A Stateside Story: Trump Extends Anti-Virus Guidelines

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White House coronavirus press briefing. Note social distancing in the press room.

 

According to a headliner in the New York Times, Trump announced an extension of the anti-virus guidelines until April 30th. The measures include the avoidance of non-essential travel, going to work, eating out at bars and restaurants or gathering in groups of more than 10, as well as washing hands at least 20 seconds, catching sneezes and coughs in tissues that are thrown right away, staying away from sick people, and self-quarantining for 14 days if you have been exposed to the corona virus.

Rhode Island protective gear for COVID-19 public tests, taken 30 March 2020.

As the world’s largest economy reels from the pandemic, businesses have been shut down, schools and colleges have been emptied and society’s social life has been suspended.

Trump had hoped to open the economy for business by Easter.

Trump had hoped to open the economy for business by Easter, April 12th, but advise from his medical counselors made him extend the draconian measures until the beginning of June. Models had predicted the worst of the outbreak would appear in two weeks from now, with a slowing of the number of cases after that.

“We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery,” President Trump said. “We think that by June 1 a lot of great things will be happening.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, at a White House Coronavirus press briefing.

“The idea that we may have many cases played a role in our decision in trying to make sure that we don’t do something prematurely and pull back when we should be pushing.” Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said, adding that extending the guidelines until April 30 was a “wise and prudent decision”.

Many private companies are now producing ventilators and masks and gowns for use by hospitals and medical personnel, with the excess production slated to be sent to Italy and Spain and other areas where they are most needed.

What will “normal” look like in the months ahead?

Unemployment applications are up and banks are loosening their requirements for small business loans while the government has promised checks to individuals and businesses to tide them over until things get back to normal.

But after all is said and done, what will “normal” look like in the months ahead? Will we be able to avoid a world-wide recession and come out of this downturn?

Is the cure worse than the problem itself? Only time will tell…

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Images
Featured image/Official White House photo-Andrea Hanks, PD
Dr. Fauci/Official White House photo-Andrea Hanks, PD
Protective gear/The National Guard, CC BY2.0
Easter Bunny/Paul VanDerWerf, CC BY2.0, cropped
Sidewalk cafe/Brian Crawford, CC BY2.0