Coronavirus: Americans Struggle to Stay Home

Around the world cases of COVID-19 reached 300,000 and in the United States they topped 34,000 with 400 total deaths. Those statistics are jarring however one of the most concerning news stories this past weekend was the fact that Americans are still refusing to stay home and take social distancing seriously.

From beaches in Northern California, to the streets of Santa Monica and even at the National Tidal Basin, people were out and about to enjoy spring weather despite dire warnings from mayors and governors to shelter in place. While several states have enacted shelter in place restrictions and have made the threat of civil penalties, it’s unclear how strictly they’re being enforced.

Why This Matters: Staying home if you’re able to is critical to slow the spread of coronavirus and ensure that our healthcare system doesn’t become overwhelmed–as NY Governor Cuomo warned will soon happen in his state. And though the spring weather is tempting and some national parks are still open, here’s why you should reconsider going.

Pro Tip: How to convince the people in your life who refuse to stay home, to stay home.

Go Deeper: There’s a lot of confusion among the American public about what social distancing means. This is largely due to the fact that there hasn’t been adequate federal direction of what responsible action by individuals entails.

The Politics: As Americans are waiting for much-needed federal relief to help them pay the bills, a stimulus deal has been held up in Congress. According to the New York Times, Senate Democrats voted against an aid package on party lines as they said it  failed to adequately protect workers or impose strict enough restrictions on bailed-out businesses. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that he was hopeful a compromise could be reached, stating  that“we’re closer than we’ve been at any time over the past 48 hours to an agreement.”

Canceled Events: Canada and Australia both said that they will not send athletes to the Tokyo Summer Olympics, making the chances that the games will proceed increasingly unlikely.

The Good News: The New York Times reported that warmer weather might slow down the coronavirus spread, according to a new early analysis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The scientists found that the most coronavirus transmissions around the world occurred in places with low temperatures.

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