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
I live in a very small rural community - and COVID-19 arrived in our community a day or two ago. Both my wife and are considered 'high risk' and we were informed several days ago that the virus was in the area, and yesterday it got even closer, and that we should now only leave the house when absolutely necessary.
For those that do not already know, I must tell you that my wife suffers from a serious medical condition and I am her full-time carer, although she does have excellent nursing support twice daily with which I assist. She cannot manage alone without support. I do everything in the home - cook, clean, wash, iron, DIY and help to care for my wife and feed her.
The nursing support - and general health care - is superb, as I believe it is throughout France. At the first sign of my wife having any symptoms she will probably be taken directly to an isolation ward where she can receive the appropriate treatment for both the virus and her long-term condition. If I show mild symptoms she may also be removed to isolation simply to protect her. If my symptoms are mild I will probably be allowed to stay in my home and, providing that I do not deteriorate into something more serious, will recover.
In the last 24 hours France has entered into a stage of partial lockdown. Non-essential shops are closed as are theatres, cinemas, bars, parks, schools, restaurants etc. Those that can work from home should do so. Food shops, chemists (pharmacies) and other essential-to-life service providers remain open. Non-essential travel is now forbidden, and sports fixtures and any social gatherings of any significant size are no longer permitted. The aim - which I believe is well understood generally but nevertheless not welcomed by many - is to delay the progression of the virus such that the spread remains sufficiently slowed that the hard pressed medical services can meet the demand at any specific point in the future.
My wife and I feel fine and remain at home for the time being. But the effect of all that is happening does significantly change everyday life. There is no take-away food - if you want to eat you must prepare and cook it. That is not a change for us and many people who live in small rural communities such as ours ourselves do not expect anything different. The amount of extra precautions that I must take to keep my wife and I safe is significant and leaves me with much less time than I had before - and that was already limited. My contribution to this site might be reduced even more now. We are told that this will possibly last a long time, months rather than weeks. On my last visit to a slightly larger town this morning many were saying that they had not seen similar conditions since the end of WW2 - not that I remember that! But - and this is important - morale was relatively good and people were supporting each other rather than going into a selfish mode of looking after only themselves or panic-buying stuff that would serve no benefit in the weeks ahead.
We have been through worse in the past and we are better prepared for the difficulties that undoubtedly lie ahead. Some in our small community (SN) will undoubted have experiences over the coming weeks and months that they would rather not have had to face at all. But reading this thread so far the thing that struck me was the sense of humour that was evident in many of the comments. Keep it coming, I will be reading it everyday even if not contributing quite as much as I have done in the past.
Good Luck to you and those you love!