Just a week or two ago, everything was different.
Except that it wasn’t.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a long time coming. We’ve had months of lead time, witnessing the outbreak emerge in China, and the devastating toll it’s taking in Italy and Iran.
There’s also the difficult truth that epidemiologists — such as Larry Brilliant, who led the fight to eradicate smallpox — have seen this one coming for years and years.
Yet in the United States, our governmental response has been more of a mad scramble.
California led the way, first in the Bay Area, where last week six counties issued a “shelter in place” order to help stop the spread of the disease.
Then, just yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom extended the same order to the entire state.
In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine is also closing nonessential businesses, from bars and restaurants to hair and nail salons.
New York State, home to the nation’s largest concentration of COVID-19 cases caused by the novel coronavirus, is now following these leads.
These preventative measures are admirable and important, even as they are provoking pain, confusion and fear, as financial markets crumble, businesses shutter, and many tens of thousands of Americans find themselves out of work.
And the fact remains — we don’t have enough ventilators. We don’t have enough hospital beds.
We should have been more prepared. This should not have been a surprise.
And yet, this country is full of people who can barely afford health care, and some who don’t even have homes to shelter in.
What we can do
At The Daylighter, we find ourselves at a shocking loss. What can we, as journalists, do to make a difference?
Our coverage thesis is to aggregate “important but overlooked news for global citizens,” and find the best of these stories from credible sources around the world.
With this in mind, over the coming weeks we will be filtering our general focus — on topics such as human rights, the environment and local self-reliance — through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic.
For now, we will be providing more up-to-the-minute briefs and updates on national and global response to this global crisis.
You can also always check our home page, and click on the coronavirus briefs link in the top menu.
We value your feedback — please let us know how this is working for you, and also, we’d love to learn about how you’re coping in your own community.