A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."
We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.
The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.
Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.
How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?
From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"
Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.
Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years
Go watch the evening news. Two days ago it was a report from a warehouse that had been converted to house patients in Italy. Tonight it was ICUs with people jammed in because there wasn't enough room to space them out. Or just look at the latest stats, where Italy now has more deaths than China, and expecting it to get much worse, and towns where funeral homes are having problems disposing of the dead (even though funerals are banned, so that's one bottleneck taken care of) because they have a shortage of workers and coffins, and doctors who attest a death are now having to seal off the rooms in which the dead are because pickup and disposal can take a few days.
And remember - this is the future of the USA, thanks to your idiot-in-chief cutting back on all sorts of health research and funding to give more money to his buds in the swamp. The +13,000 cases today are nothing - wait until testing really gets underway. Given that large segments of the population still refuse to practice social distancing to help prevent the virus from spreading, May is going to be a total disaster.
And if you still believe that summer weather will somehow make this all go away, look at Italy - it's on the Mediterranean. It's where people go to escape winter. And Iran, on the Persian Gulf. Summery weather didn't save them.
Interesting news this evening (our national news network ran another hour of coronavirus reporting) - turns out that after re-examining data, people under 60 make up half the cases. And they're also dying. And not just people with "underlying health conditions" either. People in their 30s are also dying. So much for #boomerremover.
The most likely scenario under current modelling is that 80% of the population gets it. The idea of "flattening out the curve" is not just to keep health services from being overwhelmed. Autopsies of the dead show major damage to the lungs. But we know that you are more likely to have a less severe case if your initial viral load is lower, so by keeping people apart, you'll be less likely to get a severe case and kill your lungs. Ditto with smoking - if you want to live, stop smoking. Stop hanging around people who smoke because second hand smoke is also a problem. But not believing that it is "that bad", or that it can't happen to you, is exactly what keeps people from taking precautions.
Crowded beaches and concession stands - yeah, that will sure keep the virus from spreading. Not.