When will we get back to business?


March 13. By Dave Yochum. The coronavirus may be halting more and more events, but we’ll get through this. There’s plenty of foodstuffs on the shelves at the Harris Teeters and Publix, although bathroom tissue is an issue at the Antiquity store.

The grocery manager there said a shipment comes in tonight. The shelves were half-full at Jetton. Food Lion was closed during our drive tour between 6 am and 630 am this morning.

Flattening the curve

How long this lasts is anybody’s guess. ​Cancel​ing events—and self-quarantining—​​may be draconian, but it slow​s​ down the spread of the virus​.

​Doing so prevents ov​er-burdening ​a​ healthcare system that doesn’t have the ​capacity to handle thousands of ​new ​cases at once. Without mass closings, that surge is ​likely to happen, just as it has in Italy.


It’s called “flattening the curve,” slowing the transmission such that cases occur over a longer period of time. The vast majority will recover.

Statewide there are 14 people who are presumptive positive for coronavirus and one additional confirmed.

According to the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services, “all are doing well and are in isolation at home.”

Donna Moffett, the head of a CPA firm in Cornelius,  said: “It will take about 3-4 weeks for folks to move from shock and panic mode to some sense of normalcy.” Her team is working in the office as busy season gets underway in the accounting business.

Are we prepared?

Michael Osterholm,​ a highly regarded ​infectious disease expert ​from the University of Minnesota, says the US is ill-prepared to combat the coronavirus due to a shortage of equipment and supplies. Here is a low-key, intelligent interview with Osterholm: Click here.


He said we’ve had ongoing transmission in this country for weeks, suggesting there are more weeks, if not months, ahead of us.

“It’s going to continue for some time to come,” Osterholm said. “So, the fact that we went from 26 countries with cases of the virus 14 days ago to over 80 countries with cases now shouldn’t surprise us.”

He said an “extraordinary amount” of new transmission is occurring everyday all over the world.

The United States does not have an unlimited supply of ICU hospital beds and ventilators, nor does it have a highly centralized government. Unlike China, our systems are not swift enough to build additional hospital wards in 10 days.

‡You can view up-to-date, data-driven information from Johns Hopkins here.

Some public places—and practices—are running as usual.

One of our readers said she was at the DMV yesterday for drivers license renewal. “No one took any precautions for the Coronavirus. I put my head in the machine for eye testing and no one wiped it off before or after. There were no disinfectant wipes anywhere,” she said.

To make matters worse, everyone used the same pen to sign and nothing was done to disinfect it.

At both Harris Teeters, the sugar cookies have been removed—kids can ask for them at the Antiquity bakery department. But the breakfast bar at Old Jetton was open as usual. An HT associate suggested it was all business as usual, at least for the food bar.

Meanwhile, Wynn Resorts and MGM Resorts have closed their buffets in Las Vegas.

Business at the Antiquity Harris Teeter is up dramatically overall, another HT associate said.

Pick-up is backed up

One reader told us she ordered her groceries online at 3 am today for pick-up at the Old Jetton store.

“Typically I would have been able to pick those up this morning however that service is so backed up that I won’t be able to get my groceries until tomorrow at noon!

Social distance: Just do it

If you’re concerned about being with people, drive-up windows are an option. Business was brisk at the drive-up at Starbucks on West Catawba; likewise, inside was busy.

The coronavirus is most commonly spread through respiratory droplets​, so close proximity to others—in any kind of setting, including religious worship—is unwise right now.

It means St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are in jeopardy. ​The ​NCDHHS recommends that organizers of events that draw more than 100 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services.

These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact—less than 6 feet—​such as ​concerts, conferences, sporting events​ and​ faith-based events​.​



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