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Events and businesses suffering due to COVID-19

Red sign hanging at the glass door of a shop saying "Closed due to coronavirus".

by Kennedy Haugen

As the news surrounding the Coronavirus has progressed, so have the drastic measurements governments around the world are taking to stop the spread of the virus. It started with limiting groups of over 100 people, then 50. Now, it has gone down to 10 people. 

That means that events and normal things in people’s lives have been brought to a halt. Bars, clubs, restaurants and other places are either closing or limiting the amount of people they can allow in. 

On Tuesday, March 17, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis decided to close all bars and nightclubs for the next 30 days. Restaurant operations in Tampa have been relegated to one of two options: delivery only or only seating half the capacity of the restaurant. 

As of Friday, March 20, Gov. Desantis ordered restaurants to participate in take-out and delivery services only, shutting down any dine-in options. Other than restaurants, gyms and fitness centers are now a part of businesses ordered to close their doors. States with similar orders have also included businesses such as shopping malls, bowling alleys and movie theaters. 

Guidelines such as these are being seen around the country, Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the nearly 40 million residents of California to stay home unless a trip is absolutely necessary. Trips to the grocery store, pharmacy and gas station are included in necessary travel. 

These restrictions have come at a time where many yearly events happen, colleges had their spring breaks and many cities had festivities for St. Patrick’s Day planned. Boston, Ma, Savannah, Ga, and even Dublin, Ireland, canceled their annual St. Patrick’s Day parades. For spring breakers in Tampa, Pinellas County beaches closed on Friday, March 20. 

In the Tampa area, many concerts and events have been canceled or postponed. Tampa’s own St. Patrick’s Day celebration was cancelled. The Straz Center for Performing Arts has cancelled shows, classes and other events through Thursday, April 16. Amalie Arena will be empty for the time being as the NHL season was postponed and events like Wrestlemania were cancelled. 

Both the University of South Florida and UT have moved to online classes for the rest of the semester, along with other universities in Florida. K-12 schools in Tampa, Florida have been closed through Wednesday, April 15, with classes going online for the time being. 

On a national level, many major events are in jeopardy. Coachella has been rescheduled for October, the Met Gala has been postponed, the NBA suspended the rest of the season and the NCAA cancelled all spring activity, meaning no March Madness for basketball fans. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the only way the Coronavirus will be managed is through washing your hand for at least 20 seconds, the practice of social distancing, staying home when you’re sick and to cover your cough. The CDC hopes to ease the curve so America’s healthcare system does not get overwhelmed.

Kennedy Haugen can be reached at kennedy.haugen@theminaretonline.com.

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