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
Why aren't you going to delivery and scheduled pickup only? People get a call when their order is ready, come in, pick it up, leave. Instructions in the bag. Any questions via phone.
We went full lockdown at the food bank where I volunteer. Nobody who's not a known volunteer gets in. People pick up their boxes at the side shipping door, they're not allowed in. Their box is placed on a table outside and they take it.
Everyone is wearing disposable gloves, and we're going through boxes like crazy. I had been stockpiling extras for 3 years, got a lot of ribbing for it, said "we may need them at some point" - that point was yesterday. 1/3 of what should have been a year's worth gone in one day. Anything they don't want to take with them they have to throw in the dumpster - we can't take it back inside for someone else. Same as when they transfer food to shopping bags and carts - we can't take the boxes back inside.
Like most volunteer organizations, most of our volunteers are older and with pre-existing conditions. In a way this is a good thing - we take precautions seriously.
Other programs have been cancelled because we simply can't trust the general public to observe the necessary precautions.
Hell if I know. Probably because 'MURRICA, and BIZNIZ.
On the news this morning one pharmicist was being interviewed about measures he's taken to protect both his employees and clients. No more lottery tickets, for example. He was shocked to see someone coming in using a walker and buying lottery tickets when we're supposed to be limiting ourselves to essential trips only. It's a simple thing, but every bit helps.
Limiting the number of people entering at one time, increasing home delivery and pre-order/pick-up to get people in and out quickly, because about half the population of all ages has underlying health conditions, same as half the population who has diabetes or hypertension don't know.