Coronavirus certainly has everyone’s attention


Several weeks of constant bad news about the economy in 2008 finally caught my attention enough to realize that news was going to affect everyone. At that point, I began to worry.

For several weeks, we watched and listened as China grappled with this deadly new virus. The coronavirus, honestly, sounded like something a hard-partying college student might have. There wasn’t too much thought about what would happen when it reached North Carolina. That just seemed to be a world away.

But, here it is. North Carolina is pure eat up with the coronavirus. And lots of people are worried.

As of Monday night, 45 of North Carolina’s 100 counties had reported at least one case of someone with coronavirus. Thankfully, Person County is not among them at the time of this writing. I’m hoping that remains true for the duration of this health scare, but I’m not all that optimistic. When you look at a map, nearly every county bordering Person County, except Caswell in North Carolina and Halifax in Virginia, have reported at least one case.

More startling, perhaps, than the widespread nature of this virus is the force with which government leaders have reacted. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen every restaurant in the state shut down for dine-in service. I can assure you I’ve never seen classes canceled for as long as North Carolina students are likely to be out following Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order Monday calling for the end of in-person classes until May 15. I have never, ever, seen almost an entire sport season just wiped out, right before our very eyes.

I must say, I wonder about people who are defiantly ignoring Cooper’s orders. I can’t imagine that anyone thinks they are cute. Or right.

North Carolina has not issue the so-called shelter in place requirements yet, though a handful of counties have.

And now, some non-essential businesses are being ordered to shut their doors. I suspect, for the people who work in those businesses, they are anything but non-essential. Still, I see the logic behind the move and here’s hoping that won’t become even more stringent as time goes by.

I’m not heavily invested in stock market, but I the coronavirus scare has put the willies into traders on Wall Street and stock prices are plummeting. It’s remarkable all the dominoes that must fall. If there’s a plus in all this, I was speaking to my daughter and she was asking about comments she saw on social media from people who said their 401K had taken a massive hit. It gave me an opportunity to explain to her what a 401K is and how it works. She decided she didn’t want to invest any of her money in the stock market if there was a risk that she could lose it. That may be a wise position right now, but after all this has blown over and the stock market has been on a steady incline for several months, she might well wish she had invested some of her money in the stock market.

Whatever happens with the health of people in Person County or anywhere else in North Carolina, whatever happens to the economy and joblessness, one thing seems fairly certain: we aren’t likely to see this kind of health scare for a long time to come. I for one am fine with that.


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