On March 16, 2020 The White House Coronavirus Task Force convened and adopted the “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign complete with recommendations for all Americans to adhere to in reducing the spread of the virus. Citizens were urged to practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, wipe down surfaces in the home, and if feeling sick stay home to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of COVID-19. It was stated that no return to normalcy could occur until the curve was flattened.
Here is a brief summary of how life for an overwhelming majority of Americans was halted during the lockdown.
- ‘Stay at Home’ orders were issued limiting travel and movement unless deemed an essential worker or performing an essential activity such as grocery shopping, exercising, attending to a medical emergency or caring for a sick relative.
- Most businesses were forced to shut down.
- Work for some Americans shifted to home as virtual meetings became commonplace.
- Schools and colleges closed and shifted to online instruction.
- Large gatherings were banned as many weddings and funerals were postponed or conducted with very few in attendance.
- Restaurants, movie theaters, Disney World and other entertainment venues all closed their doors.
- Hollywood shut down all production.
- The NBA suspended its season on March 11. The NHL and MLS followed suit on March 12.
- By the first week of April, 3.9 billion people (over 50% of the world’s population) were under some form of lockdown.
- By mid-April nearly 90% (300 million people) of American citizens faced a lockdown situation.
- Massive unemployment, job loss and bankruptcies began mounting.
- The poor in many countries began to experience famine and despair.
- Violence erupted against citizens in many countries in an effort to enforce compliance with government mandates.
- Churches were forced to closed as many switched to drive thru services.
- Interstate travel restrictions and quarantines were imposed.
- Air travel was brought to a halt as all major airlines canceled flights.
- Public parks and beaches closed.
- Elective surgeries and dental procedures were cancelled.
- Contactless shopping and food deliveries became common.
Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS!
They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) February 29, 2020
March 2: The US Surgeon General urged Americans to stop buying masks stating “they are not effective in preventing general public from catching coronavirus”
March 3: A Chinese doctor who worked with late whistleblower was reported to have died from coronavirus.
March 3: A research article called “On the Origin and Continuing Evolution of SARS-CoV-2” published in the National Science Review concluded that the coronavirus evolved into two major types designated L and S—with the L type being more prevalent than the S type.
March 5: The WHO Director General stated that outside China there were 2055 cases reported in 33 countries. Around 80% of those cases continued to come from just three countries (South Korea, Iran, Italy)
March 8: The number of “confirmed cases” of COVID-19 in the United States in early March was of the order of 600.
March 7: China reported the pandemic was almost over as reported new cases in China fell to double digits. There were only 99 cases recorded on March 7. All of the new cases outside Hubei province were categorized as “imported infections” (from foreign countries).
March 7: On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson stated,
I think we’re in the middle of a massive experiment world-wide…the experiment is, will people listen to scientists?
March 7: The Chinese government announced plans to contribute $20 million to the WHO for supporting developing countries’ response to COVID-19. Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese government for its generosity.
March 10: Italy declared a lockdown, followed by several other EU countries.
March 9: Dr. Fauci said there is no reason not to go on a cruise ship if you are healthy, but for those with underlying conditions and the elderly it was not a good idea.
March 11: The U.S. deployed 30,000 troops to the EU as part of the “Defend Europe 2020” war games directed against Russia.
March 11: The Director General of the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
March 11: The World Economic Forum announced the creation of the COVID Action Platform. The platform serves as a blueprint for reshaping global economic response to the coronavirus. Also released was the Strategic Intelligence Platform developed to explore and monitor the issues and forces driving transformational change across economies, industries, and global issues.
March 11: President Trump ordered a 30-day suspension of all transatlantic flights from countries of the European Union, with the exception of Britain. The decision sparked the collapse of airline stocks and a new wave of financial instability.
March 11: Rudy Goebert of the Utah Jazz became the first professional athlete to be diagnosed positive for COVID-19 leading to the postponement of the NBA season.
March 11: Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson announced they both tested positive for coronavirus and would be “tested, isolated, and observed for as long as public health and safety requires.”
March 13: President Trump declared a national emergency releasing $50 billion in government funding for increased testing and to support the economy.
March 13: The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a 100-page coronavirus response plan warning the pandemic could last for 18 months and occur in multiple waves. It recommended that President Trump invoke the Defense Production Act of 1950 to ramp up production of critical medical supplies.
March 13: Denmark rushed through an emergency coronavirus law that gave authorities power to require testing, quarantine, and mandatory vaccination with police enforcement
March 14: President Trump extended the travel ban from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
March 14: Champaign Illinois Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen declared a coronavirus emergency and included ordinances that let her ban the sale of firearms, ammunition and alcohol. The city of 87,500 did not have any confirmed cases at the time the order was issued.
