With rumors thriving on social media and news stations reporting developments as they come, it can be difficult to find basic information on the coronavirus and its effects. Here are current statistics, lockdown guidelines and theories on COVID-19’s economic impact. Recent Developments:
- On Sunday evening, President Trump announced that the stay-at-home order will last until April 30, two weeks later than he originally stated.
- Coronavirus deaths are thought to spike in the next two weeks.
- Seattle, which endured one of the largest outbreaks in the United States, has now seen a decline in coronavirus cases after imposing strict containment strategies. This means that containment, i.e. social distancing, is working.
- Based on scientific models, as many as 200,000 Americans could die during the COVID-19 outbreak, compared to up to 2.2 million if containment strategies were not put into effect.
- There have been 144 cases in Johnson County and four deaths, with 1,344 tests coming back negative.
- All of these cases except one have been in people over the age of 20, with most cases being in the 60-69 age range.
- In the United States, there have been over 140,000 reported cases of COVID-19, although this number is thought to be significantly higher considering cases that aren’t reported.
- 3,603 people have died from Coronavirus in the United States.
- Gobally, 700,000 people have been infected.
- The United States accounts for one in seven cases around the globe.
- It is estimated that each COVID-19-positive patient could infect between 2.6 to 4 other people.
- COVID-19 is spread when people are exposed to droplets from a cough or a sneeze from an infected person. This is especially true when a healthy person stands closer than six feet to an infected person for longer than 10 minutes. It also lives on surfaces, meaning it can be transmitted when people touch countertops, clothing, grocery shelves, or other surfaces and then touch their face or food.
- A mild case of the virus causes a mild fever, headache, body aches and a cough, much like the common cold. A severe case of the virus may cause fever, cough and shortness of breath, which can manifest in a sudden difficulty in breathing when walking up a set of stairs, walking, eating, talking, etc.
- Symptoms typically appear two to 14 days after exposure.
- It is unknown how long a person can spread COVID-19 after contracting it.
- If you believe you have the virus, call your healthcare provider for information regarding tests.
- The name “Coronavirus” or “CoV” refers to a family of viruses that cause illness and can be spread to animals. CoVs were identified in the 1960s, but have only had two outbreaks in recent memory, one in 2002 with a death rate of 10 percent and another in 2012 with a death rate of 35 percent. COVID19 is a new strain of CoV, first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China.
- “I can hang out with my friends as long as we are six feet apart and in groups less than ten.” National and state guidelines urge people to not gather in groups of 10, but this doesn’t mean you can hang out with small groups of friends. People are directed to only leave home for “essential activities,” like grocery shopping or seeking medical care, and the six-feet-apart rule is meant for people at grocery stores or going on walks, not for unnecessary social outings.
- “I will get a ticket if I get pulled over and don’t have a driving pass.” You will not get a ticket for leaving your home in most cases, and you do not need a pass to leave your house. The state lockdown was mostly to force non-essential businesses, like gyms and hair salons, to close.
- “I shouldn’t go on jogs outside because it’s dangerous or I could get in trouble.” You are allowed to go outside. There is no guideline that encourages people to stay indoors, and as long as you try to stay about six feet from people you encounter, there is no problem with going for a walk or doing anything else outdoors.
- “If I leave my house, I need to be wearing a mask.” Masks are not specifically recommended for healthy people, unless you are a health care worker.
- “I shouldn’t open a package from China or Italy because it may be infected.” There is no evidence of the virus spreading through imported goods, so if you ordered a package from another country recently, it should be safe to handle and open.
- “I travelled twelve days ago, and I’m showing no symptoms. It is safe for me to go to the grocery store and interact with others.” You need to stay in quarantine after travel or exposure for the full 14 days, as symptoms may not appear for 14 days after said exposure. This quarantine is more severe than the overarching social distancing and temporary lockdown; try as much as possible to avoid other people or public places.
- “Coronavirus is just another flu.” Coronavirus is more dangerous than the flu. The death rate for COVID-19 is higher than that of the flu, and its respiratory nature makes it far easier to spread than the regular flu.
- “Coronavirus will be cured soon.” There most likely will not be a cure for COVID-19, in the same way that there isn’t a cure for the flu. Vaccines help prevent viruses, however, and researchers are working on a coronavirus vaccine that is projected to be ready in a little over a year.
Coronavirus and the economy
- The emergency relief package, which provides up to $1,200 to American adults, cost $2,2 trillion dollars and is the biggest rescue deal of its kind in United States history. The bill was passed on a 96-0 vote in the senate.
- In addition to the relief to citizens, the bill also creates a $500 billion lending program for businesses, cities and states and a $367 billion fund for small businesses. It also provides $130 billion to hospitals and expands unemployment insurance.
- Monday, March 9’s stock market plunge is the largest single-day point drop ever recorded in the United States.
- Prior to that crash, the Dow Jones had just reached its record high on Feb. 12.
- On the list of 10 biggest one-day point losses in Dow Jones history, 2020 counts for the top five days, with the top four being in March.
- Investors became worried about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is making most citizens stay at home; this means that consumers are not purchasing goods, creating a loss of revenue. “…Shutdowns and rising public anxiety about the virus are likely to lead to a sharp deterioration in economic activity in the rest of March and throughout April,” according to chief economist Jan Hatzius.
- “The odds of a global recession are close to 100 percent right now,” according to Kevin Hasset, the former top economist in the Trump administration, on March 16.
- However, the emergency relief package provided by the United States government hopes to help soften the blow to US businesses, thus decreasing the impact of the coronavirus and the likelihood and/or severity of a national recession.
- To continue functioning under Kansas’ lockdown, a business must be labelled an “essential business.” Essential businesses include healthcare operations (hospitals, pharmacies, dentists, etc.), essential government functions (police departments, but not courthouses except for emergency operations ), grocery stores (including farmers’ markets, food banks and convenience stores), businesses involving food cultivation (like farming, livestock and fishing companies) as well as food processing facilities, media services (newspapers, television stations, radio, etc.), gas stations and auto-repair services, banks and other financial institutions, hardware stores, all home repair services (plumbing, exterminators, electricians, painters, landscapers, etc.), post offices and other shipping services, schools, laundromats and dry cleaners, restaurants (but only for carry-out or delivery services), taxis and commercial transportation services, childcare facilities, morgues and funeral homes and hotels and motels.