Updated: Mar 23, 2020
New reports indicate that teens contracting COVID-19 are in a higher percentile that what was first reported. (Photo by Brooklyn Schultz)
By Brooklyn Schultz
Although no-one in the Branson area has tested positive for the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, results of the COVID-19 worldwide has claimed many lives. There have been seven confirmed cases in neighboring Greene County, which gives the youth of Branson a right to worry.
“I’m not scared of it for me, I’m scared of it for other people.” said Freshman Brynleigh Hill, 15. “If I got it, I know I’d be fine. I’m just worried about other people who wouldn’t be fine.”
Hill has experience in the Theatre at Sight and Sound, Branson Regional Arts Council at Owen’s Theatre and Branson High School productions. She thought reactions to the virus were dramatic.
“At first I thought everyone was overreacting,” she said. “And I still do feel like there is a little bit of an overreaction, but at the same time I get it. Branson has so many people who get their paychecks from shows,” Hill said it doesn’t matter which show in Branson, it will effect all the employees and entertainers.
“Whether that be Sight and Sound or a family show or one of the Branson shows in town, people are going to go broke because of this,” she said.”They can’t work anymore.”
Concerned about the shows closing around town, Hill looks ahead at the future.
“Those who have a year-round show season will probably just close temporarily,” she said. “If their show season is ending now, then they will probably be permanently closed for this year. [For] those for who have a year-round season but do multiple shows, their current show might end up closing depending on the schedule of things.”
Hill is observing Branson’s economic condition.
“The economy is for sure crashing and it’s people like that, people who aren’t salaried and people who get paid by the hour, who are going to lose things because they aren’t getting paid anymore. We don’t know what this is going to look like going forward, but just a month ago this was not what our world looked like.”
A16-year-old, Serena Huels is worried about her family.
“My whole family, all of us, we’re all really worried because if my dad does get the Coronavirus he will die,” she said. “He recently got a fever and we were scared to take him to the hospital because of it. So we are being as safe as we can and we are not really sure what to do if the exact moment happens.”
Her dad has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer were glands lining organs grow exponentially.
“Yeah, I’m scared I’m going to wake up one morning and he’s not going to be there,” Huels said. “It’s so easy for him just to not wake up one morning.”
Spring break for local students is in full swing, but Branson’s shows and other attractions have been shut down. With national and state restrictions, travel is out of the question.
“I feel like I’m in quarantine because of the Coronavirus,” Huels said.“There’s nothing to do.”
Second from left, Serena Huels, 16, is worried about her family and especially her father, far right, since he has been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma and is under treatment.
(Special to Branson Globe)