Monday, June 24, 2024

Shelter in Place or Simply Put, Stay at Home

HomeTipsShelter in Place or Simply Put, Stay at Home

Officials in an ever-increasing number of US states have announced mandatory “stay at home” orders to curb the spread of the virus, while the Coronavirus pandemic brought along a series of travel bans, lockdowns and partial shutdowns worldwide.

What does “shelter in place” mean?

Starting last week, many areas asked citizens to “shelter in place”. Depending on the situation, the phrase can have various meanings. When it comes to dangers such as shootings or bombing, it means to seek safety within the building one already occupies rather than evacuating the area or seeking a community emergency shelter. In this particular case, where we have to fight with an unknown enemy and a strategy should be implemented for suppressing the epidemic, it means that people should stay in the safety of their homes to avoid spreading infection or becoming infected themselves.

On March 19, Californian governor Gavin Newsom made an order for people to remain in their residences unless they have a vital reason for going out, and less than five days later, other states had rushed to follow suit, including Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia. Several more states ordered nonessential businesses to close but didn’t issue full stay-at-home orders.

Reasons to go out

The details may vary from one state to another, but in general, these directives mean people should only go out for healthcare reasons, or to get food, medical supplies or other essentials. As long as proper social distancing measures are practiced with people staying at least six feet away from each other, going outside for exercise or walking the dog is permitted. Those at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should not go out at all, but people can leave their homes to care for a relative or a friend. The restrictions will remain in place until further notice.

Schools, recreation facilities and movie theaters are closed

The essential personnel who works in healthcare, emergency response, grocery stores, banks, gas stations can still go to work, while schools, movie theaters, gyms and recreation facilities are closed. Hardware stores, food banks and laundromats are allowed to operate; bars and restaurants are closed to customers, but they can continue providing delivery and takeout services. You can still support your favorite restaurant by ordering food online and receiving it at home, without having to make contact with the delivery personnel.

25.5 million Californians may become infected

Though Newsom estimates that 25.5 million Californians may become infected with the virus, he said the order to stay at home would not be enforced by law enforcement, as he is confident that the people of California will abide by it and do the right thing. Other states took a harder line. “These are not helpful hints,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said at his press conference Friday. “These are legal provisions, they will be enforced, there will be a civil fine and mandatory closure for any business that’s not in compliance.”

Stay at home and listen to the authorities’ advice. We might not know enough, but it’s the only thing we can do, without making much of an effort. Stay home and stay safe!


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