City braces for possible outbreak
By Josh Resnek
The city has taken early and special caution to deal with the possible outbreak of the coronavirus in Everett, according to public health officials here.
In fact, it was reported yesterday by a public official here who wished to remain unnamed that two students in the public schools have apparently been quarantined as a precaution.
The prevailing question is not whether or not the virus arrives here, but whether or not it is already here, and to what extent it will effect the city’s ability to operate.
The figures concerning those possibly infected in the United States have been changing from hour to hour, and have been changing as well in countries all around the world.
The virus is spreading rapidly but not yet precipitously, allowing all of us working here and living in this city to take comfort that for the time being, life goes on normally.
However, the sentiment coming from city hall and unspoken sentiments coming from the School Department, indicate that schools could be shut down in an instant upon learning about an outbreak.
With more than 7,000 students and an additional 1,000 or so personnel serving them in close quarters, an outbreak of the virus could have an immediate disastrous effect on the well being or everyone involved.
It is a catastrophe if the schools are forced to close.
It is a catastrophe for teachers, administrators, for everyone.
It would also be a catastrophe for first responders if the virus appears in strength and numbers here.
In some cities, first responders exposed to the virus have been quarantined, making first responses that much more difficult and at the same time impossible.
The same could happen here.
City hall has issued instructions to all city employees to take caution. However, city employees will experience the same difficulties with the virus if it arrives because it has the potential of afflicting so many city workers or the people they meet or the residents they visit or that visit with them in their offices or homes throughout the day.
Vital services of every kind could be disrupted by this virus if it takes off.
Even shopping at a supermarket could become a dangerous mission for those not infected in order to feed those who are infected.
The local economy would temporarily tank as will the national economy – and nothing is more serious than that except for dying.
Bottom line, we are traveling in an unknown space with this emerging virus and growing numbers of infected and dying all over the world.
If an epidemic gets underway, man cannot control it or stop it entirely until it has run its course.
Millions could get sick. Millions could die.
Or it might just not develop as many are expecting.
It is a bit terrifying and justifiably so for all of the above reasons.