No more 24-packs of bottled water. Bags of rice, dried beans, noodles, and even cases of Ramen and Spam are gone.
Store shelves are emptying. Santa Claritans are stocking up.
The waiting line for the cashiers was over 30 carts deep. Thousands of Santa Clarita Costco customers over this weekend emptied out about everything needed to sustain a family for 14 days of quarantine.
I hope everyone in town now understands the new strain of the Coronavirus, COVID-19, could show up here at some point very soon.
Several COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have just been reported. Despite President Trump’s comments that the risk of a national outbreak is minimal, it seems the public clearly understands that the spread of COVID-19 at this point could be unstoppable.
I believe a pandemic will be announced by the World Health Organization within days.
This newest virus strain is similar to other flu viruses. Just like for the seasonal flu, which is COVID-19 related, a vaccine will help prepare the body’s natural immune system.
By the end of summer, a vaccine should be ready, perhaps a little late for some of us.
The Centers for Disease Control announced that those who are “older and with underlying health conditions” are at highest risk.
Avoiding contact would be a simple solution if everyone infected showed symptoms.
The problem is that a significant number of those carrying the virus have no symptoms and can spread the virus without even knowing they have it. Medical experts estimate that each infected person transmits the virus to approximately six others each day over a five- to 10-day infectious period.
In other words, even those without symptoms can spread the virus to 50 with ease.
Easily transmissible thorough breathing, even a high-micron filter mask is not effective in filtering out microscopic breath vapor between persons.
Just assume anyone breathing the same air in a public place such as a grocery store or market, in church, at work, or in school will be at risk. Anyone touching a plastic or smooth surface can contract this virus even a week later after the virus is deposited.
I recommend you and your family be prepared to self-quarantine for two to three weeks. Fluids like Gatorade with electrolytes, bottled water, over-the-counter medications that address the flu, staples like rice, potatoes, pasta, canned fruit and frozen vegetables might be goods to have on hand.
Pet food for your creature, sanitizing spray or wipes for packages left at your door, a thermometer, and aspirin might also be wise to have on hand.
Think about what your family needs for three weeks without going out in public. Self-quarantine may not only help avoid virus contact but also might spare others from contact as well. I would expect the feds to recommend self-quarantine for non-essential personnel at some point in the coming weeks.
Remember our first responders, such as our sheriff’s deputies, firefighters, hospital staff and EMTs will still be working regardless. They always deserve our respect and thanks, but especially now we should be grateful for their help and commitment to public safety.
Share emails or text messages to help each other out.
Restaurants, schools, concerts, religious services and sporting events could be on hold. Groceries and essentials could be delivered at your door and paid by credit card. Human interaction could be reduced to a minimum as the virus runs its course.
I would estimate for as long as six months we will need to adjust to a different way of interacting with others.
But by this time next year, this virus should have run its course. A vaccine giving added immunity will have proven successful.
Delivery services like Grub Hub and Door Dash will have made huge profits.
Revenues from manufacturers making disinfectants and hand sanitizer will be flush with cash. The stock market will recover.
Humanity and society will survive. Some will have lost their battle, yet, most of us will be unphased as this latest pandemic will be replaced by newer fears and concerns.
Using a crisis as a reason to dispense political blame has no value other than for self-serving motives and to promote an immature mindset.
Rather than using the coronavirus as an excuse to exact political blame on rivals, this is the time to come together as one society and leave partisanship behind.
We will accomplish more together than apart.
Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations firm, is the CFO of a private security firm, is the COO of at an acting conservatory, is a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.