The COVID-19 virus has continued to spread in the past few weeks, affecting more people worldwide every day. With all the news that has come out recently surrounding the pandemic, here's a brief update on where the world is.
The panic from the COVID-19 virus outbreak has only increased in the past few weeks. With 13,069 confirmed deaths and well-known celebrities infected, the world’s terror has only grown. Many governments are now encouraging citizens to self-quarantine themselves in their homes to stop the infection, and to keep at-risk peoples safe.
Some of the first places to implant quarantine laws were the region of Lombardy and 14 other areas in the north of Italy, affecting nearly 16 million people. On March 8th, government officials of affected countries implemented a strict quarantine; closing schools, public spaces and other venues. It's not a complete lockdown; trains and airports are still running, but citizens need permission for access. Police also have the right to stop and question why they are leaving. Italy has now shut down all non-essential businesses until April 3rd. As of March 21st, the total death toll in Italy has grown to nearly 800 people. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said, “Only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed.”
Hollywood has also been hit with this pandemic. On March 11th, one of America's most beloved celebrities, Tom Hanks, revealed on his social media that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had both tested positive for COVID-19. Hanks had been preparing for a movie in Australia when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He has since self-quarantined himself with his wife. Hanks has stated that they are “not great” but are “feeling better every day”. Other notable people who have tested positive include actor Idris Abla, along with Prince Albert II of Monaco.
In more local news, 4 days ago, the BC Provincial government announced that all schools will be closed indefinitely. Provincial Education Minister Rob Fleming released a statement saying that they are unsure of when classes will resume and that they are looking for ways for students to learn while schools are closed. He has reassured students that Grade 12’s will graduate this year and that everyone will move onto the next grade in the fall. British Columbia was the last province to close schools, waiting until Spring Break had started before making any decisions. Any social service that school provides, such as meal plans and daycares, will still be running, and teachers will continue to work.
Aljazeera, “ Timeline: How the new coronavirus spread”
By: uncredited, Saturday, march 21, 2020
CNN, “Coronavirus news and live updates”
By: Julia Hollingworth and Jenni marsh, March 20, 2020
The Globe and Mail, “BC joins other provinces in in shuttering schools”
By: Wendy Cox and James Keller, March 18 2020
By: Catherine Shoard, March 20, 2020
BBC, “NOrthern Italy quarantines 16 million poele”
By: Uncredited, March 8 2020