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 work for a college, and we have moved all courses to distance ed. Older staff and otherwise vulnerable staff are working from home. We are located between the two largest outbreaks in the state (CA), but there is only one known* local case in the county.
My son worked as a bartender in Oregon, but the bar and restaurant owners lobbied to have the govt. shut them down so they could collect insurance. He is getting creative to have an income (we are not sure if he is eligible for unemployment-- this happened yesterday). Glad he isn't in the bar surrounded by all those people, though.
*Since the US failed completely at testing, the actual number of cases in our county, as everywhere else in the nation, is unknown.
but the bar and restaurant owners lobbied to have the govt. shut them down so they could collect insurance.
Now that is interesting information - why are bars and restaurants not raising hell. They were able to insure themselves. I guess it would be up to the insurance companies now to get people back to work again.
If the government only suggested they close down, they couldn't collect insurance and they were being hit with big drops in sales. Being ordered to close == insurance money.
Don't grieve too much for the insurers - they've just retroactively nullified all travel insurance for anyone who left after the government suggested people not do international travel, and are only covering people who are already away for 10 days to get home, after which the policy is cancelled.
I'm not grieving for them. I want them to get sick of paying to keep restaurants and bars closed.