If I wrote an article last month saying that all flights from New York have been grounded for 14 days to stop the spread of coronavirus, you’d say I was crazy. Actually, I’m sure I’d get comments saying what a horrible person I am for writing such a clickbaity post.
However, if I wrote that post sometime this week, there’d be part of your brain that’d say, “I see how that could happen.”
That’s where we’ve gotten. The point where no story is too extreme because we’ve busted through all the walls of what we thought was ever possible. Just think of what’s happened in the last two weeks:
- The Canada-US border was closed to non-essential travel
- The Mexico-US border was closed to non-essential travel
- Hawaii has a mandatory 14-day quarantine for anyone traveling to the islands
- The EU closed its border to non-Schengen nations for non-essential travel
- The US blocked travelers from the UK and Ireland from visiting.
- The states of Washington, California, New York, Delaware, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have issued instructions to their residents to stay at home except for essential travel (like getting groceries or going to the doctor).
Do any of these things seem like they were possible on January 1, 2020?
Nothing is surprising anymore. Billionaire hedge-fund owner Bill Ackman has urged the president to give the United States a 30-day spring break where everyone can stay home, let the virus slow down and give us a chance to control it.
A prolonged stay-at-home period would curb defaults and foreclosures as the US economy faces its biggest challenge in years, the billionaire investor said. The government should keep only essential services open and pay wages during the unprecedented holiday. Rent, interest, and tax payments should be canceled over the month-long period, he proposed.
Even if that proposal never gets traction, the thought that is even being considered shows where we are.
What about these headlines?
- Shuttered: Here Is What the Vegas Strip Looks Like Today!
- TURKISH AIRLINES REDUCE DESTINATIONS TO JUST 5 FROM OVER 300
- Marriott Furloughs Two-Thirds of Their Corporate Employees
- FAA Temporarily Halts Departures from NYC Area, Philly and Other Airports
- Emirates cancels flights across network by March 25, 2020
Those last two headlines were false alarms. The NYC airspace opened back up and Emirates didn’t cancel all of their flights (for now). But when you read them, it seemed plausible that such a thing could happen.
That’s where we are. Now that we’re here, where do we go?
Anyone who tells you they know the answer to that question is lying.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary