First reported in December, there are now nearly 1 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, worldwide as of midday April 2, 2020 — including more than 226,374 cases in the U.S., according to data collected by John Hopkins University.
Since the highly-infectious respiratory illness was declared a worldwide pandemic on March 11, U.S. federal and state officials have made moves to limit its spread, including closing down schools, restaurants and bars, cancelling large events and encouraging people to practice "social distancing" by keeping at least 6-feet away from others.
The Midwest Center is reporting on the pandemic's impact in rural areas and in farm country.
This diary will be updated throughout the outbreak of Covid-19 with personal observations and short news updates from the Midwest Center staff.
Read our latest coverage
- Reporter’s Diary: Some meatpacking workers are staying home over virus fears
- Reporter’s Diary: Illinois Farm Bureau encourages farmers, ag business be considered essential business
- Reporter’s Diary: For emergency Covid-19 runs, Trump admin suspends rule ensuring truckers can sleep
- Coronavirus: Investigate Midwest Reporter Diary
- Reporter’s Diary: While some government inspections continue, others suspended
- For Midwestern farmers, the workforce and supply chain are top issues in ‘flash recession’
- Migrant farmworkers are often forced to live and work in unsanitary conditions. It could make them more susceptible to Covid-19.
- Big ag companies say business continues amid coronavirus pandemic
- USDA Working with Private Sector in Response to COVID-19
Grocery store shortages
March 20, 2020
With the number of confirmed cases growing to more than 585, Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker ordered Illinois residents to stay home until April 7, at least for now, as a way to slow the spread of the virus. Illinois was among three states to do so today, including California and New York. All total, one in five Americans are now mandated to 'shelter in place'.
Grocery stores have been hit with shortages after hoarding of certain items deemed essential to self-isolating at home. Now, it seems, stores have had enough.
At the Schnucks in Champaign, Illinois, signs were posted telling customers to limit their purchases of wet wipes and toilet paper.
And Lowe's in Danville, Illinois, posted signs saying some items had a limit of 10 per customer.
-- Sky Chadde, Gannett Ag Data Fellow