The following was originally written for and published by Revolution Now Magazine.
With schools shutting down, US President Donald Trump declaring a national emergency, and flight restrictions being imposed around the world, COVID-19 is pretty much all that anyone can talk about. We’ve summarized all the key info that you need to know to help you understand this rapidly changing situation.
Symptoms of COVID-19 and What to Do: According to the CDC, the following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you experience any of the following emergency warning signs, seek medical attention immediately: pain or pressure in the chest, bluish lips or face and difficulty breathing. If you think that you might be infected with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider and explain your situation. Your doctor will determine whether or not you need to be tested for the virus, but since there is no treatment, people who are mildly ill or not at serious risk may be able to isolate and treat themselves at home.
National Emergency Declared in US: The Trump administration has officially declared the pandemic a national emergency, which gives the government access to billions of dollars of funds and activates the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to aid with response. The president also invoked the Stafford Act, which is a federal law that evokes systematic assistance for state and local governments. FEMA, along with the Department of Health and Human Services, have become the leading authority on the government’s response with this declaration.
Mass Cancellations and Postponements: The NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS have suspended play to minimize the spread of the virus, after Utah Jazz basketball players Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell fell ill. Stars like Billie Eilish have postponed their concert tours until further notice. The National Collegiate Athletics Association has canceled all championships, including the famous March Madness basketball tournament, which supplies the majority of all its funding. Schools around the world have extended their spring breaks or moved to online lessons for the remainder of the semester.
Travel Advisories Placed: The United States Department of State has raised the Global Health Advisory to level 3, urging citizens to reconsider their travel plans abroad and avoid them if possible. “Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice,” the Department states on their website. Countries including Italy, Spain, and China have gone on full or partial lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.