States Are Issuing Strict Lockdowns Before Thanksgiving: Here’s What You Need To Do Now If You’re Searching For A New Job
Most of us thought we’d be done with Covid-19 by now. It’s been eight months of unrelenting terror, fear, anxiety and frustration. Businesses were forced to close, major iconic corporations filed for bankruptcy protection and millions of Americans lost their jobs. Worldwide, about 1,368,818 people have died of Covid-19, as of Nov. 20.
For a brief moment, it felt that we may have overcome the pandemic. Announcements from several big pharmaceutical companies claimed that they have effective vaccines ready to go. The acrimonious presidential election season is mostly behind us. Now, leading up to the much-anticipated holiday season, state officials are warning us not to have Thanksgiving gatherings, and even possibly passing on Christmas, as reports of the disease escalate across the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world.
The Medical Professionals
Thanksgiving is the unofficial start of the holiday seasons. Pre-Covid-19, it was a time of joy, happiness and getting together with family and friends. This has historically been one of the most traveled times of the year with roughly 26 million people flying around the country to be with their loved ones. The medical community is alarmed that the trips and interactions between large numbers of people could hasten the spread of the disease.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press conference on Thursday. The U.S. public health experts requested that Americans avoid traveling, opening your home to people outside of your immediate family and not to have large gatherings on Thanksgiving.
Dr. Henry Walke, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Covid-19 incident manager, said during the press briefing, “Right now, especially as we’re seeing this sort of exponential growth in cases, and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another, it leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time.”
“In the last week, we’ve seen over a million new cases,” said the CDC’s Erin Sauber-Schatz to reporters on Thursday. The U.S. reported more than 11.6 million Covid-19 cases with greater than 250,000 deaths. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said, “This is really a call to action for every American to increase their vigilance.” Birx added, “This is more cases, more rapidly, than what we had seen before.”
The Lockdowns: What The States Are Doing
A number of states are quickly announcing lockdowns, curfews, stay-at-home orders, limiting public gatherings and only permitting a certain number of people at one time in a household. Mask mandates are being imposed in some locations.
Ras Baraka, mayor or Newark, New Jersey, told his residents that they will have to stay at home for 10 days beginning the day before Thanksgiving in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus in the state’s largest city. Baraka stated, “We want only folks to come out for essential purposes. Do not go outside if you don’t have to. Don’t mingle with other people if you don’t have to. Stay (with) your family in your immediate household.”
Oregon issued strict Covid-19 policies. For two weeks, the state will be placed in a partial lockdown. Gyms will be shut down, restaurant dining halted and only six people can gather together.
California Governor Gavin Newsom announced an overnight curfew on the majority of the state’s residents. Nonessential residents will have to stay home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. until Dec. 21.
Gina Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, called for a “two-week pause” with business closures and reduced capacity for restaurants and houses of worship. The edict will be reviewed on Dec. 13 and a “full state lockdown” is possible if the situation does not improve.
Chris Sununu, New Hampshire’s governor, ordered mandatory face coverings to be worn in public spaces-indoors and outdoors.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said all indoor gatherings for social, leisure and community events will be limited to 15 people. Restaurants and bars will be made to close by 10 p.m. Masks will be mandated for people spending at least 15 minutes in an indoor public space without being able to socially distance.
Philadelphia officials ordered a ban on “indoor gatherings of any size in any location, public or private.” City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said, “We need to keep this virus from jumping from one household to another.” If the “exponential” growth in cases continues, hospitals will soon be strained to their limits and more than 1,000 people could die.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called on her citizens to cancel Thanksgiving plans and stay at home. Lightfoot required a “nonbinding, 30-day, stay-at-home advisory, asking people to refrain from traveling, having guests in their home or leaving for nonessential business.”
New York City has closed down its schools and have reverted back to remote learning. Mayor Bill de Blasio cited the “positivity rate of 3%” as the reason for the school closures.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reported that residents should “stay home. except for only the most essential trips.” Businesses must “minimize operations and in-person staffing to the greatest extent possible.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer plans for strict limitations on indoor gatherings and other activities for three weeks up to Dec. 9. Whitmer will close schools, stop indoor dining at bars and restaurants and make people work from home. She said, “We are in the worst moment of this pandemic to date.” Whitmer warned, “The situation has never been more dire.”
What You Need To Do Now
It’s easy to become afraid. To give the benefit of the doubt, our elected officials are trying to do what’s best. There are many who believe that their edicts reek of heavy-handed capricious authoritarianism. Their proclamations may not be based on science, research, investigations of what works and doesn’t, but made to show that they are at least doing something.
You should be prepared that the shutdowns will have ripple effects. Many small businesses won’t be able to keep their doors open and will have to shutter operations and layoff workers. Large corporations will place jobs on hold due to the uncertainty. It’s easy for them to take the path of least resistance, enact hiring freezes, downsize a little to cut costs and say they’ll wait until the New Year before they make any decisions.
If you are on the job hunt, don’t let this destroy your morale. Avoid capitulation to fear. Maintain your courage and self-confidence. Use this time to be proactive. Keep doing everything you’ve been doing in your job search. Think of it as planting seeds for the future. Network with people, post on LinkedIn and social media, consider reaching out to career coaches, résumé writers and recruiters.
Eventually, the vaccine will be rolled out. We’ll manage Covid-19. The mood of the country-and world-will improve. There is a lot of pent-up demand. Things will start fast moving forward.
Hang in there and stay strong. We’re almost there!
Originally published at https://www.forbes.com.