‘If I Get Corona, I Get Corona’: Social Distancing Messaging Not Gaining Traction In Large Swaths Of Population
Despite repeated warnings from scientists, public health experts and government officials about the importance of social distancing, many Americans are still going about their daily lives. Meanwhile, many who are keeping themselves inside wonder "how long this will all last?" The answer? No one really knows.
Meet The Americans Still Going Out And Gathering In Large Groups
As people in San Francisco shelter in place and New York City was warned to prepare for a similar measure, some 40 people met in New Mexico for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting on Wednesday amid White House pleas to avoid groups as the country battles coronavirus. Officials are telling Americans they must practice social distancing and avoid groups of more than 10 people to slow the spread of the pandemic. But in many places, especially outside large centers, people are defying the message. Among the reasons: The urgency has been slow to become apparent; they do not believe in the steps; or their livelihoods depend on ignoring the guidance. (Hay and Resnick-Ault, 3/18)
The Washington Post:
Miami Spring Breakers Say Coronavirus Hasn’t Stopped Them From Partying
Not even a pandemic could prevent Brady Sluder from partying in Miami for spring break. An Ohio native, Sluder had been planning the getaway for about three months, according to Reuters, when Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) ordered all the state’s bars and nightclubs to shut down for 30 days to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus. It unfolded as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged a nationwide halt to gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. (Bella, 3/19)
The Washington Post:
Social Distancing Conflicts With Human Evolution As A Social Species
Consider the wild tiger. It consorts with fellow tigers only to mate or, if female, to briefly raise cubs. Otherwise, the tiger roams solo. Tigers are great at social distancing. We are not tigers. Amid a novel coronavirus pandemic, some of us have defied public health officials’ exhortations and headed to bars to be with other members of our species. More of us have stared into the weeks to come and wondered how we will cope without basketball games, book groups, worship services, yoga classes and dinners with friends. (Brulliard, 3/17)
The Wall Street Journal:
America’s New Coronavirus Strategy Stresses Social Distancing Over Broad Testing
The Trump administration plans to emphasize social distancing as the primary method to contain the new coronavirus, a shift away from its recent focus on widespread testing as a containment tool. Top White House officials have recently started saying testing will prioritize seniors aged 65 and older, front-line health care workers and patients hospitalized with symptoms amid a dwindling national supply of testing chemicals and ingredients. State health departments in Utah and Minnesota have said they must limit who gets tested, and a senior Trump administration official said most people will face a long wait for testing if they aren’t in the prioritized categories. (Armour, 3/19)
Kaiser Health News:
Take A Deep Breath: Making Risk-Based Decisions In The Coronavirus Era
Just last week, it seemed OK to have lunch out or maybe meet up with friends for a game of pickup soccer. Now, in the fast-moving world of the coronavirus response, that’s no longer the case. More and better social distancing is required. But what’s still acceptable? We reached out to public health experts, who, admittedly, vary in their recommendations. But their main message remains: The better individuals are now at social distancing to slow transmission of the virus, the better off we’ll all be eventually. (Appleby, 3/18)
The New York Times:
Which Country Has Flattened The Curve For The Coronavirus?
Just a few weeks ago, China was overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan. Since then, it has drastically reduced the number of new cases, what is known as flattening the curve. (Lai and Collins, 3/19)
The Associated Press:
How Long Will Americans Be Fighting The Coronavirus?
How long will this last? Scientists say there isn’t a simple answer. “In many ways, this situation is unprecedented – we’re trying to take some actions to curb the spread and timing of this pandemic,” said Stephen Morse, a disease researcher at Columbia University in New York. Yes, there have been past disease outbreaks that scientists can draw some lessons from but, in those cases, the disease was largely allowed to run its course. “So those models don’t precisely apply,” Morse said. (Larson and Smith, 3/19)
US Coronavirus: Government Is Preparing For Pandemic That Could Last Up To 18 Months And 'Include Multiple Waves Of Illness'
Nearly two months since the first US coronavirus case, the federal government is now preparing for a pandemic that could last up to 18 months or longer and "include multiple waves of illness," a report obtained by CNN shows. Hospitals have already sounded the alarm on quickly vanishing supplies as the outbreak in the US shows no signs of slowing -- in just 24 hours, cases soared by more than 40%. (Maxouris, 3/19)
Officials Preparing Public For Long-Term Disruption
Political leaders around the country are beginning to warn their constituents that the major disruptions to their everyday lives caused by the spreading coronavirus will last far beyond the temporary shutdowns that are so far in place. The states and cities that have ordered schools and businesses closed have set two- or three-week limits, in hopes of stemming the spread of the virus. But public officials are increasingly warning that the closures are likely to last far longer. (Wilson, 3/18)