By Thomas McDonald
As of March 19th, 2020, the United States has 9,479 cases of COVID-19 also known as the Coronavirus. We know that this number is probably much higher and rising as we speak. With the numbers growing, the country faces a major shift from work and school in person into an online and over the phone medium. Companies are making their employees work from home and are taking extensive measures to make sure the spread of the virus does not happen within the workplace. At school, kids are being sent home for months and colleges and universities are shifting to online classes such as the ones we are seeing here at Bryant University. America is really starting to take this virus seriously and the immediate impact can be felt in many communities as thousands of stores, theatres, and resorts are all being closed.
This virus is somewhat causing a panic for some Americans and many of the grocery stores are running out of food and basic supplies due to the hysteria and overpreparing of some people. To combat this grocery stores are staying open while limiting hours to allow for cleaning and restocking of store shelves. We know that the Coronavirus is an extremely contagious virus and across the country people are taking cautious measures to not end up sick or infect others. Those who are sick are being quarantined and the government is suggesting people stay at least 6 feet apart from each other. In addition, here in the state of Massachusetts where I live, as well as many other states, government officials are warning that they will disperse any gathering that exceeds 25 people.
Online, people are stressing about the importance of social distancing strategies so that the spreading can be reduced. Many people in high places have Coronavirus like actors such as Tom Hanks and Idris Elba. Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell two basketball players for the Utah Jazz, also tested positive for COVID-19 thus prompting an NBA season shutdown. Coronavirus has even reached all the way to Washington as Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, and Ben McAdams, are the first two members of Congress who have said they tested positive for COVID-19. As of March 19, 2020, President Trump has signed $100 billion relief bill just to show the severity of this outbreak. Anyone is susceptible to this disease and you can be a carrier of it without knowing so its very easy to accidently spread. People can also be contagious for as long as two weeks, so quarantine is a huge priority for the whole country. Coronavirus is stable for hours on surfaces so even distancing yourself can have no effect if you touch or go to an area that has been infected previously. The world has never seen an outbreak this widely spread, and many people seem scared or just anxious in what the future holds. In this time of caution, we are advised to stay were we are and try to limit our interactions with people as much as possible