It's starting to look a lot like March and April once again as a second wave of regional lockdown orders are enacted in various states and cities throughout the country. The federal government has taken no action amid the ongoing surge, leaving crisis response entirely in state and city officials' hands.
Efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, which has been spreading out of control over the last few months, vary from state to state and even city to city. In Pennsylvania, for example, state-level efforts are directed at specific counties, restricting in-person instruction at schools and restricting travelers from out of state. In Philadelphia, however, city officials are taking more sweeping actions against the virus's spread. Most indoor gatherings are banned through the end of 2020, while high schools and colleges are being ordered to move to teleconferencing for classes. City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley also mentioned that gatherings in people's homes was strongly discouraged.
"While we won't prohibit people from leaving home and interacting, we want to strongly discourage that, because it's increasingly unsafe to interact with anyone. We know that's a very strong policy, but this gets at the most important sites of spread," he said.
Michigan is taking more sweeping actions at the state level, with a three-week "pause" being put in place that halts in-person classes at schools as well as dine-in services at restaurants and in-person activities at entertainment venues such as bowling alleys and movie theaters. Governor Gretchen Whitmer's efforts to contain the virus have been slammed by President Donald Trump and state GOP members. The complaints are mainly partisan, with some members of the state GOP even calling to impeach Whitmer. Many Michiganders, however, are showing support for "Big Gretch" Whitmer.
As Thanksgiving approaches, many cities and states across the country are enacting similar measures as Philadelphia and Michigan. Measures are being enacted, or have already been enacted, in California, Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico, among others. Travel is being restricted in some states, which may impact the Thanksgiving plans of many Americans. Thousands of businesses are once again facing limited capacity or outright closure. Many companies are already struggling, primarily due to the total lack of a safety net at the federal level, due to emergency measures under the CARES act running out.
However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon, even as infections top numbers seen in the earliest days of the pandemic. The vaccines created by Moderna