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A Hurricane in a COVID-19 Disaster

People wondered what might happen, we are about to find out.

by Eric Holdeman / August 2, 2020

All along in 2020, people have been asked, what would it be like to have a major disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, we are about to find out how that plays.

I'm writing on Saturday morning and Hurricane Isaias has not even reached the United States mainland. Florida is first in the bucket and then if the storm track remains true, it will move up the Eastern Coast to give everyone with a shoreline a taste of rain, albeit as more likely a tropical storm. 

Here's what the Washington Post has for today, Hurricane Isaias barrels toward Florida before it surges up entire East Coast   (Note: I have heard from readers that there is a paywall for the major newspapers that I often cite. My recommendation--get a subscription to at least one!)  Or, get your news from Facebook, if that is what you value as a news source.

The kicker for this storm, and it looks to be a busy season, is evacuations and sheltering. Perhaps, for most areas being impacted, unless in a flood zone or inundation zone, you might be able to ride out the storm--but that is not the norm. Traditionally, people are told to evacuate--but then, this is during a pandemic. If you evacuate a nursing home, full of the most vulnerable people to the coronavirus, where do you take them and keep them safe, from the storm and the virus? 

Large scale shelters in gyms and the likes will need to have social distancing enforced, along with the wearing of masks. I've had shelter manager training way back when, it is not an easy job in the best of times. 

Lastly, a quote from the linked article above:

Isaias in historical perspective

"Isaias became the ninth named Atlantic storm of 2020, which doesn’t usually develop until closer to early October. It’s the earliest “I” storm on record by more than a week, and the latest domino to topple in a season that’s also brought the earliest-forming C, E, F and G storms on record in the Atlantic — Cristobal, Edouard, Fay and Gonzalo. Including Isaias, 2020 has produced five named storms in July, tied for the most on record with 2005. It is the first time on record the last week of July has produced two hurricanes (Isaias and Hanna) in the Atlantic."

At this rate, we may make it to "Z" before this year is over. 

 

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