Maryland shuts down bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms

In response to the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, Larry Hogan, the Republican governor of Maryland, has ordered the closure of bars, restaurants, movie theaters, and gyms in the state. As of this morning there were 37 known cases of this virus here in Maryland.

Hogan explained his decision this way:

We have never faced anything like this before. This is going to be much harder, take much longer and be much worse than almost anyone is currently understanding.

Unfortunately, far too many people have continued to ignore those warnings and are crowding into bars and restaurants, willingly putting the health and safety of others in great danger.

Hogan is right about people crowding into bars and restaurants. In Washington, D.C. and its suburbs some bars reportedly were packed this weekend. Muriel Bowser, the mayor of Washington, responded by ordering restaurants and bars to stop operating.

I think a great many jurisdictions will soon follow suit, and wisely so. It’s the prudent move, and would be even if folks weren’t flocking to some bars in such large numbers.

Gyms should voluntarily have closed down already. The one in the building where we own a unit shut down almost a week ago. Our tenants weren’t happy, but they understood.

It’s more difficult, of course, for a gym that’s in business to close. However, at least one of the big ones in our area did so this weekend.

Is Gov. Hogan right when he says “this is going to be much harder, take much longer, and be much worse” than most people understand? I don’t know. But Hogan has better information than I do.

Moreover, the tone at today’s White House presser was consistent with Hogan’s gloomy forecast. Indeed, President Trump said that the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus could last into July or August. That’s certainly longer I thought.

This sounds like a worst case scenario, but no longer a wildly implausible one.

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