I did not think I would write about the novel coronavirus today, but with everything that is going on, I find it a little hard to come up with anything else.
News reports are coming in constantly. In Italy, more than 200 people died in the last day alone. Here in Norway, the number of known infections increased by more than 50% since yesterday.
Denmark have decided to close down all schools and kindergartens, and is asking all but the most essential public employees to just stay home. When I think about it, that sounds a lot like shutting down the country. With kindergartens closed, even working from home might be hard for a lot of people, with their kids always under foot.
Many companies in Norway, particularly those in travel, have initiated temporary layoffs, while others have informed their suppliers of an impending Force Majeure situation, where they may not be able to keep up with their contracted obligations.
Travel is increasingly being restricted around the globe, with some countries considering initiatives that resembles closing off their borders. The Norwegian National Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry are a little more lenient, only restricting travel to and from known red zones. At the same time, some insurance companies warn people not to go anywhere, if they can avoid it.
Local officials say there is no need to worry about the availability of food and necessities, while the stores are being visibly drained for canned and freeze dried goods.
Sober estimates show that at least two thousand people will require intensive care at hospitals in Norway. It is clear that a lot of them will require respiratory aid. Apparently, we only have about 70 mechanical ventilators or breathing machines in the country, and they are nearly all already occupied by intensive care patients not sick with COVID-19.
I think this is a good time to have a relaxing cup of tea and think about all the things I will get done from my home office tomorrow.