McMicken (copy)

The College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Cincinnati.

Britain is currently amid a lockdown after the country detected a more contagious coronavirus variant beginning its reign. That’s some swift and brutal action right there, but it’s arguably necessary. After a single variant case in Brisbane, Australia, the city went into an emergency three-day lockdown to prevent immediate spread. In South Africa, a differing variant emerged, with this one just as deadly as the first. In Brazil, another.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, these variants could become the majority of coronavirus cases in the U.S. by March. That’s two months of spread and a dominating new virus.

Why, then, is it that we saw a more contagious variant emerge in Colorado almost a month ago, but met the discovery with little action to combat spread?

If Biden’s serious about garnering “war-time” efforts in stopping the ever-increasing spread of the coronavirus and its nasty new variant, he and other government officials who also claim to hold science in the highest regard might want to consider more drastic actions. He has made the first step in recent days, imposing a ban on non-U.S. citizens traveling into the country.

However, we already have a more contagious variant on this side of the Atlantic. The crisis is far from eliminated, as we must see immediate behavioral change from American citizens themselves to prevent spread– sadly, this might mean government-imposed restrictions on our daily happenings.

On a local level, where virus spread is deemed as extremely high risk according to The New York Times (like a majority of counties in the U.S.), we should at the very least make restaurants take-out only and impose tighter restrictions on in-person activities in general. We still aren’t doing that.

Yet, if we were truly meeting this crisis with as much strength as it’s hitting us with, we would implement another lockdown. And by that, I mean a stay-at-home order, not a recommendation or a suggestion or a plea. Although essential workers would, of course, be excused from this. Your mom who works at a law firm should not be working in-person. Your friend who works for a grocery store should. It’s as simple as that, but these distinctive regulations on our daily activities won’t happen unless there’s a higher power enforcing it.

I know, stay-at-home orders sound absurd– I can already hear people complaining: “We already did that and it was terrible.” But it did the job. Once we knew that there was risk of spread, we immediately halted our business and did what we had to do to prevent further damage.

If our leaders on both a national and local level don’t come to realize that drastic action is needed in places where virus cases and deaths are continually on the rise, what kind of leaders are they, truly? Like people have said repeatedly the last year, this is going to get worse before it gets better. Did we all really think the worst would be gone by now? News flash, it’s not, and it desperately needs to be addressed with as much oomph as we gave it last April.