That time has come to six counties in Northern California–SF and the entire Bay Area. They have just issued “shelter in place” orders where we are basically told to stay home. All businesses but essential services are to be closed. We should only go out to get supplies at stores, or help others such as the elderly. This came after CDC said no groups larger than 50 for eight weeks, the U.S. government suggested less than 10 people.
Yesterday, the state governor ordered the closure of bars, clubs, and gyms. Restaurants will be takeout and delivery only. Friday most school districts closed (CA is one of 17 states that has yet to mandate all K-12 school closings.) As I type this, Idris Elba just said he tested positive for it. It hasn’t even been a week since the NBA suspended its season last Wednesday. Last Tuesday was when NTTD got delayed.
Thursday morning there were 1301 coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 41 deaths. Today (Monday 23:03GMT update) has 4599 cases and 86 deaths, both exceeding exponential model predictions. Cases are doubling every 4 days and increasing tenfold in 13. So that means there could be 50,000 cases in just under two weeks, especially since future cases have already been affected a week or two ago. Then perhaps we could see some flattening of the curve. However, the number of new cases are also increasing exponentially (737 yesterday, already 878 new ones today exceeding model value of 849.) But getting worse could be a good sign as it means more testing and a better grasp of how many have it. These are all factual data from the worldometers website. They also list other affected countries.
Within a week, life in the U.S. has changed to nothing like we’ve ever seen before. The life changes are exponential as well. No sooner do you have a thought, then it happens within days if not hours. It’s no longer a theoretical exercise or a news abstraction. It has become a hard reality very quickly. Take social distancing seriously before the decision is made by somebody else. Don’t panic. But prepare.