To me, surviving through a crisis means not falling into peer pressure.

In the United States, there are contrasting mindsets at all levels. On one end of the spectrum, people are staying indoors and dressing up in masks and gloves, while on the other end of the spectrum, people are roaming about and not acknowledging the threat of the virus. Even in the context of the private sector, many businesses have to decide whether to let go of their employees to protect their bottom-line or take emergency loans to keep their staff on payroll. Wherever you look, you see people faced with two extreme options and having to make decisions based on limited resources and knowledge—decisions that will impact hundreds of millions of lives.

Even the average American citizen plays a vital role in balancing the health ecosystem. Many young adults and teenagers are not taking the threat seriously; they think they are immune to the virus because the media initially reported that the virus only affects the elderly population. However, many young adults are carriers for the disease, in which they themselves are asymptomatic but can spread the novel coronavirus everywhere they go. As a result, young adults are tasked with an even greater call to action: a moral responsibility to stay indoors and prevent the spreading of the disease.

Unfortunately, people my age don’t listen. All over social media, you can see these young adults going to the mall, road trips, restaurants, or even the local park. They are willing to go anywhere and do anything just to escape the intense pressure of boredom that arises from self-quarantine.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s tempting. Every time I look online and see an Instagram story or Snapchat of a friend outside hiking or playing basketball, adrenaline starts to rush through my body, begging me to go outside and join them. As soon as I start thinking of breaking out of self-quarantine and hanging out with my friends, common sense and rationale kicks in and forces me to stay put.

After all, staying indoors and not physically meeting people can and will save lives.


– Amal Bhatnagar and Apaar Bhatnagar, Atlanta, United States

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