Coronavirus Diaries 8

Funny how time becomes fluid when you’re locked up inside.

Two weeks ago -roughly- and in the first couple of weeks of March the U.S. seemed to finally wake up to the fact that the Coronavirus was something to take seriously.

We had sporting events cancelled, large parks (Disney, Universal, etc.) shutting down. Airlines essentially stopping foreign flights, cruise ships grounded. Restaurants no longer seating people inside but doing take-out or delivery.

Clubs, bars?

If you’re smart, you’ll forget about that.

Sadly, not everyone is taking this as seriously as they should. There are those I read about in the news who just have to have a party or have to have their services with crowds. Jerry Falwell Jr., staunch Trump supporter and right-wing Born Again fanatic, stated Liberty University, his university, would press forward with regular classes.

I suppose he bought into Trump’s original “it’s a hoax” line and, frankly, I fear for the students.

Now, at the end of March, it feels like a morbid quiet has settled over us here. While we read the terrible stories of Hospital ICU’s overwhelmed with patients, especially in the denser cities like New York and Chicago, we go to stores to buy our basic needs -food being the biggie- but try to keep our distance from others.

Where once you’d see one or two people with gloves and/or masks, the majority of people now seem to be using these items and its rarer now to see people walking around stores (those that are still open) without some form of protective gear.

Back in March 13 (Friday the 13th, I might add!) I wrote the first of the Coronavirus Diaries (click here to read it!) and I wondered:

How long will this go on? Not to put too fine a point on it, but the economic impact will be both very negative and incredibly huge.

Welp, two weeks later the economic impact is becoming clearer. Unemployment is literally through the roof and this is hardly surprising. When restaurants and Hotels, airlines and the Cruise Industry, and any shop not deemed “essential” is forced to close up, this leaves those who run these businesses in a tough spot. If your business is idle/closed, you aren’t making money. You cannot keep paying your employees so they have to be laid off. They sign up for unemployment but the rent is due. Bills have to be paid.

It’s a scary, scary time, to say the least.

And the worst thing about it all?

I don’t see the end.

China, where the Coronavirus first appeared, seemed to get a handle on the virus and, a few days back, opened their cinemas.

Ominously, the very next day they closed them again.

Another thing I said in that original Friday the 13th post was:

The biggest hope is that scientists figure out in relatively short order a vaccine and/or effective treatment against this pandemic before it becomes far, far worse than it already is.

It seems to me the entire planet, all nations of the world, are effectively hitting the pause button. We’re all hoping we can weather this storm as best as possible, keeping the worst numbers, those who get very sick and/or fall to this illness, low.

We’re all hoping for that effective treatment, for the vaccine that rids us of this pandemic.

Pretty obvious stuff, I concluded in that Friday the 13th post.

It feels like we’re closer to the beginning than the end at this point, and one wonders how long it will take to get to normalcy.

If ever.