When we came to the US, news was delivered on TV for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening. In between, we went about our day in peace. Fast forward four decades and we are awash in news - the good, bad, and ugly kind. And the line between news and opinion has blurred to the point where the consumer has to super vigilant to avoid falling prey to partisan propaganda. We've distilled our world into two simple nuggets. If it aligns with the way I think, it must be right. If it feels wrong, it must be fake news.
I notice with great sadness that some journalists at the WH Press Briefings are not able to counter with facts. When pressed for statistics, they flounder or are bullied into silence. From my living room, I point incredulously at the screen going...c'mon, you should know this! But in doing that, I realized I lack awareness too.
So, I pieced together the timeline of Covid-19 from various sources including nytimes.com, usatoday.com, and foxnews.com because I am "fair and balanced", if nothing else!
Origination & Early Spread (December and January)
December 29-31: Hospitals in Wuhan treat dozens of cases of pneumonia of unknown origin
January 11: First death in Wuhan
January 20: WHO reports cases in Japan, South Korea, and Thailand
January 21: First case in Washington State, US
January 23: Wuhan locked down and cut off from the world; globally 17 dead, 570 infected
January 30: WHO designates coronavirus a pandemic
January 31: US bars foreign nationals who have traveled to China from entering; globally 213 dead, 10k infected
Rampage through Asia and Europe (February)
February 11: WHO names the disease Covid-19; 1100+ dead in China, nearly 45k infected worldwide
February 21: South Korea imposes lockdown; 76k cases worldwide
February 23: Italy locked down starting with 10 cities in Lombardy
February 26: First cases reported in Latin America CDC reports 35 cases in the US
February 28: European cases spike with infections in 14 countries; first cases in Sub-Saharan Africa
February 29: First death in the US, in Seattle; global cases at 87k
More Lockdowns (March)
March 3: CDC lifts restrictions on testing, 90k cases worldwide
March 13: US declares a national emergency
March 17: France imposes nationwide lockdown
March 20: Gov. Cuomo shuts down non-essential businesses in NY
March 23: UK locked down
March 24: India locked down
March 26: US death toll crosses 1k; US leads the world with 81k infections
March 30: VA, MD, DC, KS etc locked down; 235M Americans are told to stay at home
Staggering Numbers (April)
April 1: global cases top 1M
April 20: 2.4M cases and 165k dead worldwide, 728k cases and 41k dead in the US
This virus is reinforcing how connected we are despite the rhetoric that denies our global context.
Today is 101 days since the first death in Wuhan, 82 days since the world knew a pandemic was upon us. And we are at 2.4M infected and counting. Stunning. Terrifying. Humbling.