It is Seattle, in the state of Washington, from which stories similar to those of Milan have come in recent days
The state of Washington, on the border with Canada, is currently one of the Member States which have been identified and more people infected with the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) : have been confirmed 85 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by of the more than 300 registered in the United States, and 14 deaths related to coronavirus (out of 17 in the country). The area with the most infections is King County, in which Seattle is located, which with about 700 thousand inhabitants is the most populous city in the state. In an article written for the New York Times , Margaret O’Mara called Seattle ” the US capital of the coronavirus” .
Il Post ha fatto una newsletter sul coronavirus, per aggiornare e informare sulle cose da sapere e su quelle da capire: ci si iscrive qui.
For a couple of days, Seattle, King County and more generally the whole state of Washington have been in a situation not very different from that in which several other areas of the world have found themselves in recent weeks, in Asia such as in Italy.
Reports then come from Seattle that speak of much emptier streets than normal, unusually traffic-free arterial roads and empty store shelves. Schools in some areas of King County have also been closed, and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, nominated by Donald Trump as head of policies to contain coronavirus, has visited Seattle .
The New York Times wrote that as early as Thursday, when cases more than doubled from the previous day, “the Seattle area has entered a new reality” and, although it cannot be called a “ghost town”, however, it became the first in the United States where authorities suggested people cut social contacts.
Thursday morning Jay Inslee – Democratic governor of Washington state, in office since 2013 – invited citizens and businesses to cancel or postpone all non-essential meetings that are expected to be attended by more than ten people, and advised those she is over 60 years of leaving home as little as possible.
Inslee then specified that “it is not an order but an invitation to act responsibly towards one’s community”.
The Seattle area is also known for hosting the offices of several large tech companies. Two of these, Amazon (which has its headquarters in Seattle) and Facebook, have asked their employees who are in that area to work from home at least until the end of March, and it seems that at least one employee of each of the two have contracted the coronavirus.
Google has asked its Washington state employees to work, if possible, from home and not to bring external guest offices. Similar indications also came from Twitter and Microsoft.
As for the schools, those officially closed in Washington state are part of a school district in a suburban area of Seattle, and are attended by more than 20 thousand students. It seems that the decision was made after the father of an elementary school child tested positive for a coronavirus test.
Just as has happened or is going on for many other epicenters of coronavirus cases in the rest of the world, not even in the state of Washington is it known exactly where, when and how the infection started.
Some analyzes cited by the New York Times have speculated that the virus may have been present in Washington state since late January. It is known, however, as the major US media are telling in detail, that the single place so far most affected by the infection is an elderly care home in Kirkland, a city east of Seattle and in King County.
At least nine deaths in some way related to the new coronavirus concern people who were housed in the structure and, as he told the New York Times , the sons and relatives of those still housed people are very concerned about the situation, as it will likely be difficult to enter or leave the hotel.
Being a nursing home for the elderly, guests are older, and in many cases already have other diseases. It is not even clear, for now, how the coronavirus arrived inside the facility.