UNITED STATES─I want people to know that last week’s column about the Coronavirus at first I thought was being blown out of proportion. However, it seems the chaos is expanding, and I want to say beyond a pandemic it feels like an epidemic has exploded. Why? Schools, literally schools all over the country are closed for the next several weeks. Colleges and universities have virtually ended the semester or asked students to leave campus, head home and start focus on completing any coursework via online.

This one disturbs me because I was set to capture my Master’s Degree in a few weeks and now commencement has been cancelled. All that hard work and I don’t even get to have that moment of celebrating all my hard work because of this epidemic. It’s just a devastating blow. On top of that it feels like the world is a ghost town. This isn’t “The Walking Dead,” but one would suspect the end of the world is upon us with the way things are transpiring.

If you haven’t been to a grocery store or local retailer you’re in for a big awakening. How so? Shelves are literally empty, I mean nothing is in stock, water, bread, milk, eggs, meat, all gone, nothing at all. People are purchasing things like cleaning supplies in excessive abundance. It feels like we’re going to run out of product. Stores are closing, bars, restaurants and casinos are now forced to close their doors. This is about to take a brutal hit on the economy. I mean you will NOT be able to get fast-food, you will not be able to eat out, go to the movies, shop, bank, I mean how the hell are people expected to pay their bills? I’m serious, how are bills supposed to be paid!

If people cannot work, we cannot make money. If people cannot get to the bank they cannot retrieve money to pay those bills. This is slightly scary, and not in the best of ways America. There are rumors of a possible government shutdown, which seems like a bit extreme. That means you’d have to shut down hospitals, fire departments, police departments, local, state and federal government offices. I just cannot imagine a complete shutdown where people are forced to stay inside their homes and not be able to maneuver around as if nothing has transpired.

All I keep going back to is how this pandemic started and is there more to the story than what the government wants us to know. First, it was just chatter, then the chatter got bigger, and then within a week it was like a tsunami. I mean any type of event with 50 people or more has been cancelled. There are no sports, and I mean no sports on TV whatsoever. Talk shows are still going with no audience which just baffles me. You shouldn’t even be on the air. The constant talk and I mean constant talk about the Coronavirus is causing so much panic. It’s all people can think about because it’s all we keep hearing about.

There is a way for the news to discuss the issue, but not make it a 24/7 highlight where we have no escape from it no matter what we attempt to do. It’s on every news station, local and cable news, social media outlets across the board and every newspaper or magazine you read. I seriously cannot recall the last time I’ve seen something of this magnitude transpire in our country. Are we really at such a crisis that as citizens and nationals we are frozen in fear? Companies are closing their doors left and right, there is nowhere to go. The government is proposing a stimulus package to send money to hurting Americans out of work or looking at the grim possibility of losing their job and having to fend to cover expenses. I mean even greedy Cable and utility companies are preventing shutoffs for the next 60 days in response to the pandemic.

I said I know things are bad if we get to the point where the airports are closed. If travel is prevented then we are in major trouble, as the airports are already chaotic right now as we speak. I’ll say what I’ve told many people. Be smart, think be cautious, but don’t overdo it. Wash your hands, be aware of practicing good personal hygiene. By not doing stupid things we help us all stay healthy and prevent this virus from spreading as its being reported. However, when you go on national TV and continue to harp on the issue that it’s only going to get worse before it gets better that does not make me feel good inside people.