It’s no secret that you cannot go anywhere without hearing about pandemics and the coronavirus, but the lingering question is what will happen to me? The number of global cases has grown exponentially but containment and the latest trend of “social distancing” is attempting to slow the spread. These measures would not prevent the illness but slow its impact on the communities and associated consequences. The concept is simple – stay away from large gatherings of people, keep yourself home if you feel sick, and wash your hands.
As the market closed on Monday, the stocks had taken a sharp decline. Not since December 2018 had all three benchmarks fell by more than 3% on the same day. The S&P 500 was down 111.85, the Dow was down 1031.40, and the Nasdaq was down 355.31. “Monday’s downturn has wiped out this year’s gains for the Dow (now -2.02%) and the S&P 500 (now -0.15%).”
As the world continues to take precautions against the Coronavirus epidemic, scientists are feverishly looking for a vaccine. The virus is still being considered an epidemic – meaning more than a normal number of cases are being reported in a specific area or among a specific group of people. It is still not being considered a pandemic. “A pandemic is an epidemic that occurs across several countries and affects a sizable portion of the population in each, although there’s no formal definition of what constitutes ‘sizable.’” The last pandemic was the H1N1 flu in 2009 that killed hundreds of thousands of people. Using the terminology of pandemic would incite a new level of global fear.