COVID-19 check in:
Not a lot of news in the small cities of the American South. We are moving slightly slower than the rest of the country, but we are following the lead of the big cities. We are not yet seeing many people staying at home, but school has been cancelled for at least two weeks. Some businesses are limiting their hours, some shelves in the grocery stores are empty (yes, especially toilet paper), and some businesses are feeling the pinch as people stop going out as much.
As I work for the schools, I have lowered risk of exposure now that the students aren't attending, but at this point we are having "teacher work days". This means I show up, try to find enough paperwork and planning to fill my time, and have enough contact with coworkers to maintain exposure risk. No clear cases have been identified in town, although there are unsubstantiated rumors that the local hospital has seen some cases.
Meanwhile, our kids are stuck at "home"... which means, in a low-income neighborhood where parents can't take time off work, the kids are spending time with whatever grandparents, friends, aunts and uncles, and siblings that can take them. Parents don't get to choose what is best for their family (unless the choice is unemployment or putting their support system at risk). And since most things are not shut down, and because we now have children moving through more households, we can expect to see Covid-19 to continue to spread, without any direction from informed decision-making targeted at protecting the vulnerable. Yay!
If it does come down to it, I can easily lock myself away for a month without starving or running out of reading material. My guess is that we aren't going to go down into a real lockdown, and I will get sick when the kids come back to school, whenever that is. I am not a high-risk patient, though, and don't expect that getting sick will mean much more than another two weeks off work :-/