Life lately has been something out of a dystopic novel that I avidly read in the sixth grade. People are desperately throwing unnecessary amounts of disinfectant wipes, food and water bottles into their Walmart carts as they skate through each aisle. At this point, you’re lucky to find one of an item, let alone three on the shelves.

Our colleges and workplaces have shut down, leaving everyone to fend for themselves. Students have to switch to purely online classes. Businesses are bleeding money by shutting down, and no one wants to risk catching the coronavirus by going shopping anyways.

Honestly, it can be kind of scary when I really stop to think about it. Not only is it frustrating and upsetting that retreats, sporting events and social gatherings are being canceled, but it’s also stressful, more so for some people.

I didn’t realize how close to home this virus is and how it actually affects me and those in my family and community. When you read about horrifying events on the news, it’s easy to be disconnected from them. Although it may be disheartening to read, I often quickly move since there are more important things in my life.

This time, it’s different.

I think that instead of turning to our natural, selfish, human ways of life, we should be filled with compassion and be looking out for others. Maybe there’s an older neighbor down your street who is terrified to go to the grocery store; offer to get groceries for them or take care of things for them around the house.

Thankfully, everyone in my family is relatively healthy and doesn’t have a compromised immune system, but others aren’t that lucky. I think we should do our best to stay at home as much as possible. Even though this can be claustrophobic or boring (especially considering the fact that next week is spring break for most people), I think it’s important for everyone to do their part.