Home News A Broader Scope: The Impact of COVID-19 Across the United States

A Broader Scope: The Impact of COVID-19 Across the United States


Written by Devon Mitchell

In the past two weeks, daily life has drastically changed for all Americans due to COVID-19.  Some places in America have closed all “non-essential” businesses. So, what does this mean for Americans, and how have statewide orders to stay at home affected daily life. It’s no secret that over the course of the next few weeks America will see new restrictions and guidelines, so it is important to stay informed and be prepared for when your state ultimately calls for “shelter-in-place”. 

As of March 24th, seventeen state governors have ordered for a state-wide shutdown, leaving only “essential businesses” open. Beginning on March 19th, California governor Gavin Newsome became the first to urge residents to stay at home through a state-wide shelter in place. Since then, states such as New York, Washington, and Hawaii are just a few who have followed suit. Nine states have ordered restrictions in parts of the state. States such as Florida, Alaska, and Texas have opted for a partial shelter-in-place, leaving 24 states which have yet to order shutdowns. That is not to say states are not making restrictions and abiding by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines. As of Sunday, March 22nd, forty-six states have closed schools affecting at least 54.5 million students. Additionally, nine states have decided to postpone their primaries to help abide by CDC guidelines.  

States and their governors are taking the proper measures and have continued to assess the situation to ensure that citizens are safe and health care professionals can care for those affected by the virus. Keeping this in mind it is important to know what it means when there is a shutdown on all non-essential businesses. According to Business Insider, non-essential businesses are recreational in nature. This includes movie theaters, museums, gyms, etc. Restaurants are also under this category. However, some states have deemed it acceptable for restaurants to remain open as long as they close dining rooms and move to only take out. Essential businesses include grocery stores, healthcare operations, post offices and other businesses that people rely on for everyday operations. It is important to note that the differences between essential and non-essential vary depending on location. So, what is considered essential in Texas may not be the same in Michigan. Although there are still places open for operation, they are still abiding by the CDC guidelines to have no more than ten people gathered at a time.  

These are trying times that are filled with many uncertainties and anxieties about what precautions to take. In these times we can only keep up to date with CDC and state guidelines and regulations and follow their instruction. Remember social distancing, wash your hands, and to keep up good spirits. Stay well and healthy Maroons! 

For more information about state-ordered shutdowns and CDC guidelines go to: