The horror is just beginning

Even as people are still joking about the temporary pause in day-to-day activities because of the coronavirus, millions of Americans have lost their jobs and industries have been affected in ways that we cannot even imagine.

Just take a peek under the blanket of normalcy and see what’s really happening around the world. It’s bad enough that hundreds of thousands of people could die from this virus, but in the long term it’s the economic downturn that will be remembered. We are headed for another Great Depression, not a recession like in 2009.

Never before in modern history have so many industries closed. Never before in modern history have so many people been put out of work so quickly and abruptly. The economic effect of all of this can be nothing other than total catastrophe and financial disaster. It will affect not just some mom and pop restaurants in town, but it will affect every single person in the world. We are all about to get really poor.

Everybody knows that public gatherings are discouraged or even outlawed right now. Public dining, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, casinos, sporting events – all have been canceled or put on indefinite hold.

This is not going to end in two weeks time. This is going to last for a long time.

To see what effect this is going to have, let’s take a look at sporting events. Here in Amarillo, Texas, the city invested millions of dollars to construct a minor league baseball park downtown. Last year, the local team, known as the Sod Poodles, won the Texas division championship. Thousands upon thousands of people flocked to the stadium, purchased tickets, ate food, drank beer, and provided the baseball players themselves with an opportunity to get drafted into the major leagues. Now all that money has stopped. Who do you think is going to be affected by the sudden lack of cash flow? A lot of people, including the city of Amarillo itself.

Now look beyond our little baseball park in Amarillo to huge sporting events like the NFL or Major league baseball. The NFL is going on like the football season is going to continue. We don’t know that at all. Even if it does continue we don’t know if anyone will even show up for the games because of fear of the virus. Who do you think pays the baseball players or the football players? It’s the revenue generated from the ticket sales and advertisements. All of that is in suspended animation. All of that is lost. Along with all of that lost revenue is thousands of support businesses.

Earlier I mentioned casinos being closed. Well of course casinos are a place where a lot of people gather in tight spaces and play slot machines and gamble in other ways, right? Casinos on Native American reservations are closed. Now think about Las Vegas. The whole city is closed. How many people are unemployed, how many businesses have bills to pay but no revenue coming in to pay those bills? How many hotels are empty?

So now we’ve got all kinds of people on reservations sick with CORVID-19 and no employment because of the casinos NOT BRINGING IN ANY INCOME FOR THE WHOLE COMMUNITY. Even the Grand Canyon is closed because you have to drive through the Navajo Nation to get to it and hundreds of people in the Navajo Nation are sick with the coronavirus. National Park workers at the Grand Canyon have fallen ill with the virus. So now we have no Grand Canyon to visit.

It’s not one sector of society that’s being affected, nor is it one country. This is the whole world, every nation on every continent being affected by CORVID-19. In some countries, like India, people are already starving. People will become homeless, hungry, hopeless, not just in third world countries but right here in America.

Think about religious institutions. Think about Krishna and Hindu temples that depend on the weekly donations from congregational members. Many churches, temples and synagogues also depend on weeklysupport and donations. Some of them will not survive.

The horror is just beginning. As we hide in place from this virus, the even more insidious financial collapse is taking place all around us. Get ready for what’s to come.

Coronavirus, Social and Physical Distancing and Self-Quarantine

Reviewed By:

Lisa Lockerd Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H.

Now that the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness it causes, are spreading among communities in the United States and other countries, phrases such as “social distancing,” “self-quarantine” and “flattening the curve” are showing up in the media.

What do they mean, and how might they apply to you, your family and your community?

Lisa Maragakis, M.D., M.P.H. , senior director of infection prevention at Johns Hopkins, helps clarify these concepts so you can understand better why they’re being recommended.

What is social and physical distancing?

While it may be disappointing to hear that so many sports events, cruises, festivals and other gatherings are being cancelled, there is a public health reason for these measures. These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time.

Cancelling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social and physical distancing. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.

Other examples of social and physical distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:

  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools or switching to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones by electronic devices instead of in person
  • Cancelling or postponing conferences and large meetings

Coronavirus: What do I do if I Feel Sick?

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, follow these steps to help protect your health and the health of others.

What is self-quarantine?

People who have been exposed to the new coronavirus and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 might practice self-quarantine. Health experts recommend that self-quarantine lasts 14 days. Two weeks provides enough time for them to know whether or not they will become ill and be contagious to other people.

You might be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from traveling to a part of the country or the world where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person.

Self-quarantine involves:

  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

Once your quarantine period has ended, if you do not have symptoms, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to return to your normal routine.

What is isolation?

For people who are confirmed to have COVID-19, isolation is appropriate. Isolation is a health care term that means keeping people who are infected with a contagious illness away from those who are not infected. Isolation can take place at home or at a hospital or care facility. Special personal protective equipment will be used to care for these patients in health care settings.

What is “flattening the curve?”

Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection so hospitals have room, supplies and doctors for all of the patients who need care.

a graphics showing cornoavirus disease progression

This image was adapted from the CDC.

A large number of people becoming very sick over the course of a few days could overwhelm a hospital or care facility. Too many people becoming severely ill with COVID-19 at roughly the same time could result in a shortage of hospital beds, equipment or doctors.

On a graph, a sudden surge in patients over a short time could be represented as a tall, narrow curve.

On the other hand, if that same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate, for example, over the course of several weeks, the line of the graph would look like a longer, flatter curve.

In this situation, fewer patients would arrive at the hospital each day. There would be a better chance of the hospital being able to keep up with adequate supplies, beds and health care providers to care for them.

Lessening Coronavirus Impact

It’s important to know what to do if you feel sick. The coronavirus pandemic is making everyone aware of handwashing and protecting others from coughs and sneezes. Along with those essential steps, practices such as social and physical distancing, and self-quarantine and isolation when appropriate can slow the rate of infection in a city, town or community.

The pandemic can seem overwhelming, but in truth, every person can help slow down the spread of COVID-19. By doing your part, you can make a big difference to your health, and that of others around you.

About Coronaviruses

  • Coronaviruses are common in different animals. Rarely, an animal coronavirus can infect humans.
  • There are many different kinds of coronaviruses. Some of them can cause colds or other mild respiratory (nose, throat, lung) illnesses.
  • Other coronaviruses can cause more serious diseases, including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
  • Coronaviruses are named for their appearance: Under the microscope, the viruses look like they are covered with pointed structures that surround them like a corona, or crown.

Is this coronavirus different from SARS?

SARS stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome. In 2003, an outbreak of SARS started in China and spread to other countries before ending in 2004. The virus that causes COVID-19 is similar to the one that caused the 2003 SARS outbreak: both are types of coronaviruses. Much is still unknown, but COVID-19 seems to spread faster than the 2003 SARS and also may cause less severe illness.

What are symptoms of COVID-19?

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

In rare cases, COVID-19 can lead to severe respiratory problems, kidney failure or death.

If you have a fever or any kind of respiratory difficulty such as coughing or shortness of breath, call your doctor or a health care provider and explain your symptoms over the phone before going to the doctor’s office, urgent care facility or emergency room. Here are suggestions if you feel sick and are concerned you might have COVID-19.

If you have a medical emergency such as severe shortness of breath, call 911 and let them know about your symptoms.