Panic is counterproductive, it oftentimes results in short-sighted selfish decisions that could potentially cause harm. Panic causes people to buy and hoard all of the toilet paper, leaving nothing for others. Panic births chaos, chaos creates stress, stress interferes with our body’s defense systems and immunity, therefore panic puts us at a higher risk of becoming susceptible to the very concern we are panicking about.
Leaders have a responsibility to assure the public that they are engaged in decisive measures to fix the problem, merely saying things will be okay is never helpful.
Unsurprisingly, American’s are divided when it comes to their support or lack thereof of the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus. Some argue that the response is simply too little too late, and if officials didn’t downplay COVID-19 early on and took matters more seriously it wouldn’t have spread to 49 states (allegedly West Virginia doesn’t have any cases).
Some Americans believe that interstate travel needs to be halted immediately and that everyone should be quarantined in their homes.
On the other hand, you have Americans that feel our government and their fellow American’s are over-reacting, this group questions whether there’s actually a pandemic, or could this all be a hoax or maybe a distraction from something bigger, they have many different theories about the origin of coronavirus and its supposed intent. Some leaders think it was crafted by the US, who then unleashed it specifically on China, Iran, and Italy.
Then there are those who don’t care about the what, why, where, and how and just want normalcy to return.
Another group fully (read that as blindly) supports anything President Trump’s administration says and would follow them off a cliff.
On Friday, President Donald Trump declared a National Emergency freeing up 50 billion in federal aid including additional resources and funding for officials on the federal, state, and local levels trying to combat the coronavirus.
Trump also announced a travel ban from Europe, (the coronavirus world epicenter) US citizens could still return but would need to self quarantine for 14 days. The ban has since added on the U.K. and Ireland.
EU officials were not happy with Washington’s unilateral decision and stated that the pandemic is a global concern and should be dealt with as such.
Trump also said he would waive interest on federal student loans “until further notice” and that the Department of Energy would purchase crude oil for storage in U.S. reserves.
Drive-thru coronavirus testing sites were also mentioned as well as a website that will be created by google to screen people that wanted to get tested.
Although this virus has been around for months (possibly longer) we really saw a huge shift in the past week or two, when we went from normal everyday life to a “cancel-everything culture”.
Another new phrase you’ve most likely heard is “social distancing” which is the practice of keeping a distance of six feet between you and another human just in case they might be a carrier of the coronavirus. For more on that you can read the CDC’s “implementation of mitigation strategies for communities with local COVID-19 transmission.”
In additional to banning large assemblies of 250 people or more across the country, many other things and places are in the process of shutting down or have already shut down including, grade schools, universities, libraries, pubs, malls, movie theaters, mass transportation, restaurants, church’s, mosques, synagogues, offices, businesses, sporting events (pretty much the whole sports world is on hold). Planes are being grounded, cruise ships are staying docked, add to that travel bans, curfews, limiting hospital and nursing home visitors, as well as non-emergency operations, let’s not forget weddings, parties, etc.
This is what life during a pandemic looks like in the United States. Many countries around the world have also seen a drastic change in their nation’s normality.
Over a hundred nations are taking drastic measures to slow down COVID-19 transmission within their borders.
In Italy, the whole country is practically shut down. The total number of cases including those that recovered is 27,747, and their death toll is currently at 1,809, after a 25% rise.
Spain reports that their deaths have jumped up to 288 in just a day.
In the United Kingdom, police now have the power to arrest COVID-19 patients that refuse to self-isolate. UK’s death toll is up to 35 now after 14 more people died. The total number of cases is currently 1391. Residents over 70 are being asked to self-isolate for four months. Initially the strategy was to rely on building up herd immunity which shocked immunologists explained is usually brought about by vaccination and not just exposing people to the virus.
Iran’s death toll has risen 113 in a day bringing their total number of cases to 13.938 and deaths to 724. Iran is home to the worst coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East. Not only are they dealing with exponentially more cases than neighboring countries, but crippling severe US sanctions are making it very difficult for them to address the rapid spread of COVID-19.
Quarantines have been used by South Korea, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan to bring their numbers down. Keep in mind, actual numbers could be exponentially higher given that the vast majority of the 7.7 billion people around the world have not been tested, and others are asymptomatic.
Currently, Washington State is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States, with the most cases and deaths, current numbers are 40 deaths and over 642 cases. Washington state officials have warned that it’s only a matter of time before other states get to the stage that they are at now and that they should take immediate action to contain and mitigate the virus as much as possible.
Cases on the East Coast are quickly growing, creating the need for containment zones in NY.
Most people right now are living in a state of uncertainty, all we can do is wait and see how this pandemic plays out.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.