- The 2019 Coronavirus had its first cases in Wuhan, China and has since become a major concern.
- The WHO has declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a "pandemic."
- Many governing entities have declared a state of emergency.
- There is not yet a known cure or vaccine. Your essential oils aren't helping you, Karen.
- The CDC, and anyone with any authority to make announcements, advises everyone to wash your hands often.
- China has a lot of quarantining going on.
- Italy's northern section is completely shut off.
- As of 6am ET on March 10, 2020, there were over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States alone.
- On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a "pandemic."
- At 3pm ET on March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency.
- As of 5pm ET on March 13, 2020, there were over 2,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
- As of March 15, 2020, there are over 3,000 confirmed cases in the United States.
- As of March 16, 2020, there are over 4,000 confirmed cases in the United States.
- As of March 18, 2020, there are over 9,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US. I'm also not doing any more of these because it's going up faster than I can keep up with.
- As of 9pm ET on March 26, 2020, there are 85,268 confirmed cases and 1293 deaths in the US.
Check this page occasionally to keep up with the latest updates on the novel Coronavirus.
Joked about while it was starting in late 2019 as the plague of the 2020s to be akin to the Black Plague and other plagues in decades' 20s, the coronavirus has spread over the last few months to the world, making it no joke. Everyone's in a frenzy about it, but what is it, and why?
What is a "coronavirus?"
A coronavirus, not specifically the one going around right now, is a kind of virus that causes a respiratory illness. It is named after its "crown-like" shape. They are somewhat rare and can cause some colds, although most strains don't cause much damage. The current coronavirus, often referred to as COVID-19 (which stands for COronaVIrus Disease 2019), is one of those rare forms that have been lethal; that is, a notable number of people have died. No coronavirus has a cure or vaccine. COVID-19 may be concerning for that reason alone.
How are people reacting to COVID-19?
Many people are stressing about the coronavirus. Since there's no vaccine, nothing can really stop you from getting it, except good hygiene and staying away from people who have it. Quarantines are good for that. All known coronavirus carriers, at least in the US, have been quarantined and many who are suspected (officially) to have the coronavirus are also quarantined, just in case.
As for schools and universities, some have closed. Others have switched to online for the rest of the semester. Others still have cancelled field trips and are considering limiting other after-school activities. Some places have started enforcing limits on gatherings, banning certain group sizes to prevent the spread of the disease.
The following events and changes have occurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Mobile World Congress: cancelled
- SXSW: cancelled
- Coachella: cancelled
- Google I/O: cancelled
- E3: cancelled
- XFL: Seattle Dragons home games limited to participants (no fans), other games are uncertain
- NCAA tournament: cancelled
- NASCAR: The races have transitioned to virtual. So pretty much e-sports.
- Disneyworld: closed
- Amazon, IBM, others: advises employees to work from home
- Apple: stores closed, employees advised to work from home
- Anything else: just assume it's cancelled, but double-check to make sure it's not changed to be online
Google I/O [someone confirm this for me] was initially set to be on livestream only, then plans changed and it was cancelled. Since not enough is known about the coronavirus, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down just yet (China's numbers are probably skewed), many events throughout the year, including conferences, concerts, field trips, and missions trips, have been cancelled. E3 conferences, however, may happen online, such as (one of?) Xbox's usual appearance(s).
Many schools nationwide have closed, and many churches are following suit. Wake County Public School System has made the decision to close schools after a Fuquay-Varina Elementary School teacher tested positive for the disease. Many states have shut down all public schools, and many other school systems have closed on their own.
On March 11, 2020, a media briefing was held by the WHO about the coronavirus. In this meeting, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (I'm not going to even try to pronounce that) opened the briefing including the following statement: "WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
The WHO Director-General adds, "Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly," citing that wrong use can "cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death." Declaring COVID-19 as a pandemic does not "change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do." The world is working together and working hard to defeat the coronavirus.
In stranger news, toilet paper appears to be out of stock all over the place. Our local Walmart is sold out, for one. There are plenty of memes going around publicizing this unusual issue. It is mostly unusual because COVID-19 is not widespread enough for toilet paper to be sold out everywhere (even on Amazon!) and it doesn't have any symptoms that would need that much toilet paper. Tissues are understandable, but the utter shortage of toilet paper astounds me. Many more things are beginning to sell out as people are stockpiling for the apocalypse.
On March 13, President Donald Trump declared for the US a "national emergency," which enables the government to take necessary actions, such as move around money, to curb the coronavirus. Not too long after, many more cases were discovered, bringing the total over the two-thousand threshold.
A few days ago, China's normally censored social media did not censor citizens blaming the United States for creating the Coronavirus, among other concerns. Now, China is threatening America by withholding "life-saving coronavirus drugs." China has also made threats in the past due to the United States' support of the Hong Kong protests.
Watching the news slowly fall silent over the last few days has been eerie. Schools that were previously declaring they would stay open have violated their own promise for the greater good. Many states closed all public schools, and churches are also closing or going online. The utter silence, the waiting game for this all to blow over, is astounding. All we can do for the next few weeks is wait. The vaccine is not scheduled for human testing until June. We don't know if China is skewing their numbers to corroborate their claims of having a cure or if they actually have one. The world is silent. We wait.
When will this end?
The CDC has said SARS-CoV-2 should keep schools, among other things, closed for up to eight weeks. However, the outlook is not good, because over the course of two days the coronavirus cases have spiked to nearly 10,000 – and deaths have surpassed 100 – in the US alone! Even introverts are suffering from this social distancing we're all forced to. Going back to school (if you don't have online) will be absolute hell. The economy will take a long time to recover, even if a vaccine can appear in advance of its human testing. In short, we don't know when this madness will be finally over.
This story is not complete. It may take some time for any (positive) developments to surface. Please keep checking this post. Follow the news, and follow me at @[email protected] for updates on the Coronavirus pandemic.