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A Pandemic Right Before Our Eyes

by Shelby Willis

As we all know, COVID-19 has impacted our nation like nothing we have seen in years, or decades even. On March 9, 2020, the widespread virus hit home when Gov. Edwards announced the first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in Louisiana. 

The virus began in Jefferson Parish and has since spread like wildfire. In only three weeks, the number of cases skyrocketed from one to 4,025 and counting, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

On March 13, Gov. Edwards signed a proclamation to close public schools and universities across the state. On March 16, Gov. Edwards ordered an immense number of businesses to close, and on March 22, he issued a statewide stay-at-home order to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. 

While this illness is affecting the entire world, it is deeply impacting our classmates, family, coworkers, colleagues, and neighbors here in the Shreveport-Bossier area. According to the Shreveport Times, Caddo Parish has seen around 200 positive cases of COVID-19 and at least five related deaths. Around 60 Bossier Parish residents have also tested positive for the virus. 

"These numbers are very concerning to me,'' Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins said at a news conference on March 27, "and they should be concerning to everybody. This is why I continue to stress staying home right now. If you must go out, make sure you're practicing social distancing and staying at least six feet away from anybody else you might come in contact with.''

The CDC suggests that everyone stays home, cleans and disinfects regularly, washes hands frequently, and watches for symptoms among themselves and those around them.