By Celia Zevon
Junior Connor McLaughlin, who became ill with COVID-19, is emphasizing the importance of social distancing. McLaughlin self-isolated for two weeks as he separated himself from friends and family in order to recover and prevent the illness from spreading. He feels that it is important to self-isolate, because it protects your friends, family and strangers from getting sick.
“When I found out I had the virus, I was terrified knowing I could have infected my parents. Knowing about the virus, it is terrifying knowing that older people are at such high risk,” said McLaughlin.
Despite the challenging transition, McLaughlin maintained social distancing precautions and had a speedy recovery.
“My recovery process was very simple and easy. I had mild symptoms that consisted of a mild headache, and cough, as well as chills, but they didn’t get worse than that,” said McLaughlin.
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) has been working on informing people about COVID-19, among other issues. According to the CDC, there are groups that are at higher risk of getting infected by the virus.
“Individuals at higher risk include people aged 65 years and older, people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled,” said the CDC.
Mclaughlin has used his encounter with COVID-19 to raise awareness on the issue by informing others on the importance of social distancing.
“I used my experience to speak out on social distancing when some reporters interviewed me. I was on the news a couple times and I also spoke on a panel with doctors from Harvard, George Washington and John Hopkins. I was a guest speaker with them on a panel for the National Society of Leadership and Success, I spoke about my experience with the virus and why social distancing is so important because it is not about you, it is about keeping others safe,” said McLaughlin.
“For anyone who is not following state and federal guidelines, you’re simply naive and you should read up on other people’s stories and how they battle with the virus,” said McLaughlin.