March 16: Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine was tested in several stages with 45 volunteers in Seattle, Washington State. The vaccine program started in early February.
March 17: An MIT article entitled “We’re Not Going Back to Normal” stated,
…social distancing and school closures would need to be in force some two-thirds of the time—roughly two months on and one month off—until a vaccine is available, which will take at least 18 months…
March 17: The Washington Post reported that:
The U.S. government is in active talks with Facebook, Google and a wide array of tech companies and health experts about how they can use location data gleaned from Americansʼ phones to combat the novel coronavirus, including tracking whether people are keeping one another at safe distances to stem the outbreak.
March 18: President Trump declared himself a wartime president in the fight against “the toughest enemy, the invisible enemy.”
March 18: Trump invoked the Defense Production Act as a coronavirus response allowing the administration to force American industry to manufacture medical supplies that were in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic
March 18: German Chancellor Angela Merkel impressed upon the country’s 87 million people that the coronavirus pandemic was their gravest crisis since World War II.
March 18: China threatened to withhold lifesaving drugs from the U.S. In response, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Protecting our Pharmaceutical Supply Chain from China Act to protect the United States from dependence on China for pharmaceuticals.
March 18: The Pentagon began ramping up plans for continuity of government with the possibility that military commanders could be placed in control around the US.
March 19: California became the first US state to declare a statewide lockdown. Illinois and New York followed one day later on March 20. In a press conference, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said,
No, this is not life as usual… Accept it and realize it and deal with it.
March 19: The CDC botched its early development of coronavirus test kits, which could not differentiate between the novel coronavirus and lab-grade water.
Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.
…I’m very concerned about the slippery slope in terms of continuing encroachments on personal liberty.
March 19: Celebrities got together to offer a virtual performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine”. The effort received major backlash as celebrities were criticized for being insensitive to the plight of millions who are much less fortunate.
March 19: CNN and media outlets nationwide began reporting on the surge of gun and ammunition sales.
March 19: Public Health England (PHE) downgraded COVID-19 from the status of a High Consequence Infectious Disease (HCID).
March 20: China thanked Hillary Clinton for her support after she accused President Trump of using “racist rhetoric” for calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.”
“This is not about retribution, … This matter is going forward — we are in a live exercise here to get this right.”
President Trump was heard saying “You should have let us know.”
March 21: The US Department of Justice asked Congress for the ability for chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies.
March 21: The IRS extended the deadline for filing taxes to July 15.
March 21: China reportedly stopped testing for the coronavirus and reported that there had been no new local infections.
“In some senses, transmission has been taken off the streets and pushed back into family units, now we need to go and look in families and find those people who may be sick and remove them, and isolate them, in a safe and dignified manner.”
March 24: President Trump stated that he wanted the country opened up by Easter Sunday and that he was eager to see the country return to normal.
March 24: A CDC memo from Steven Schwartz, PhD and Director – Division of Vital Statistics advised coroners and medical examiners to report COVID-19 fatalities for those who did not receive a positive test result as long as it is assumed to cause or contributed to the death. In response, Montana physician Dr. Annie Bukacek stated,
The CDC counts both true COVID-19 cases and speculative guesses of COVID-19 the same. They call it death by COVID-19. They automatically overestimate the real death numbers, by their own admission.
March 24: The Banking for All Act was introduced in the US Senate and calls for the creation of digital dollars and digital dollar wallets. The digital currency would be operated and maintained by the Federal Reserve. The bill was not included in the final version of the economic stimulus plan that was passed.
March 25: Coronavirus infected the US Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier after a port call in Vietnam. Three sailors were evacuated.
March 26: Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for a new global government to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
March 26: German Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Professor Emeritus of Medical Microbiology penned an open letter to German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel calling for an urgent reassessment to the response to COVID-19.
March 26: The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) granted Microsoft a world patent titled ‘1. WO2020060606 – Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Dataʼ. The patent gave Microsoft the potential to exert extraordinary power over our lives.
March 27: President Trump signed $2 trillion stimulus bill named the CARES Act expanding unemployment benefits, direct payments to individuals ($1200) and families ($500 for each qualifying child), $500 billion in loans for distressed companies, and other benefits for small businesses and health care establishments. Bailouts to large corporations were reminiscent of the 2008 scenario as billions in taxpayer money will protect many “too big to fail” corporations.
March 29: President Trump extended lockdowns past the original 15 day mandate until April 30.
