Canada announced on Monday that they will be closing the border to non-Canadian citizens, except for permanent residents, immediate family members of Canadian citizens, diplomats, aircrews, and U.S. citizens.
On Monday, Germany also announced that it had shut its border with five European neighbors: Austria, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, and Denmark. The borders with Netherlands and Belgium have not yet closed.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel announces that all bars, clubs, theaters, public swimming pools, playgrounds, and brothels will close for the foreseeable future. Grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and pharmacies will remain open for now.
One of the hardest-hit countries is Italy, where they recorded their biggest one-day increase in cases and deaths during the coronavirus outbreak. Italy registered 3,590 new cases on Saturday along with 368 deaths, and now the total COVID-19 cases in the country are nearly 25,000, and the death toll now over 1,800.
Italy was ranked in 2000 by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having the second-best health care system in the world. But Italy also has one of the oldest populations in the world with a median age of 45.5 years. These are both factors as we gauge how other countries in Europe react to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as how bad it will get in the United States.
The United States is approximately 10 days behind Italy, and health officials are attempting to ascertain how severe the U.S. situation will get in the coming days.
Italy failed to practice social distancing, self-isolation and banning public gatherings in time, which likely resulted in the skyrocketing numbers of confirmed cases and deaths.
This is relevant data when it comes to the current situation in the United States. That’s why many local municipalities and states have enacted bans on public gatherings. The tri-state area enacted its own regional ban on Monday.
The states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut announced that they are banning gatherings of more than 50 people, closing bars, gyms, theaters, and casinos. The order allows restaurants and bars to provide take-out or delivery services. Grocery stores will remain open. The multi-state ban goes into effect at 8 PM on Monday, and the closures will “last as long as is necessary to protect the public health,” according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Chick-fil-A and Taco Bell announced that they are closing their dining rooms at all locations nationwide, but customers can still use the drive-thru. Starbucks said that they have closed their seating areas, but patrons can still come inside for grab-and-go orders.
There are currently over 4,100 confirmed cases in the U.S., with 71 deaths, 29 of which are from a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington.
The economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the stock market. After the Dow Jones surged 1,985 points (9.4%) on Friday, the market took another plunge on Monday. As of 2 PM EST on Monday, the Dow was down 2,127.45 (9.18%). This is incredibly worrying since the Federal Reserve knocked U.S. interest rates down to a range of 0 to 0.25%, from a range of 1 to 1.25%.
On Monday, economists with the UCLA Anderson Forecast said the U.S. economy has entered a recession. The UCLA Anderson Forecast, which “provided forecasts for the economies of California and the United States, said this ends the expansion that began in July 2009. The economic forecast predicts that California will lose 280,000 jobs.
In one promising aspect of the unpropitious COVID-19 situation, the first trial in humans of a possible coronavirus vaccine will be administered on Monday.
“A group of 45 healthy volunteers will have the jab, at the Kaiser Permanente research facility, in Seattle,” according to BBC News. “The vaccine cannot cause Covid-19 but contains a harmless genetic code copied from the virus that causes the disease.”
Moderna Therapeutics, which is the biotech company doing the coronavirus research, noted that the results from these trials will take several months to know if this vaccine even works on COVID-19.