What do you need to know about COVID-19? News, tips, and how we are handling it here

Our usual daily activities such as going to school, to work, to church, and out to eat at restaurants all seemed monotonous to us. Little did we know, all of that was going to change in a matter of days. 

Due to the widespread Coronavirus pandemic, Texas and all of America  has been put on lockdown. On March 19th, 2020, Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave an executive order to the whole state that schools will be shut down, nursing home visits will be restricted, restaurants will be limited to take out only, and public gatherings must be limited to 10 people. Dallas County followed with the same orders March 20, and Tarrant and Collin Counties followed four days later on March 24th.

The U.S. Government is allowing state Governors to make state decisions about following federal guidelines. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a lock down here March 19, 2020.

Reaching wider than Texas,  the U.S. Government issued guidelines in mid March with updates frequently, saying citizens should not leave their homes, unless it is absolutely necessary (going to the grocery store, necessary work, or aiding the elderly) through May 30th. President Donald Trump is looking to each State Governor to issue orders for their state. The Government itself has not declared a lockdown, only issued guidelines. The U.S. has closed all borders to Mexico and Canada with only necessary people allowed through. 

This lockdown is mimicking that of China and Europe. Similar to the US, France has extended their lockdown an extra four weeks (May 11), however, their schools and some workplaces plan to reopen mid-May. 

Other countries are taking more extreme measures. 

On March 17, European leaders closed the European union’s borders after Slovakia, Malta, and the Czech Republic. 

It’s definitely no surprise that this pandemic is affecting every nation and people group.

A lot of people here are lucky enough to stay afloat during this tragedy. Unfortunately, others aren’t so lucky. 

In one week, unemployment doubled in America. In March alone, 7 million American citizens lost their jobs and the unemployment rate hasn’t been this high in years! Some people are even suggesting the unemployment rate of 2020 could exceed the Great Depression. A bright spot occurred with part-time labor increasing 1.4 million in March by those getting by while preferring full-time jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

How does all of this look for us here? Former Grace Prep teacher, Angela Walraven, is the manager of the Brick and Mortar store for the local boutique, Paisley Grace, in Mansfield. 

“Ultimately the storefront decided that it would be in the interest of our employees and our customers if we closed during this crisis. We made this decision several days before Tarrant  County closed businesses like ours to the public. Luckily, Paisley Grace has a strong online store. We are able to focus all our attention on the online side of the business even if the store front had to close,” said Walraven. 

Thankfully, here in America, the Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was passed on March 27 by Congress, is a sigh of relief for millions of people concerned about their financial state. 

The CARES Act promises $600 per week to unemployed Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. People who are eligible for this benefit are laid off workers, workers who quit, workers caring for children and others at home, self-employed workers, workers who were scheduled for work, and people who have to support their family because the head of the household passed away. 

The Coronavirus has in some way damaged everyone who qualifies for this support money. 

The Coronavirus doesn’t just affect families. It has also taken a toll on many businesses, as well as the economy. 

Retailers such as Apple, Barnes & Noble, and General Motors have closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Just like families, some businesses are large enough to survive temporary closures, but smaller businesses are struggling when it comes to the rate of slowing business. 

Grace Prep parent and Business Club Sponsor, Derrick Kinney, is a financial advisor in Arlington, and spokesman for several business news outlets.

“Some businesses may bounce back fairly quickly while others may not make it or may eventually be forced to close,” said Kinney. “For anyone who may lose a job during this economic crisis, I would suggest they continue to build and refine their skills so they position themselves for new and better future opportunities.” 

Not only are businesses being influenced by this catastrophe, but the economy has definitely been altered in many ways. 

The restaurant industry has been hit particularly hard with estimates between 7 and 17 million workers being laid off by June. This prompted #TheGreatAmericanTakeout campaign to help support our favorite restaurants, and companies like DoorDash cutting commission fees to help.

GPA Alumni parent Greg Hall is with Spring Creek Companies, and had to initially close all of their Mexican Inn Cafes and some of their Spring Creek Barbeques.

“We are so fortunate to be a family-owned company,” said Hall. “I have witnessed what I would call pure acts of selflessness, sacrifice, and in some cases heroism from hourly staff (many of whom are teenagers), office personnel, operations managers and leadership all the way up to the ownership. I am equally amazed and gratified by the outreach from our loyal guests and partners in the community.”

Spring Creek Manager, Lee Sanchez, hands food to a waiting line of customers in cars at the Spring Creek Barbeque in Mansfield.

Thanks to community support, they have been able to reopen a few of their Mexican Inns and all of their barbecue restaurants for take-out and delivery only.

Although the Coronavirus epidemic has affected the employment and monetary realm, it has also disturbed the health and well-being of millions of individuals nationwide. 

According to the Hill, 80% of US coronavirus deaths are people from ages 65 and up. 

The states with the most number of cases include New York, Washington, Louisiana, and California. 

Globally to date, there have been 166,256 deaths related to COVID-19.

The coronavirus and the flu have been compared numerous times, and the question people are asking themselves is: How is the coronavirus different from the flu? However, this question cannot be answered due to how new the virus is. The flu has been around much longer than the coronavirus, so doctors have been studying it for decades, but the coronavirus hasn’t been around long enough to release a lot of information about it. 

Thankfully, now over 700,000 Americans have recovered from the virus and researchers are working diligently to make a vaccine, but that can take two years. In the meanwhile, blood transfusions from recovered patients and a combination of medications are proving to boost recoveries.

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