President Trump appeared briefly on Sunday at the press conference in the White House and reinforced the message to Americans that there is no need to panic-buy groceries and other items.”Take it easy, just relax,” the president said after learning shelves had been emptied in many supermarkets by anxious buyers.
Meanwhile, the top infectious disease expert in the United States hopes a nationwide lockdown will be put in place, although it is a drastic step, he warns the public “the worst is still ahead.”
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “I think Americans should be prepared that they are going to have to hunker down significantly more than we as a country are doing,” in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
“We need to be very serious about this, for a while. Life is not going to be the way it used to be in the United States. We just have to accept that if we want to do what’s best for the American public,” Fauci told CNN.
Schools in many states have been closed, large gatherings are banned, and theme parks such as Disneyland and Disney World have closed their doors.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio made the decision to close all public schools, affecting more than 1 million students, an arrangement he made “with no joy and a lot of pain,” according to VOA.
“The virus can spread rapidly through the close interactions New Yorkers have in restaurants, bars, and places where we sit close together. We have to break that cycle. Tomorrow, I will sign an executive order limiting restaurants, bars, and cafes to food take-out and delivery,” de Blasio said in a statement on Twitter.
The coronavirus is an especially contagious disease, and something not experienced by today’s generation.
Younger people “are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill,” Fauci said, reports Politico. “There are going to be people who were young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So, protect yourself. But, remember, you could also be a vector or a carrier. And even though you don’t get seriously ill, you could bring it to your grandfather, your grandmother or your elderly relative.”
Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said all bars and restaurants would begin closing at 9 p.m. Sunday across the state. “Establishments can stay open for carry-out and delivery,” he tweeted. “What we can’t have is people congregating and seated.”
With all schools now closed in Ohio, DeWine said students may be confined to home for more than a few weeks.
“This may not peak until the latter part of April or May,” he said. “So, we have informed the superintendents, while we have closed schools for three weeks, that the odds are that this is going to go on a lot longer. And it would not surprise me at all if schools did not open again this year.”
Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the White House virus task force, said new federal guidelines on so-called social distancing, will be announced early this week.