*For the most up-to-date reliable information on the Coronavirus outbreak, visit the dedicated COVID-19 Johns Hopkins web page.
There have been moments in the past week where trying to stay on top of coronavirus updates feels like chasing after a giant snowball rolling down the hill. And then there was last Wednesday, when that snowball became an avalanche. It’s been described as the single hour that changed our perceptions of coronavirus — and painted a new (if temporary) reality in stark relief: things were going to be different in America for a while.
“At 9 p.m. ET, the President addressed the country and announced a ban on foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. from many European countries,” wrote Jason Abbruzzese for NBC News. “Just minutes earlier, the actor Tom Hanks had published an Instagram post announcing that he and his wife, the actress Rita Wilson, had contracted COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Then, at 9:46 p.m., the NBA announced that it had suspended all games indefinitely.”
Everything that’s followed since then has been a whirlwind, and we think it’s safe to say that everyone is probably very overwhelmed right now. This is going to be a scary time for all of us, and now more than ever we need to be looking out for each other. As we all begin to practice social distancing to “flatten the curve,” this will become more difficult. But one way to bridge the gap is to connect digitally with your friends, family, coworkers, and beyond.
Some people are creating email chains or social groups for their neighborhoods. Their purpose: to make sure everyone has what they need, and if someone doesn’t, to find a way to get it to them. It’s heartwarming, and such a vital act of community. So if you can help your fellow citizens in any way, please do. We’re all in the same boat here, and banding together is the only way we’ll weather the storm.
This also might mean sharing or donating extra supplies, or doing shopping runs for those who can’t — like the elderly or immunosuppressed, who might not be able to safely get to the grocery store, or for anyone living paycheck to paycheck, who might not have the funds to purchase multiple weeks of food. With Ralphs seeing lines forming as early as 5 AM for an 8 AM open, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for our most vulnerable populations to stock their pantries. Just because we are socially distancing ourselves, doesn’t mean we can’t look out for one another.
On top of looking out for one another, it’s really important that we stay informed. Since a lot has happened in the past week, in lieu of our typical article, we’re going to do something different for the second half of this post. Here’s a rundown of where we are at right now with COVID-19.
Things are moving so fast it’s almost impossible to keep up with the changes, but this will provide you with some of the latest. As of Tuesday, Los Angeles County had 144 coronavirus cases (a list of affected cities can be found here). Six new possible cases of coronavirus are being investigated in Ventura County, on top of the five presumptive positive cases previously reported. For information on local closures and restrictions in Southern California, the LA Times has a comprehensive list.
Yes, Teen Vogue is the source of one of the articles we’re linking to, and it’s one you won’t want to sleep on. Far from just being a puff piece about how communities are coming together, it offers a welcome roadmap to anyone who wants to learn more about how they take care of their fellow citizens in the face of this growing outbreak. It’s a bolus dose of positivity to help combat our collective anxiety.
Here are events canceled or postponed due to coronavirus — Los Angeles Times
From Coachella Music Festival being postponed to October, to the happiest place on earth closing its doors for the rest of the month, the virus all but wiped out some of our biggest entertainment and cultural touchstones. At least the Olympics are still due to go ahead as planned, although possibly without spectators.
How the San Francisco Bay Area coronavirus ‘shelter in place’ order works — Los Angeles Times
Upwards of 8 million residents in 6 Bay Area counties have been ordered to shelter in place. For Southern California residents wondering what such an order would look like here, this is the article to check out. It’s likely we would face something similar. The order does not restrict residents from accessing essential services, so groceries stores, hospitals, banks etc. would remain open. You can also go out for a walk, as long as you keep six feet between you and anyone else. A full list of essential services is included in the article.The Trump administration is requesting $500 billion for direct payments to American taxpayers as part of a $1 trillion plan. — The New York Times
Nearly 250 million Americans will likely receive the first of two direct payments on April 6. The payments will be tiered based on income (below a certain threshold receives the maximum amount) and family size. It’s expected that the minimum size check received would be $1,000, but this is not yet for certain.
For Ventura County specific information, you can go here:
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Check Out These References for Further Reading:
“Coronavirus Disease 2019.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
“Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
“Coronavirus: Prepare Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 18 March 2020.