Governors, and even the President, has requested the country to stay at home due to the new COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus). However, there hasn't been a lot of clarification on what these stay at home orders. We're hoping to clear up the confusion in this Civic Guide.
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States Affected by Stay at Home Order
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The following states are affected by the Stay at Home Order as of March 31, 2020
- Alaska: starting March 28.
- Arizona: starting at 5pm on March 31
- California: starting on March 19
- Colorado: starting March 26 to April 11
- Connecticut: Starting March 23 at 8pm
- Deleware: March 24 to May 15
- District of Columbia (DC): Starting March 30
- Florida: Starting April 2 for 30 days
- Hawaii: Starting March 25 to atleast April 30
- Idaho: Starting March 25 for atleast 21 days
- Illinois: Starting March 21 through April 7th
- Indiana: Starting March 24 till April 6th
- Kansas: Starting March 30th at 12:01am
- Louisiana: Starting March 23 to April 12
- Maryland: Starting March 30th at 8pm
- Massachusetts: Starting March 24 to April 7
- Michigan: Starting March 24 for 3 weeks
- Minnesota: Starting March 27 to April 10
- Montana: Starting March 28
- New Hampshire: Starting March 27 to May 4
- New Jersey: Starting March 21
- New Mexico: Starting March 24
- New York: Starting March 22
- North Carolina: Starting March 30 at 5pm
- Ohio: Starting March 23 to at least April 6
- Oregon: Starting March 23
- Rhode Island: Starting March 28 to April 13
- Virginia: Starting March 30
- Vermont: Starting March 25 to April 15
- Washington: Starting March 23
- West Virginia: Starting March 24
- Wisconsin: Starting March 25 until April 24
Be Calm, You Don't Need to Panic
First of, don't panic. There is no need to panic. Your state's leadership is NOT declaring a curfew or military order. They're still allowing us to carry on with essential functions, but limiting on things that we took for granted, such as taking the train or gathering in large groups.
This appears to be until April 30th according to the President's recommendation, so only for 30 days.
Why Is there a Stay at Home Order?
If we didn't have the COVID-19 virus taking over the world, on a typical day, there are various reasons people are taken to the hospital, such as car accidents, injuries, or child birth. And so, the hospitals don't have a lot of intensive care unit (ICU) beds and equipment, because they are ready for normal day to day emergencies.
As an example, a hospital might have 100 beds for various emergencies, but only 20 beds for ICU, and with those beds are various equipments, such as ventilators, scrubs, masks, syringes, etc. just for those 120 beds.
The problem we have now is that the COVID-19 virus is spreading at a very rapid pace. Every 1 person can infect up to 2.2 persons before showing any symptoms. This is interesting too because in a common cold, when we are infectious, we also feel sick and naturally stay at home unless we absolutely need to go outside. The difference with the COVID-19 virus is that a person might have contracted the virus and might spread the virus before actually feeling sick. Before they stay at home, they'd have infected about 2-3 people on average.
Due to the behavior of this virus, the viral infection causes a large amount of people to get sick in a very short amount of time. While most people will have cough and flu like symptoms, roughly 10% to 20% of the people need to get admitted to the ICU with ventilators that they need to survive. These 10% to 20% of the population could be our beloved parents, grand parents, or even healthy young adults like our sisters and brothers.
Going back to our example above, if the hospital capacity has only 20 beds in the ICU, and our city has 1000 people with the COVID-19 virus, and 10% of the people are sick, then about 100 people need to go to the hospital and get 100 beds in the ICU. When the hospital can't meet this demand, they'll be forced to choose who they can save and can't save.
They can send the person to nearby hospitals, but when this situation is happening at such a large scale, all the nearby hospitals might also get overwhelmed.
This is why our Governors and our President is asking us to stay at home.
What Can I Do in a Stay at Home Order?
Remember what we said, don't panic. You can still do a lot of essential items.
- Pick up Essentials: You can go to your grocery store, and pick up essentials such as food, medications.
- Enjoy the Fresh Air: You can go outside for a walk if you're feeling locked inside the house. If you have pets, feel free to take them out for a walk. While you're out, practice Social Distancing and keep atleast 6 feet between you and the next person.
- Connect with Friends and Family: Use your phone and video chat on apps like Facebook, WhatsApp and Hangouts to connect with your friends and loved ones.
- Leave the house only when absolutely necessary: You are allowed to leave your house if you are a worker at an essential job, or if you are seeking medical care.
What Can I Not Do in a Stay at Home Order?
These are the things that you cannot do during a Stay at Home Order. Violators of these things will face penalties, including criminal misdemeanor in some states.
- Do not host or attend any gatherings: You are not allowed to host any type of gatherings or large parties, and you're not allowed to go for any gathering or large parties. The more people you're close with, the virus has a higher chance of spreading.
- Do not gather in outdoor spaces: You can enjoy outdoor recreation alone or with members of your household. However, meeting up for a basketball game, even if it is outdoors, violates the Stay at Home Order.
- Do not use public transportation: You are not allowed to use any type of public transportation, such as trains or airplanes. Travel that is absolutely necessary is allowed, but travel for the sake of vacations or other non-essential reasons are not allowed. If you travel out of state, you will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.