A Progression in Time
There's a lot to unpack here.
Today is April 4, 2020.
It's a Saturday night and things get progressively worse. It's all anyone is talking about on social media (well, that and a Netflix show called Tiger King). Trump is now projecting hundreds of thousands of lives lost by the end of this in a conference this morning. I'm serving with Pride Houston currently, and so far we're still planning to hold Pride this year in June... we're one of the largest Prides in the nation. I'm a little worried.
To recap, here's a large list of things that have gone down in the last few weeks... for scope, less than a month ago, I was working at my desk. The last day I worked at my desk was March 12. I took the 13th off, and on the 15th, we were all sent home.
There is now mandatory social distancing, quarantine, and stay-at-home orders across the globe. Some places are even ticketing you if you're seen out and about.
Gas prices are under $2.00 in the city for the first time in years. Schools are all cancelled, no word on whether students will return to finish this school year; no graduation, no prom. Many parents including some of my coworkers are learning to juggle working from home with homeschooling. The Las Vegas Strip is shut down.
Disney parks and resorts are closed. There are tape and vinyl stickers on the floors at grocery stores to help distance shoppers away from each other by six feet in the queues. There is also a limit to the number of people allowed inside stores, creating queues outside the doors.
Non-essential stores and businesses are all closed - gyms, clubs, most shops, theatres (Broadway is dark), etc. In many places, the parks, trails, and playground equipment are all shut down. Entire sports seasons are cancelled at various collegiate and professional levels (NBA, UFC, NHRA, MLB, NHL - all of it). Concerts, tours, festivals, entertainment events: All closed and cancelled worldwide.
Weddings, funerals, family celebrations, holiday gatherings - cancelled or postponed. There are some reports that the families of those who have died of COVID aren't allowed to see them before they've been prepped for burial or cremated. I don't know if that's true.
There's a shortage of masks, gowns, and gloves for our the nation's health care workers. There's also a shortage of ventilators for the critically ill. Ford, GM, etc are trying to manufacture them to meet the demand. Currently, there are no visitors allowed in hospitals or nursing homes to visit sick or dying loved ones.
Due to panic buying, many stores are out of toilet paper, disinfecting supplies, paper towels, laundry soap, and hand sanitizer. Distilleries (like Tito's Vodka) have started manufacturing hand santizer, while other industries have started manufacturing visors, masks, and PPE.
The government has also closed the border to all non-essential travel. Today, passports are no longer being issued unless a traveler can prove that they're traveling internationally for essential business. Hospital ships have been dispatched for Los Angeles and New York City for the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
There are daily press conferences from Trump with updates on new cases, recoveries, and deaths. There is barely anyone on the roads. You regularly see people wearing masks and gloves outside. Staff at 'essential businesses' are terrified to go to work, while medical workers are afraid to go home to their families, for fear that they were infected at work and could bring it home with them.
The state of emergency was declared March 11, 2020.
Trump knew in January.
Our first case was seen the same day as South Korea's.