President Donald Trump is finally instituting some serious restrictions to battle the deadly novel coronavirus, but his actions appear to be too late to stop the disease’s spread.
On Wednesday night, the president announced much-needed expanded travel restrictions, barring most travel from Europe to the U.S. for a 30-day period.
The move comes after an explosion of COVID-19 cases in several European countries, and expands on a previous travel ban that focused on China, the virus’ country of origin.
It appears to be much too late, as America has more than 1,500 people with the virus, largely thanks to local transmission. It’s likely that the virus’ long incubation period will mean a sharp rise in U.S. cases in the coming days.
Two weeks ago, the Unites States had less than 60 total cases.
With a fatality rate more than 10 times that of influenza in most cases, the virus will undoubtedly make an ugly impact on the lives of many Americans.
Thanks to polarized media creating a worrying fusion by both hyping and downplaying the virus, many people went about their business in airports and workplaces while others panicked and flooded stores to buy supplies — and both of those behaviors helped the virus spread.
While it may seem a “panicked” response by some, extreme measures are looking like an increasingly appropriate response.
Ireland, despite having less than 100 confirmed cases, shuttered schools and restricted prison and hospital access in a bid to contain the virus, the BBC reported.
In countries like Italy and China that were blindsided by the virus, the lack of extreme early preventative measures resulted in country-wide quarantines.
Trump has avoided drastic measures to freeze the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in America, and even shockingly downplayed the virus’ fatality rate earlier this month.
Perhaps driven by ignorance of the virus, even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention frustratingly refused to test individuals suspected to have COVID-19 unless they fit strict criteria.
It’s difficult to tell if earlier and more extreme action by Trump would have slowed the virus’ spread in America, but it’s clear now that the novel coronavirus has made its way to our nation’s capital.
Meanwhile, individual states have taken it upon themselves to lead the charge against the highly contagious pathogen.
Washington state’s King County purchased a motel, intending to turn it into a massive isolation ward, according to Esquire. Similar measures have been largely successful in China.
Two weeks ago, extreme action by Trump may have spooked markets, but could have helped lessen the outbreak in America.
Now, the virus is appearing all over the country.
Washington state, California and New York are the hardest states hit, but most other states have at least one confirmed case.
While some countries appear to finally be turning a corner on coronavirus, the outbreak is just now beginning for America and other countries.
Things will likely get worse before they get better.
Instead of panicking, now is the time to get informed.
Storming stores to stock up on hand sanitizer, masks and toilet paper is something to avoid.
Besides creating a supply chain lag that will impact those who desperately need these items, even one infected person in a crowded store can create a massive local outbreak.
Battling the spread of COVID-19 is an effort that falls on the shoulders of every citizen.
Proper hand washing and other common-sense hygiene techniques will reduce the virus’ ability to spread and impact the most vulnerable Americans.
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