Both fear and apathy seem to be growing when considering the coronavirus (COVID-19). What is the latest, should we be concerned and what should we be doing?

Concern amongst governments and the medical community is growing as we see a rapid change in the spread of the virus.

Italy now has 50,000 citizens in lock down in the area around Venice and Milan. Long lines are now the norm as only forty people at a time are allowed to shop for groceries. The world-famous Scala theater in Milan has been closed, church services banned, fashion week streamed instead of a live show, those not quarantined being told to work from home, and the country’s biggest soccer game of the season being broadcast with no fans allowed at the stadium. Those are just some of the actions the Italian government has taken but the thing of most concern now is, they have not been able to identify patient 0, the person who first brought the virus to Italy. Why is this important? Because that person is still out there potentially continuing to infect others.

Today, Tuesday February 25th, the first case was diagnosed in Switzerland. Europe has a unique challenge in trying to contain the spread of this disease as borders are open with free flow of Europeans across borders. If you hop a train, for example in Italy,  there is no protocol for monitoring a traveler crossing from Italy into Austria and on to Germany. You can see how this hampers European governments when trying to prevent the spread.

Iran has reported 95 cases and 16 deaths of the coronavirus, but the actual number is thought to be much higher. Iran’s deputy health minister has tested positive for the new coronavirus and the World Health Organization said the sudden increase is alarming.

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Washington was concerned that Iran may have concealed “vital details” about its outbreak and urged all nations to “tell the truth about the coronavirus”.

The Costa Adeje Palace hotel in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, has over 1,000 guests in quarantine as an Italian guest tested positive for COVID-19. One of the hotel guests, reported that guests were not allowed to leave their rooms and they awoke to a note slipped under their door in English, Spanish, French and Italian that said the hotel has been closed down “for healthy reasons. Until the sanitary authorities warn, you must remain in your rooms.” There is a police presence outside the hotel and barricades have been erected to prevent guests leaving and others coming in.

Tuesday February 25th, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that it expects the novel coronavirus to begin spreading at a community level in the United States, saying disruptions to daily life could be “severe.”

“As we’ve seen from recent countries with community spread, when it has hit those countries, it has moved quite rapidly. We want to make sure the American public is prepared. As more and more countries experience community spread, successful containment at our borders becomes harder and harder,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

The CDC urged American businesses and families to start preparing for the possibility of a bigger outbreak. Messonnier advised parents to ask their children’s schools about plans for closures, businesses to consider whether they can offer telecommuting options to their employees, and hospitals to look into expanding telehealth services. She also said, “we as a family ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives.”

President Trump has asked for 2.5 billion dollars for prevention of and dealing with a wide spread outbreak of the COVID-19 in the United States.

And then there is this:

China Hong Kong Mission: Missionaries who recently left this mission are completing their 14-day self-isolation and will soon depart for new, temporary assignments.

Cambodia Phnom Penh Mission, Singapore Mission, and Thailand Bangkok Mission, missionaries serving in these missions have been instructed to remain in their apartments and avoid going outside except to purchase food and other supplies, to exercise, or to attend worship services (where held). All missionaries preparing to arrive in these three missions will be temporarily reassigned to other countries until the situation stabilizes.

Mongolia Ulaanbaatar Mission are making limited visits to people when invited.

Missionaries in South Korea will also begin to self-isolate.

The Taipei Taiwan Temple and Seoul Korea Temple will temporarily close. The Hong Kong China Temple is currently closed for renovation.

Latter-day Saints in some affected areas are not gathering for weekly worship services. In other places, services are being held on a limited schedule.

We have long been warned by prophets, in scripture anciently, and by modern day prophets, of trials in the last days, of plagues and famine. Could this be a time we need to be ready?

According to the United States government total imports of agricultural products from China totaled $4.9 billion in 2018. Leading categories include: processed fruit & vegetables ($1.2 billion), fruit & vegetable juices ($393 million), snack foods ($222 million), spices ($167 million), and fresh vegetables ($160 million).

If you needed to self-quarantine for two weeks to two months, could you? Now is the time to pay attention to those things you use each day, food, hygiene products, medications, cleaning supplies and ask yourself what you need  be adding this week.

I have heard some negative comments about stocking up saying it is hoarding.  Nonsense, hoarding is purchasing more than is needed when supplies are limited. Supplies are not yet

Limited, but they could be. Prices  will rise this year on products from China, foods, toys, clothing, etc. thus, purchasing items now may be one of the best ways to protect our budgets in the coming months until things settle down. For help understanding what and how to prepare for a self-quarantine please review the article: In Case of a Community Health Emergency: Be Ready to Self-Quarantine Remember the CDC warning: “we as a family ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives.”

As I have said before, we know the last days are here and tough times are coming. Only Heavenly Father knows how serious the coronavirus will become and if it will continue growing into a true world-wide pandemic, but He has warned us someday it will come.

Check Carolyn’s Totally Ready facebook page for continuing coronavirus information. Ask questions there as you prepare for this and other emergencies.