The stock markets are in bad shape, but for the millions of Americans who aren’t invested in stocks, coronavirus is presenting a far more imminent concern.
- Why it matters: Quarantines usually work with at least 90% participation, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports, but many Americans lack the flexibility to work remotely, take a sick day or absorb having schools close.
- And today, the World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to its highest risk level as countries struggle with containing the spread of the virus.
The big picture: People in service jobs or low-wage workers could disproportionately lose some income, compared to those with advanced education or more-skilled professions.
- Rural Americans sometimes have less reliable Internet access for remote work and remote schooling.
- Parents may have to scramble as children get pulled out of school and day care.
- Students on free and reduced lunch risk going without a meal if schools close.
- Undocumented immigrants are less likely to call off work or check into a health care facility from lack of health insurance and ICE fears.
- Health care workers risk getting sick if an outbreak brings in an influx of patients to the emergency room.
- Public transit users could be in trouble if trains and buses shut down.
Flashback: After the SARS pandemic in 2005, a report from the SARS commission concluded there were no repercussions for cities that didn't follow federal quarantine orders.
- Paid sick leave, which Americans aren't guaranteed, would have been a great incentive for hourly-wage workers to stay home, the author wrote.
The bottom line: "I understand this situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe, but these are things that people need to start thinking about now," said the CDC's Nancy Messonnier.