COVID-19 gains control one sneeze at a time

By Juanita Medrano
Pulse Staff Reporter

Photo of a nail salon employee and a client wearing facemasks.
Nail salon employees and clients adjust to the new reality.

It seems like the year 2020 couldn’t get any worse with the tragic events of COVID-19. All of this reminds me of that movie “Contagion” that came out in 2011, and it seems like we are going through that today all over the world.

First, wildfires engulfed nearly an entire continent. Next, the death of an inspirational icon, Kobe Bryant, and now a novel virus that is swallowing the entire world in a matter of weeks. At first, the world didn’t take it seriously and ignored the virus . People continued to do their normal routine by poking fun and making memes about how ridiculous this virus sounded. Then, the case numbers rose and spread from one edge of the world to the other. Before we could comprehend what was going on, people were fighting over toilet paper and standing in line at grocery stores three hours prior to their doors opening.

Just in the past month, the number of cases here in the U.S. skyrocketed with New York at the epicenter. Studies show in two months time, cases were doubling by the day. The total number of cases in Texas is currently 43,586 with 1,218 deaths as of today, May 14, 2020. The total number in the U.S. is 1,442,852 cases with 86,584 deaths. Across the country, only essential jobs are open. Social distancing is in effect and shutdowns are in place.

Nicole Gutierrez, a freshman Cosmetology major, said, “I go to school for cosmetology, and I work at a nearby nail salon and we had to close our doors due to the governor’s appeal to keep only essential jobs open. It’s hard not being able to continue with my passion due to the coronavirus, but the safety of my clientele is important and so is mine.”

Samuel Tovar, a concerned 20-year-old neighbor, made a connection to “Contagion,” the blockbuster movie.

“This feels unreal or like a bad nightmare nobody can wake up from,” said Tovar. “I work at an essential job dealing with customers that come from every corner of the country, and we never know who they’ve come in contact with. Like other essential jobs, we’ve taken our precautions, but customers don’t necessarily understand our measured safety.”

Along with non-essential jobs, like bars, gyms and clothing stores, most schools moved the 2019-2020 school year from classrooms to online classes to finish the remainder of the school year.

Jake Garza, a local restaurant manager at Laguna Madre, said restaurants are handling the new 25% of dining-in capacity mandates.

Garza said, “Customers tend to get short-fused because our dining rooms are closed, but we try to help with whatever we can. Deliveries, curbside orders, and apps, like Uber Eats and Postmates, help us get to the customer in this time of confusion.”

This epidemic is far from over. Considering the short-handed hospitals and equipment shortages across the country, the amount of recovered cases isn’t fully known. Society has to continue to stay safe and take the precautions that officials have given us because that’s the only way we beat this virus.

We must all wear a mask when out in public and stay six feet apart from others; officials are warning those who don’t wear masks in public will face a fine or jail time. Frequently washing your hands decreases the chances of transmission. Remember, if you aren’t feeling well, stay home and stay safe. We all want to visit with our families and friends, but the safest way to do that would be through Facetime, Skype and phone calls.

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