March 1st, 2020
It’s been roughly over a month since news of the coronavirus started spreading. The numbers of those infected in China are rising by the hundreds if not thousands every day. But in other news, it’s also the first day of spring, full of promise to end the dreadful and boring winter. The days are getting longer, the weather is starting to go above 15 degrees C.
All of that goes out the window soon enough though. We get hit with the news that Armenia officially has one confirmed case of coronavirus. The phrase “going from 0 to 100 real fast” is familiar to a lot of people, but who knew that going from 0 to 1 would bring just about the same reaction.
But the worst part isn’t the news of the newly infected, it’s the panic that follows. It’s a Sunday afternoon and many are running around like chicken with their heads cut off. Everyone is wondering if we go into work tomorrow, or school, or anywhere for that matter. A few hours in, it’s announced that all schools and educational institutions are going to have the week off. Spring break has been moved up and starts tomorrow instead, but the usual excitement that comes with spring break is pretty much dead.
It’s confusing, and scary, and to an extent funny. That’s not the right word, more like ‘humorous’. One person, one infected person was all it took for the country to basically go into fight or flight mode. My only thought was “if we’re cancelling schools with only 1 infected person, what are we going to do when that number rises?” It felt like too much panic too soon. Or was it justified? I still don’t know the answer to that question.
One thing I do know is that people still went to work that week, schools were the only thing closed at this point. “Spring break” passed in a blur, and so did 10 more days, and we hoped to have seen the end of coronavirus in Armenia.
And then the numbers started going up.