By Ali Ahmed

Staff Writer

Source: The New York Times

The USA has been rocked by a virus that was initially underestimated. Going from 2,000 cases to 124,000 cases in the span of a few months, students expressed their own fears with High School Junior Muhammad Masood commenting, “It’s scary how fast it grew and how we had to sit back and just watch as it swept our country.” 

As of right now, in both America and Maryland itself, this virus is slowing down, with an estimated 563 new cases per day in Maryland alone in comparison to the 1,275 new cases a day we received back in May and June. With almost 130,000 cases and almost 4000 deaths, Maryland has a mortality rate of 3%, which may sound small but when talking about death, is actually extreme. For comparison, the Influenza Pandemic in 1918 had a mortality rate of about 2.5%, as reported by Stanford. 

With the new addition of phase 3 in Maryland, larger gatherings 

are permitted, unessential travel is allowed, and shops are open to 50%-75% capacity. Some people have very differing opinions about phase 3 in Maryland. Hammond High junior, Thomas Williams expresses his concern, “I think that people will follow it for the most part, but it will probably cause from some problems in other states due to them thinking that this phase just means ‘no masks’ and ‘party all you want.,’” but as always there are two sides to the spectrum. When asked about his thoughts on phase 3 in Maryland, Hammond High Junior Toby Moser simply responded with, “this is poggers”, poggers being a term referring to whatever the topic is being ‘awesome’ or ‘I enjoy that.’ 

On the topic of schools opening up, the opinions remained fixed on the thought that school should be open by early 20-21 if we remain on track. Mason Lisenbee, a Hammond high junior, thinks that we are going to be going back to school as he stated,  “I think [we] will, especially since the precautions on the virus are loosening. We should be on track to be back in person by January, or sooner, and when we do go back I do think we should have some sort of altered schedule to reduce at least some of the interaction between the students. One idea would have A/B days where one half goes one day and the other go the other to reduce the volume of students in the classes and halls, but maybe we won’t even need to do that if it opens up more than we think.”

With COVID-19 cases beginning to slow down, it is possible that life may begin to go back to normal, even an adjusted version. Despite the hesitant hope that Americans hold, the people of Maryland and America need to remember to practice healthy habits and continue to wear masks and social distance.