Tuesday, March 10, 2020

4 Montgomery County coronavirus cases confirmed, as businesses adjust to new abnormal

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in the White House
Situation Room with Vice-President Mike Pence
MCPS knocks down rumor of
Richard Montgomery HS student
testing positive for covid-19 as
Hogan warns seniors: "stay home"

The number of Montgomery County residents exposed to the coronavirus is steadily growing, but the actual number of confirmed cases has so far remained small. Four MoCo residents have tested positive for covid-19 so far. While that leads the state by far, there are now single cases in Harford and Prince George's counties as well.
Giant makes a delivery at
The Chase condos in Bethesda
Montgomery County retailers have already seen traffic falling since the first county residents tested positive for coronavirus. Residents and businesses alike are now adapting to the new abnormal of a society in pandemic crisis. Grocery stores are emphasizing their curbside pickup and delivery services, for example. Drug stores like CVS Pharmacy at 7809 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda, 11190 Veirs Mill Road in Wheaton, 15600 Columbia Pike in Burtonsville, and at Rockville Town Square and 20 Upper Rock Circle in Rockville, offer drive-thru prescription pick-up.
Anglo Dutch Pools & Toys in the Westwood Shopping Center in Bethesda says it is disinfecting surfaces inside the store throughout the day, and keeping hand sanitizer at the counter. For customers who are staying indoors, Anglo Dutch is now offering to bring orders out to customers' cars, in addition to its existing in-store pickup and online delivery options.

Rumors continue to plague Montgomery County Public Schools on social media during the outbreak. Ongoing speculation over potential school closures has even included specific dates, all of which have been smacked down by MCPS, which has stated schools will remain open at this time. One new online rumor about a Richard Montgomery High School student testing positive for covid-19 is also fake news. "We are deeply disappointed that someone would create and distribute misinformation about such an important issue.," RMHS Principal Damon Monteleone said Monday.

While Rockville is the only county "hot spot" for the virus identified by elected officials, only by virtue of an early coronavirus patient who visited and exposed many at the Villages at Rockville retirement community, the city's large Asian community has made those who were pointing discriminatory fingers early on look rather foolish. Not only have none of the county's cases so far been related to China, but there have been no outbreaks at all in our Asian community. As for people claiming coronavirus is a Chinese bioweapon: while the virus could well be man-made, it almost certainly was not engineered by China. It has caused massive damage to the Chinese economy, which was already reeling from its first downturn and contraction in decades under President Trump's trade and tariff policies. Such an outcome is the last thing Chinese leaders would have sought at this time.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday advised residents over 60, or with compromised immune or respiratory systems, to "stay home as much as possible to avoid large crowds and gatherings"  They are at "a significantly higher risk of contracting the disease with morbidity and mortality rates that are three-to-five times higher," Hogan said. The governor announced he is putting nursing homes on high alert statewide to monitor coronavirus symptoms in patients and staff. Hogan is also assembling a "coronavirus response team," comprised of health and emergency management experts.

Republican Hogan gave Maryland a seat at the table in the GOP White House - literally. The governor was seated at Vice-President Mike Pence's left hand in the Situation Room, as Pence briefed the nation's state leaders on the coronavirus response. While Hogan has feuded with Trump, he and former Indiana governor and GOP peer Pence have a better working relationship, which bodes well for Maryland getting federal coronavirus aid priority. But given the bleak pandemic picture being painted by some, Pence might want to have coffee with former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who could tell him of the political pitfalls of being made the public face of a challenge like this.

Top photo: Andrea Hanks/The White House


  1. Dr Anthony Fauci of NIH has reported that the fatality rate of Covid 19 is approximately 1%.This means that 1 in 100 people who get the virus will die.Thats a high number but well below the previous stated fatality rate of 2 - 3 %

    1. And the fatality rate will probably drop well below the 1%