March 30: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the emergency use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.
March 31: The US began using computer models that predicted 100,000 – 200,000 US deaths in the coming months.
March 31: Chris Cuomo, CNN News Anchor notified viewers he tested positive for COVID-19 and would have to self quarantine. On April 14, Cuomo was spotted in public in the Hamptons (the state where his brother Andrew Cuomo issued mandatory quarantines) and had a nasty verbal altercation with someone who calls him out.
March 31: The US Federal Reserve predicted a 32% unemployment rate due to the coronavirus with over 47 million people out of work.
Other Significant News from March
Thailand, the U.S., and many island nations stand to lose the most as tourism collapses worldwide due to lockdowns and fear of the virus.
States around the US and the countries around the world began constructing makeshift hospital facilities to accommodate the expected surge of COVID-19 patients. New York anticipated needing an extra 87,000 beds as the Javits Convention Center was converted into a hospital by the Army Corp of Engineers.
Alcoholic beverage sales shot up 55% in the third week of March compared to the same time a year ago.
The USNS Comfort and Mercy Ships were deployed to California and New York to serve as additional facilities for treating COVID-19 patients.
Restaurants across the country were forced to close and were limited to take out services only, destroying most of their revenue.
Grocery shortages began for items like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products.
Virtual meetings became the ‘new normal’ for conducting business.
The U.S. and European auto industries shut down due to COVID-19.
Shortages of PPE equipment caused outrage among health professionals across the country.
US companies and factories began making PPE equipment (masks, ventilators, face shields, etc.).
Individual rights were increasingly marginalized as collective health was used as pretext to strip away constitutional protections.
COVID-19 death rates were called into question as it remained largely unclear whether people died of the virus or simply with it.
Governments around the world declared war on the “invisible enemy” and enacted draconian laws to keep citizens from spreading the “deadly” infection.
Krispy Kreme donuts, junk food that weakens the immune system was given freely to first responders.
The proposed vaccine to treat COVID-19 is an experimental mRNa vaccine which has never been attempted before. Vaccines normally take 3-4 years to develop and be “proven safe”. This time around, the process is being cut short to have them available toward the end of 2020 or early 2021. Bringing a new vaccine to the marketplace is a complex process that typically takes 10-15 years and many times results in complete failure.
Hydroxychloroquine was introduced as a possible inhibitor to infection and longevity to COVID-19. As clinical trials of Hydroxychloroquine ($37/per 100 tablets) began in the US, Dr. Fauci immediately began to spark doubt about its effectiveness.
Many states around the US began issuing “travel letters” to essential employees in case they are stopped by police for being out during the lockdown.
Stimulus payments renewed the political conversation of the possibility of creating Universal Basic Income.
Chinese official suggested the U.S. Army was to blame for outbreak as the country hosted the 2019 Military World Games in Wuhan in October 2019 which brought US soldiers to the region.
Cash was vilified as a virus spreader and its use was restricted around the world as talk of implementing digital currencies took place on a global scale. This is a well-funded initiative that has been planned for a long time.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Federal, state and local agencies teamed up to operate a warrantless cellphone tracking program to monitor compliance with COVID-19 social distancing requirements. The program is called the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network and works in conjunction with other tech companies and date providers.
A survey by The Atlantic revealed that Democrats (74%) and Republicans (71%) were willing to sacrifice civil liberties in violation of Constitutional rights to fight the virus.
Pastor Rodney Howard Browne was arrested for holding church services during lockdown.
A jogger in Spain was arrested as nearby neighbors heaped insults upon on her for being outside during the lockdown.
In the rush to produce a vaccine, a human clinical trial began in Seattle without key animal testing, a critical standard procedure, being done first.
A study in Nature Medicine revealed that the overall symptomatic case fatality risk (the probability of dying after developing symptoms) of COVID-19 in Wuhan was 1.4% and lower than previously reported.
Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, and YouTube issued a joint statement about combating fraud and misinformation about the virus, basically admitting collusion to censor views that dissent from the official story.
New Zealand’s site to report Covid-19 rule-breakers crashed within the first week logging over 4,000 complaints.
Chinese citizens were forced to use QR codes to gain access to public places like restaurants. Only those with green codes were allowed entry and freedom of movement.
The idea of issuing Digital Immunity Passports began to be debated as a way of identifying individuals who are free to go back to work, travel, etc. as a result of developing antibodies that restrict transmission of the virus to others.
Many stories circulated about people who downplayed the virus publicly only to later be diagnosed as COVID-19 positive. See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and countless others.