers worry way too much. Along with the fact that only around 3% of the people that get the coronavirus end up dying from it, the New York Times states that the disease in children appears to be relatively rare and mild, with those under 19 making up only 2.4% of the total cases. Teenagers are much less likely than older generations to get the disease let alone die from it.

Regardless, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and other house supplies are leaving supermarkets faster than they came in as people — including the protected youth — prepare for hibernation. Rami Fakih, an 18-year-old college student in Qatar, states, “as soon as it [coronavirus] started moving across countries, I went into panic mode. I literally jumped to the pharmacy, jumped to the supermarket, and just hoarded stuff.” This hoard mentality is a result of fear that the government will close all supermarkets for a long period of time, which is entirely unrealistic, yet it has nevertheless led to massive supply shortages.

Although the bulk buying is a result of fear, it is causing even more fear and panic in people who were not initially too worried about the virus. H. Rakab, a senior at ASD, states, “I believe that my germophobia, and the fact that I can no longer find sanitizers and cleaning products to satisfy it, will affect me more than the coronavirus.” It is not the virus but the people’s reactions towards it that is causing H. Rakab as well as many others short on daily goods to be concerned, due to impulsive hoarding.  

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