As follow-up to my earlier 1, 2, and 7 March postings on here about the world COVID-19 VIRUS crisis: <watch for hyper-links>
Considering myself as knowledgeable as anyone that I have sourced on the World-wide-web (so far), I proffer this opinion:
People are getting really stressed out about COVID-19, in an increasing fashion ... It is very easy to catch, has been determined to be 30 times more deadly than the flu. You can become infected simply by breathing in the air around you (laden with microscopic moisture particles exhaled, coughed, sneezed or spoken), it can live on solid surfaces for 9 days, and some victims can act as “carriers” for weeks… before ever showing any symptoms themselves.
As this virus continues to grow by contaminating hard surfaces (for 9 days) all around us, no public place is safe, and that is what really freaks a lot of people out. And we have not even talked about door knobs, mosquitos, fast foods, your shoe soles, contaminated air filter elements in stores, or cute puppies and kitties.
The level of public stress is becoming very alarming to hear and watch, our unanswered and not understood questions make us feel vulnerable or fearful “Will it come to my community” , “Am I at risk?’, “Do I have it ?”. “Are non-porous surfaces (mail, cardboard, clothing, hair) really… not absorbing sneeze sputum ?” NPR talked about the “national anxiety” level as the coronavirus spreads,
“We’ve got national anxiety at the moment, a kind of shared stress, and we are all in a state of extreme uncertainty,” says Catherine Belling, an associate professor at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who studies the role of fear and anxiety in health care.
More than 3,000 people have already died around the world, and many of the reactions that we have seen elsewhere on the globe are starting to happen right here in America.
Every new media release or newscast, the level of anxiety goes higher, right or wrong, now, large numbers of Americans are extremely afraid to touch each other, or anything around them, and realize that even having a conversation with someone could kill you..
“Coronavirus anxiety” is everywhere, and there is no cure for that… America has begun to be very afraid of even doorknobs, tremble at the thought of punching in a code on a debit card module, a touch-screen in the self-checkout lane or a cash machine, the fear of any public transportation.
Last week, you pressed elevator buttons with abandon. You weren’t afraid of shopping carts or the change being handed you back, the staircase hand rail, or a classroom, or a trip to the supermarket.
This outbreak has already radically altered the behavior of millions of Americans, and we are only in the very early stages of even knowing about what it is, fear is causing many people to stockpile supplies into “pandemic pantries,” sales of hand sanitizers have risen 73%, medical masks sales spiked 319%, aerosol disinfectants rose 47% and thermometers increased 32%, latex/vinyl gloves, and 90% Alcohol, toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water, and canned goods are disappearing at a record rate... making it inevitable that shortages will begin to emerge (if not already here).
(here is my container ship information in from Singapore yesterday): In Asia/India/near east, my ocean shipping, and marine sites are all collapsing the freight activity out of China, Viet Nam, and Singapore by scary amounts, the reports are working backwards from LA/LB, Charleston, SF, SEA, and NO, at around 25-30% annual reduction of freight to America (as of “today”), next month ?.
LA/LB is 60 scheduled container ships canceled from 1 Feb to 1 March (so far) that is down (so far) 50 % of normal freight... Longshoremen union is in layoff mode, and the panic has started, the stack pier is 70% empty.... pictures are up online.
Right now, in Asia, cargo/freight/inventories/ and warehousing is in big trouble after another week of no container landings, very little is leaving the Asian ports, the Ports and Pilots, Tug crews are on very light to no duty, and the incoming fuel tankers cannot unload into full tanks creating a huge mess of anchored ships on stand by. everyone is losing money from no cargo.
Jobs on the docks are drying up, leaving many workers without steady work, as empty cargo containers stack up at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, officials said this week.
It's all a casualty of an ongoing drop-in ship calls from Asia as the coronavirus continues spreading. Factories in China have remained closed or operated at below-capacity levels for weeks now as the virus has taken its toll. About half of the cargo coming into the ports comes from China.
Forty-one ships have canceled cargo deliveries scheduled between mid-February and early April, Seroka told commissioners at their regular meeting Thursday, March 5. "That accounts for about 25% of our normal ship calls here at the Port of Los Angeles," he said.
Ray Familathe, president of International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13, LA/LB said the two ports together have seen a more than 50% job loss, "It's a tremendous loss of cargo," Familathe said.
There are many more emails coming in from all over the shipping and fishing industry, just a lot of unusual busy activity… So if there is something that you need to purchase, you should go get it as soon as you can.
`As we have seen in China, European and American medical professionals are catching COVID-19 despite taking proper precautions, which underscores just how easily this virus passes from person to person.
A medical professional who conducted passenger screenings at the Los Angeles International Airport tested positive for the coronavirus late Tuesday, according to the Department of Homeland Security, the well versed medical professional wore the proper protective gear while working. ad the person was a “contract medical screener” for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eventually, some pretty extreme measures must be taken to get this under control.
Chicago State became the first Division I men’s basketball program to cancel games due to the coronavirus outbreak, announcing on Tuesday the decision not to travel to Seattle University on Thursday or Utah Valley on Saturday.
The University of Missouri-Kansas City declared Wednesday the Roos men’s team would not travel to Seattle for its Saturday contest against the Redhawks.
Italy announced Wednesday it will temporarily close all its schools and universities as the country continues to grapple with a surge in coronavirus infections, according to new reports. Those closures will begin Thursday and last until mid-March, CNBC reported.
We still don’t know if this will become a true global pandemic, or if it will kill millions of people, but many talking heads are thinking that it is definitely a possibility. If COVID-19 does kill millions of people, it will cause street fear on a scale that most of us would not even want to imagine right now.
Thanks to social media, information can spread across the globe in a matter of minutes. There is no way that global authorities will be able to keep the general public calm if things get bad enough, and health systems in the western world will be absolutely overwhelmed as multitudes of sick people swamp the hospitals.
Today as the numbers continue to grow at a frightening rate each day, our “coronavirus anxiety” is going to continue to grow right along with those numbers, Alfred E. Newman, Ravi Shankar, Jimmy Buffett and Bob Marley all had something in common.