WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – It’s a very different start to the week for millions of Americans who find themselves home from work or school in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus. As some resist the calls for social distancing, federal officials warn of stark consequences and cities and states are making their own moves.
Monday morning, White House correspondents posted signs to keep a distance in the briefing room. It’s just one workplace where things have changed, as public health officials urge more social distancing.
The C.D.C. Sunday night recommended a halt to gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks.
The U.S. Surgeon General, Doctor Jerome Adams, put the decision Americans face in stark terms. “We have the same number of cases now that Italy had two weeks ago. We have a choice to make.
Do we want to really lean into social distancing and mitigation strategies and flatten the curve, or do we just want to keep going on with business as usual and end up being Italy?
Cities and states are taking more measures.
Millions of students in more than 30 states, plus major cities like Los Angeles and New York City, are not heading to school.
Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, and California are among states putting restrictions on bars and restaurants to keep people from congregating.
Former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said, “These may seem extreme, but the consequences of not doing so are even more extreme the health consequences and the economic consequences. So in these moments, acting early matters.”
Meanwhile, the U.S. financial markets sank sharply Monday morning after emergency moves by central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, slashing interest rates to near zero.
Investors are shaken, that the coronavirus disruption may be worse than anticipated.