I Never Expected It Either


Taken from the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center website and depicts the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Minnesota up until 5/11/2020.

Katherine Sun, Staff Writer

      You never think it’ll happen to you. Until it does. Two months ago, my parents called me while I was sitting in fourth hour. I was confused; knowing my parents, they would never interrupt school or classes unless it was something unthinkably serious. 

      They were supposed to be driving to Chicago to meet with our soon-to-be in-laws, as my sister, Dana, was supposed to get married in August, but they told me they were heading back. 

      My sister’s fiancé’s parents had gotten a call that their friends tested positive for COVID-19 – the same friends they had just travelled to Egypt with.

      Everything was cancelled. My parents turned around, and our in-laws returned to their home in Texas. However, unaware of the situation at the time, they had already eaten dinner with my sister and her fiancé, Kevin. My sister reported the situation to her university’s health services. She and Kevin quarantined for several weeks. 

      Being on the receiving end of this information was terrifying. Although Kevin’s parents didn’t show any symptoms, we all knew that the disease is notorious, and most frightening, for being able to hide under the radar. 

      As time passed, we waited impatiently first for testing kits and then for the results. Kevin’s mom began to fall more and more ill. I hoped for the best but was faced with the reality of the terrible virus. I could feel what the results were going to be. 

      The call from my sister confirmed that feeling. Kevin’s parents both tested positive for COVID-19. 

      Soon, the local news stations heard about their cases and wasted no time in reporting them to the public. Neighbors, strangers, and community members were shocked and many gossiped with hostility. They were running out of food and basic living items. They were even banned from services like Uber Eats. They were ostracized. 

      However, with the help of the selfless individuals who delivered groceries to their porch and offered their support virtually, Kevin’s parents were able to recover. Several weeks later, they tested negative. 

      It might be tempting to ignore the pandemic because you’re not a part of it. But this story is proof that it can happen to any of us. In reality, you are part of the pandemic. Every time you decide to leave the house with your friend, every time you choose to not wear a mask, every time you go to your cabin or boat, you could unknowingly be responsible for infecting and killing a person.

      What’s more is that confirmed COVID-19 cases are growing exponentially in Minnesota. The curve is not flattening. At all. 

       We see evidence of this in the thousands of visualizations produced by universities and global organizations, the most comprehensive of which is Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Research Center (https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html). Johns Hopkins is condensing mass amounts of COVID data into easily comprehensible and accessible visualizations. People around the world can gage the global situation with just a click of a button. 

      However, millions of people are neglecting this data. When I showed friends, family, and peers the current graph of Minnesota’s total confirmed COVID cases, many were shocked.  

      So let’s look at the data and believe it. Let’s stay home, be smart, and have compassion.

      Let’s feel for all the doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and numerous others who are putting their lives on the line to help us. Let’s feel for ourselves–for our own fall semesters, for our chance to actually go outside care-free again, for our future happiness, not just a fleeting moment in the short-term. 

      I know we can overcome this, so let’s work together. But from our own homes.