Fears over the Wuhan coronavirus continue to have a rippling effect throughout the country.
Drastic measures are being taken to stem the tide of the rapidly-spreading illness.
And one city just took a jaw-dropping action in response.
The Wuhan coronavirus has reached nearly 200,000 confirmed cases with almost 8,000 deaths.
The pandemic spreads very easily, which makes it frightening, but thankfully doesn’t have the same mortality rate of SARS, a similar upper-respiratory infection.
Nevertheless, world governments are treating the outbreak with the utmost seriousness, particularly because the death rate is much higher among the elderly.
Italy’s aging population is getting crushed by the pandemic at the moment.
To ensure the Wuhan coronavirus doesn’t spread too rapidly in America, many businesses are shutting down and social distancing is being encouraged.
But one U.S. city just took an extreme measure to slow the rate of infection.
San Francisco and the surrounding counties of the Bay Area are being put under a “shelter in place” order, which is tantamount to a lockdown.
The 6.7 million people that comprise the population of six Bay Area counties will be forced to stay home.
Only personnel in key sectors such as police, fire and rescue, grocery stores, and a few others will be operating as usual.
Restaurants, bars, and other venues with large gatherings are shut down.
People who violate the order could face misdemeanor charges, which carries a fine, jail time, or potentially both.
Health Officer of Santa Clara County, Dr. Sara Cody, explained the move during a press conference:
“We were seeing a tipping point here in Santa Clara County with exponential growth of our cases…Over the weekend, I had a discussion with fellow health officers in the Bay Area and we realized that we are one region, and that what’s happening in Santa Clara County today will soon be happening in the adjacent jurisdictions. We decided collectively we need to stake swift action as soon as possible to prevent further spread.”
The “shelter in place” order lasts until April 7th, so almost the entire Bay Area is on lockdown for three weeks.
Time will tell if the move will pay off.
Other governments have taken different approaches, but results aren’t yet known.
For example, the United Kingdom is doing the opposite and attempting a “herd immunity” strategy by encouraging people under 70 to live their lives as normal.
British health officials are gambling that this strategy will build up a resistance to the Wuhan coronavirus amongst the population.
Regarding the Bay Area policy, times like these are precisely why preparation is important. If you’re not prepared in terms of supplies – as well as mentally – a three-week lockdown could feel like an eternity.
People who have prepared properly shouldn’t feel too much of a disruption over a three-week span.
And the ones who are hoarding items likely aren’t mentally ready to handle this pandemic crisis.