As the Covid-19 outbreak started developing into a global pandemic, many wonder if this could be the plague prophesied by astrologer Nostradamus.? Although a lot of people who believe in sun sign astrology and predictions are inclined to believe that it is, those who prefer to adhere to science-based facts do not think so.
Still, regardless of what we believe in, the important thing for us to understand is that Covid-19 is a new and more deadly strain of the flu-causing coronavirus that populations have experienced in the past. According to epidemiology experts like Stephen Morse of Columbia University, we are living in a time when
“Infectious diseases emerging from a large and uncharacterized “zoonotic pool” of human pathogens have increased opportunities to develop into an epidemic due to drastic ecological changes and to travel widely because of globalization.”
Another factor mentioned by Morse are the years of complacency among developed nations toward infectious diseases; partly because of the availability of immunizations, antibiotics and improved public health measures. In fact complacency is one of the reasons why Covid-19 had spread rapidly in Italy and Iran — where people went about their daily lives, while unmindful of the Covid-19 that is already in their midst.
The same complacency that U.S. president Donald Trump had tried to impress upon the American people in order to protect the health of the stock market. Fortunately local and state governments, particularly those in the San Francisco Bay Area took action even before Trump made a turnabout and took the threats of the Covid-19 pandemic more seriously.
Public Health Officials in San Francisco Bay Area Gave Lockdown Orders in Several Counties
In a move that is regarded as unprecedented, public health officials invoked their authority to order a lockdown in their respective counties in order to prevent the Covid-19 disease from spreading farther.
The orders are backed by the force of law to ensure that the millions of people in their communities will abide with the restrictions imposed by public health officials. Their orders include “shelter-in-place” and closures of nonessential businesses like bars, breweries, health clubs, gyms, moviehouses, nightclubs, spas, tanning facilities, wineries, and to some extent restaurants and fast foods outlets.
Those who insist on disobeying the directives will be charged with misdemeanor, with which they can be punished with fines and/or imprisonment.
The state of New York is poised to implement the same orders. Jeffrey Schlegelmilch, the Deputy Director of Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness in New York City, said the measures taken by the Bay Area’s public health officials are drastic, but are logical and necessary.
Directo Schlegelmilch also acknowledges that in order to prevent the disease from completely overwhelming the health care system, they have to impose widespread and more aggressive social distancing measures over the whole population. He remarked that
“We have been operating under a veil of ignorance because we do not have a sense of the truth”
What the San Francisco Bay Area’s “Shelter-at-Home” Orders Include
Aside from prohibiting people to leave their homes, except when carrying out activities like buying food, medicine and other essentials, the Bay Area’s set of shelter-at-home measures include:
1. Requiring individuals to a maintain a distance of 6 feet between them when situated in in any place where a number of individuals gather. Otherwise, the gathering is strictly prohibited.
2. Restaurants may continue to operate but only toward serving delivery and takeout orders.
3. Non-essential travel in and out of county jurisdictions is prohibited.
4. Populations with higher risk of complications such as those with aged 65 and over, as well as people with chronic conditions like cancer, heart problems, lung disease, or diabetes are required to stay home and prohibited from attending gatherings hosted by people outside of their immediate families.
5. Pregnant individuals must also consider committing themselves to self-isolation to the greatest extent possible.