Reading Response 3-Barclay

Eliza Barclay’s article How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart captures the essence of uncertainty during this time. The article describes the necessary actions needed to be taken by citizens to “flatten the curve” but ultimately only leaves the reader confused about their role during this time. The contradiction during this time is paramount and is obviously captured in Barclay’s article. Experts’ opinions about the future of the coronavirus in the United States are littered throughout the article in an effort to gain the public’s attention and persuade them to take the necessary precautions against the virus; however, no one truly knows the outcome of this virus.

Throughout this time we see such a contradiction between abundance and scarcity as well as isolation and unity. The article shows the abundance of media representation and the overwhelming possibility of thousands of deaths. On the other hand, we see that the virus has led to the scarcity of medical supplies, hand sanitizer, ventilators, accurate test kits, and even toilet paper. During this uncertain time, people want to flock to their support groups to find comfort yet we are advised to distance ourselves. Terms such as “self-isolation” and “self-quarantining” only emphasize the feeling of loneliness. The media offers further confusion by insisting to the public that “together is the only way we will survive this,” yet many people are finding themselves alone for the foreseeable future. Ultimately, there is no correct way to navigate this time but the most responsible thing to do is to listen to the experts and to stay home, stay educated, and find ways to stay engaged with others while keeping your social distance.


Barclay, Eliza, and Dylan Scott. “How Canceled Events and Self-Quarantines Save Lives, in One Chart.” Vox, Vox, 10 Mar. 2020,