Not everyone stayed home, of course. Our medical professionals are risking their health every day trying to keep us safe. And truck drivers are working furiously to keep our supply chains functioning so that we don’t have to fight over toilet paper at the grocery store. (For an illuminating and slightly harrowing look at what their lives are like, check out this Twitter thread.) And many small businesses and restaurants are trying to stay afloat in our new reality.
But this was the week that social distancing went into full effect for many people around the country. Office workers everywhere started commuting from their couches, people spent a lot of time on Zoom and in Google Hangouts, and a lot of us are newly licensed homeschool teachers. (Shout out to all the real teachers who are becoming online instructors on the fly. May parents never take you for granted again.)
The next few weeks will demonstrate whether we acted in time. Overall cases are in an exponential growth pattern, though a lot of that has to do with increased testing capability. This is not a sign that our efforts at social distancing and shutting down are not working. But COVID-19 fatalities are growing rapidly, too—a result, among other things, of the stealth spread of the disease before more testing was available.
Meanwhile, millions of Americans are out of work, at least temporarily. State governments are taking steps to help those affected access unemployment benefits more quickly, and Congress is working on a stimulus package.