If you thought to yourself, “This coronavirus thing doesn’t seem that bad, it’ll blow over soon and life will return to normal,” you may want to rethink that.
As the virus continues to spread and sicken Americans, governors and mayors are responding to demands by state and local officials to shutter businesses and close off entire sections of major cities in an effort to contain the outbreak.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio folded to pressure and threats of a “sick-out” by scores of teachers to close NYC schools, even as he considered tougher measures.
“Every option is on the table in a crisis,” he told CNN Sunday, as reported by The Epoch Times. “We’ve never seen anything like this.”
“It’s changing every hour so we’re going to constantly make new decisions,” he said, noting that cases in New York could rise to as many as 1,000 in the coming days.
De Blasio is also said to be considering a lockdown of the Big Apple, though he did not provide many details during his interview.
“So there’s the ability to establish a curfew. There’s the ability to regulate whether vehicles or individuals may enter or leave specific parts of the city. There is the ability to close down public transportation,” he said, adding that city officials could suspend alcohol consumption, firearms usage and could order people off of streets and out of public places.
He also floated the idea of “nationalizing” certain industries to deal with a “war-time scenario.”
“This is a war-like situation, we are in a war-time scenario with a Mar-a-Lago attitude being used by the federal government,” de Blasio said, a reference to President Trump’s Florida resort.
“If the federal government doesn’t realize this is the equivalent of a war already, there is no way that states and localities can make all the adjustments we need to,” he added.
Meanwhile, the governors of Ohio and Illinois have ordered all bars and restaurants to close, choking off commerce but also providing less opportunity for the virus to spread. (Related: Right now, all across America, the coronavirus is spreading through grocery stores, Costcos and Sam’s Clubs… because that’s where all the crowds are.)
“I’m aware that this will impact many, many good workers,” Republican Gov. Mike DeWine said in a tweet, according to KDKA. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am, but we will work to mitigate the suffering. It is our goal to get everyone through this.”
The order affects in-restaurant and in-bar dining and drinking. They will still be able to do carry-out and deliveries.
“Every day we delay, more people will die,” he said in another tweet. “If we do not act and get some distance between people, our healthcare system in Ohio will not hold up.”
The order remains in effect indefinitely, according to KDKA.
Illinois’ Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker also ordered bars and restaurants closed, effective Monday.
“I cannot let the gravity of the choices prevent us from taking the actions that the science and the experts say will keep people safe,” he said in issuing his order, according to CBSChicago.
“It’s unfortunate that many people didn’t take that seriously,” he added, in response to reports that crowds were packing into bars ahead of St. Patrick’s Day.
“The time for persuasion and public appeals is over. The time for action is here,” Pritzker said. “This is not a joke. No one is immune to this.”
That said, Pritzker noted that the state’s presidential primary elections would be held as scheduled on Tuesday. “If we delayed,” he said, “it is unclear when we would be able to hold another.”
This is all just the beginning, folks. There will be more closures, more emergency orders, and more restrictions on travel and movement.
If you didn’t think it could happen in America, you were wrong.