Health expert explains what could happen if people don’t comply with social distancing orders

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CHICAGO — Health officials say this is a make-or break moment in the country’s fight to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

One health expert explained what could happen if people don’t comply with stay-at-home orders from local leaders. 

The New York Times shared graphics showing what new infections of COVID-19 could look like by June if U.S residents do nothing to stop the virus’ spread.

University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dr. Ronald Hershow, who is the director of the division of epidemiology and biostatics at UIC’s School of Public Health, said it’s our civil responsibility to stay home, wash our hands and practice social distancing if we hope to slow the spread of covid 19.

“We have to observe and adhere to these recommendations to socially distance ourselves and to not do so would be at our great peril,” he said.

Over the weekend, the governors of both New York and California strongly condemned people, including spring breakers who were hanging out, interacting as usual and not practicing social distancing.

“There is a density level in NYC that is wholly inappropriate. You would think there was nothing going on,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

“Those young people out there on the beach thinking this is a party, time to grow up, time to wake up, it’s time to recognize, it’s not just about the old folks, it’s about your impact on their lives, don’t be selfish,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

Lori Post, director of Buehler Center for Health Policy and Economic at Northwestern University, said we can expect a rise in COVID-19 cases in the next couple of weeks because of the spring breakers and states that have not enacted strict social controls.

The New York Times graphic did offer some hope if we did follow strict social distancing and control policies.

But Post said the policy is only as good as the people who practice it.


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