Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Through April

Samantha Bender, Assistant News Editor

“The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. Therefore we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread,” President Donald Trump announced at a White House news conference on Sunday.

Central senior, Taylor Violette, would have liked to see this happen sooner as so many people have already been infected. 

“I almost wish they took more precaution when they found out two/three cases were near or in Connecticut, just so that the social distancing [guidelines] didn’t have to be extended,” Violette said.

Trump had already announced 15-day social distancing guidelines two weeks ago, which were set to expire on Monday. 

Though he had previously suggested that Easter, on April 12, was a potential date that the country could return back to normal, this announcement disproved his earlier predictions.

“We can expect that by June 1st we will be well on our way to recovery. We think by June 1st a lot of great things will be happening. Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” Trump added at the news conference.

Trump was also persuaded by experts on the White House Coronavirus Task Force that a travel advisory was preferable to the strict quarantine he was considering to establish in New York. He announced Saturday afternoon that he might impose a ban on travel in and out of New York state, parts of Connecticut and New Jersey; hours later,Trump advocated a strong travel advisory instead.

Many students, including Central senior Emily Cook, are concerned that those who continue to disregard the social distancing guidelines will make the quarantine period longer for everybody and perpetuate the spread of the virus. 

“I think that the majority of college students are still surrounding themselves with their friends rather than sitting home isolated,” Cook said. “I think college students do not acknowledge the seriousness of this and think they are invincible.”

Trump said the administration is working to keep the projected death toll below 100,000, and forecast the large number of deaths that would result if drastic measures were not taken to combat and slow the outbreak.

“So if we can hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000, it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100 and 200,000, we all together have done a very good job,” Trump stated.

Junior Veronica Sullivan knows all too well the importance of social distancing, especially to protect those with compromised immune systems as she lives with her pregnant sister and has a boyfriend with severe asthma. She was not surprised to see that Trump had extended the guidelines.

“This disease is unlike anything most of the current population has faced in their lifetime, and everyone is scrambling to find the most ideal way possible to handle the situation. We are figuring it out as it spreads from country to country, from person to person,” Sullivan said. “It’s all a guessing game at this point, and unfortunately many lives are being lost in the process.”

White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci noted the country could see millions of infections and up to 200,000 deaths, though nothing is certain. 

“It’s unnerving to lose your freedom and abandon aspects of your day to day life that were once normal to you, especially not knowing how long this will last,” Sullivan said. “But overall, I feel like Trump’s decision to extend the guidelines is for the better.”