As I was taking my daily walk this morning, I popped into a New York bagel shop to buy some for my husband. There, I glanced up at the TV and saw that Governor Hogan was doing a press conference.
He was announcing a “Stay at Home” order to take effect at 8PM today. I think this quote from his press conference sums it up well:
“We are no longer asking or suggesting Marylanders to stay home. We are directing them.”Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (3/30/2020)
The directive supposedly doesn’t expand the rules that are already in place, but they make them “enforceable.” So while we were supposed to stay 6 feet away from people we don’t live with, and not leave the house for “non-essential” activities before today, now you could be detained, fined, or given jail time if caught.
There is now a ban on curbside pick-up for all non-essential businesses, which is new for this directive:
On March 23rd, Governor Hogan made an executive order to close all non-essential businesses and to limit leaving the home and meeting with people you don’t live with.
Companies and services that could remain open as “Essential Services” included health care, agriculture, energy, public works, community-based government operations, defense, financial, transportation, law enforcement, and water and wastewater. Restaurants could continue to do delivery and take-out orders.
The fact that this directive escalated to the “Stay at Home” directive tells me that the government doesn’t feel people are taking the previous directive seriously enough, and are breaking the rules. I personally see this often while taking my daily walks, and I’d imagine there are still people congregating in a lot of places… Though there aren’t really anything open anymore. The weather has been getting so nice that there are tons of people out and about, chatting with neighbors and playing basketball.
While I’m not quite sure what the difference is between “Stay at Home” and “Shelter in Place,” I can tell that the situation is escalating as number of confirmed cases climb exponentially.
Trajectory of COVID-19
There is a website shared with me that shows trajectory of COVID-19 confirmed cases around the world to see potential containment. And we definitely are not contained, with over 100,000 new confirmed cases in the PAST WEEK. It seems like only yesterday that we were below 100,000, and now we are at 163,000 confirmed cases.
Just a few days ago, we were third in the world, and now we are number one, and leaps and bounds beyond any other country. Shockingly, in just a few days, we’ve reached double the number of confirmed cases compared to China.