Coronavirus Concerns Continue

It’s something out of a dystopian novel or TV show. Shelves at grocery stores are bare, schools, churches and retail has closed for an extended period. Airports are bare of travelers. Food establishments are either closed or drive-thru only. This is our world now due to the Coronavirus and it seems like it gets scarier by the hour.

I am not proud of the fact that I have given into the media hysteria, even though I have been trying not to give in to the media hysteria surrounding this virus since I do think that they could tone it down a little. However, this virus is not something to shrug off. There are over 60 cases in the state of Pennsylvania with nearly half of those cases in Montgomery County, PA, where I currently live. When cases started to pop up in my county, it made me incredibly nervous. I have not traveled outside of the United States nor do I know anyone that has the virus, but I don’t know if the person that I interact with at Wal-Mart, the local grocery store, or the mailman could be carrying the virus and I don’t know it. I understand that you must have interacted with them for more than 10 minutes, but God only knows what they have touched. It is also disheartening when the state and federal government are advising and ultimately mandating that schools, non-essential retail and public gatherings should be closed in addition to some of our favorite talk shows going without studio audiences and taking an early hiatus. You stop and think “Is this what the world is coming to?”

I am glad that something is finally being done by the federal government to combat this virus. However, it is irritating that something wasn’t being worked on a couple of weeks ago to take preventive measures. The fact that the president was calling this virus a “hoax” just 2 weeks ago makes this response embarrassing. I will admit I was wrong about Vice President Pence’s leadership on the Coronavirus task force. He is making the best out of a bad situation. I also like Dr. Fauci and think that we should trust what he is saying, despite how dark it may be. I’m glad that we are going to be getting more test kits; I understand that there were errors in the previous tests and that we are going to have more access to them.

Although there are some actions that this administration has taken that I can agree with (i.e. travel ban, interest rate relief, etc.), the president’s leadership in this crisis is laughable. His speech last week did not give solace to those that are freaking out due to the lack of emotion that he exhibited, and he blamed the EU for their inactions. That was not the time nor the place to be blaming other parties. You want to unite us? Try a different tone. It also seemed like he had to be hounded to take a test since he was exposed to multiple parties the week before that tested positive with the virus. Way to go, moron. Not only are you in a susceptible age group to this virus, you may have exposed others to the virus.

The president’s favorite network, Fox News, has finally woken up to educating its viewers about the virus instead of thinking it’s just a hoax. A host of one of its shows said last Monday that this is just a ploy from the Democrats to get Trump impeached. You have to be freaking kidding me. Are you that stupid? Now is not the time to operate on conspiracy theories. (I believe that this host has been suspended from the show indefinitely. Although it is her freedom to speak her mind, watch your words right now. It could make hysteria worse.

Another thing that makes this crisis even scarier is the stock market and how the economy may fare. The stock market may fall over 2,000 points one day and then come back the next day. Retirement plans and investments are tanking. How’s your 401(k) doing now? Also, I may not be an economist or financial expert, but I think that the closing of non-essential retail businesses will have an enormous impact on the economy. If we are unable to go out and buy goods (except for gas, food, toilet paper, etc.), our economy will tank, and it could be worse than past recessions.

I wonder how long this crisis will last. How long will schools be closed? Will students be able to go back to school and finish the year? Will businesses be able to open back up? Will churchgoers be able to go to services, mass, etc.? Only time will tell.

A silver lining in this whole crisis is the ability of people to unite and support one another. People have been donating supplies to those in need, picking up groceries and other goods for susceptible age groups, etc. Our unification reminds me a little of how we were after September 11th. I know this virus has put us on edge but remember to help your fellow man in need. It could save a life.

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