America Shuts Down
All at once, it’s a pretty good time to be a doomsday prepper in America. Less than two months after the first detected case of the novel coronavirus appeared inside the United States, reports have it that there are more than 3,000 cases of infection, with health experts suggesting that the real number could be far, far higher.
The public health threat has quickly turned into an economic one as states and major cities move to essentially shut down the country. From New York City to Los Angeles, cities are ordering bars, schools, and restaurants to close down. Only a few days after organizations like the NBA and NHL shocked the public by suspending their seasons, the free market is rapidly heading to the point where we hang a big CLOSED sign on the door until further notice.
When paired with the astounding round of panic shopping we saw transpire towards the end of last week and throughout the weekend, the situation can look extremely grim. Moreover, the disparity between the known cases and the response makes it look, to many people, as though the biggest problem is that everyone’s overreacting. But then, you take a look at the deteriorating scenario playing out in Italy, France, and many other countries and you have to wonder where the line should be drawn.
The absolute, bottom-line truth is that no one knows how this is all going to go.
On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a new recommendation: A ban on gatherings of more than 50 people for the next two months. Simultaneously, the Trump administration – only days after severely limiting inbound flights from every European country other than the United Kingdom – went ahead and put the UK on the list as well. Isolation domestically, isolation internationally. This is our new normal, at least for a while.
Over the weekend, we saw government officials across the country take steps that would have seemed unthinkable just a week earlier. New York City, Massachusetts, Ohio, Washington, and Puerto Rico have all ordered bars and restaurants to close down. In some cases, restaurants will stay open to provide service through drive-thrus, takeout orders, and deliveries. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom asked everyone over the age of 65 to stay in their homes, and he also called for bars, night clubs, and wineries to close. In Florida, Disney not only shuttered their theme parks but their hotels and shopping centers as well. Miami officials closed the beaches, hoping to stem the flood of spring breakers headed to the area.
On Monday morning, President Trump offered four simple words in his first tweet of the day: “God bless the USA!”
We wholeheartedly second that notion. We’re in for some trying times, no doubt about that, but this country has a reserve of strength and resiliency unmatched anywhere in the world.
We’ve weathered brutal storms in the past, and we will stand strong when this one is over.