In the latter part of 2019, a new strain of Coronavirus came into existence in the Wuhan province of China. Too little was done to curb the spread of the new virus, and as a result it has turned into a global pandemic. It has now made it into every major nation in the world. Here are the stats on this pandemic as of yesterday:
- 153,517 Confirmed Global Cases
- 5,735 Deaths (343 new deaths as of yesterday)
- 21,157 cases in Italy
- 1,441 Deaths
- 12,729 bases in Iran
- 608 Deaths
- 8,162 cases in South Korea
- 1,678 cases in the United States of America
Watching the nightly news updates regarding this pandemic is akin to playing the game Plague. It is crazy scary. Seeing the WHO Report the graphed curve of confirmed cases outside of China shows just how exponentially this virus is spreading.
About a week and a half ago, we travelled to San Antonio in order spend Spring Break with our family. We watched the situation worsen while on vacation. I experienced it myself, as I went to H-E-B to procure food items to take back home with me. What I saw reminded me of the pictures that we would be shown during the Cold War showing how bare the grocery stores were in Communist countries. I walked around the store and found that it was COMPLETELY void of fresh meats, eggs, milk, bread, toilet paper, beans, pasta, canned soups, bleach, hand sanitizer and other necessities. And when I say void, I mean completely. The paper goods aisle was literally and completely empty. Not a single item on any shelf.
We began our return trip to Dandridge on Saturday (3/14), and two hours into our trip we found out that the kids' school would be closed all this week. Since Laura has been sick all week due to her allergies, we decided to go ahead and stay in San Antonio another week while we wait to see if her illness clears up. (She has no fever or other COVID-19 symptoms, thank goodness.)
Things are continuing to devolve. Most schools will be closed at least until April. The kids' school is looking into what they can do to switch to a remote learning curriculum. Disney World and Disneyland are closed AT LEAST until April. We are also in a national state of emergency. We are being told to self-quarantine and to practice “social distancing”. Starbucks has removed all of their tables and chairs inside their stores to prevent people from loitering. Fiesta has been rescheduled to November, and SXSW has been cancelled altogether.
The United States is WAY behind the curve on COVID-19 testing. And we are letting our pride get in our way and are declining offers of help from other countries. The numbers in the USA don’t seem too bad, until you realize that we don’t have nearly enough testing kits available. There are probably many, many more people infected that have not been reported. Most people who contract COVID-19 are either asymptomatic, or they have a mild cold. It seems to be only the elderly or those with underlying conditions that die, but the numbers are high and it is spreading quickly.
There is so much fear and misinformation available about the current conditions, as well as what exactly we do and don’t know about COVID-19. We need to pull our collective heads out of our rears and figure this out before we look back and find that every single person in the world has been personally impacted by death, including Americans. This isn’t a Chinese or American issue. It’s a Human issue. We need to address it accordingly.