The impact of the coronavirus COVID-19 on American life is increasing as more and more closures and cancellations kick in. Schools are closing, universities are moving to only online classes, travel is being curtailed, and many workers are being told to work from home, even at the Pentagon.
Ohio took a dramatic step Thursday afternoon after the state Health Department banned all gatherings of 100 people or more. That prompted Gov. Mike DeWine to close all schools across the state for three weeks beginning Monday. "We have a responsibility to save lives. We could have waited to close schools, but based on advice from health experts, this is the time to do it," Dewine tweeted.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) March 12, 2020
Quite a few changes are making headlines, like the NCAA banning fans from college basketball's "March Madness".
That means the huge championship tournament nicknamed the "big dance" will be a lot quieter. NCAA President Mark Emmert announced, "I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance."
The move was foreshadowed last Friday at Johns Hopkins University as the men's Division III tournament was played without fans because of the coronavirus.
Astrid Liefer, the mother of one basketball player, said, "We're here to support the kids, and whether we're watching them from a screen at the hotel or in the stands, they know that we're here supporting them."
Impact on Daily Life
The coronavirus impact goes beyond sports to Americans living out their lives from day to day. CBN News met up with some people in Virginia Beach where resident Harvey Coleman told us he tries to avoid crowds, and that's not all.
Coleman said, "I wash my hands many, many times during the day. And I went to Costco to buy toilet paper, and they're out. They've sold out completely."
Businesses Responding with Safety Measures
Virginia Beach resident Nicole Wilkens said, "So I'm in sales, and you can imagine, shaking hands is a large part of my daily process; so trying to just eliminate touching people – fist bumps, elbow bumps. Besides that, nothing really has changed."
Local businesses and restaurants are also changing their routine in light of the spread of the coronavirus. We spoke with the manager of a restaurant in Norfolk, Virginia, to learn his strategy.
Randy Windley has managed Doumar's for 30 years. "In the restaurant business, we are washing our hands 10, 15 times a day," he said. "We also wipe stuff down with a Clorox cleanup on all of our tables and any of the server stations and that kind of thing, too."
National chains are changing the way they operate. In addition to deep cleaning, Target is limiting the number of hand sanitizers you can purchase.
Dunkin and Starbucks say no to personal cups. And fast-food restaurants like Taco Bell are now using tamper-proof packaging to keep delivery drivers from potentially contaminating the merchandise.