I am not gonna lie I am overall fairly impressed with how Alaska is responding to this crisis.
Of course that is putting Don Young aside that is.
Courtesy of ADN:
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz on Friday issued an emergency “hunker down” order for residents, effective 10 p.m. Sunday until March 31, to curb the spread of the new coronavirus.
Under the order, residents must “stay at home … as much as possible,” Berkowitz said in a televised briefing Friday evening.
“We’re going to do everything we can in the municipality to flatten the curve,” Berkowitz said.
The order is largely focused on limiting person-to-person contact and the closure of businesses deemed not essential, including much of the retail sector and food service.
“This is a call for people of Anchorage to minimize their social contacts — not to be isolated, in that sense — but to minimize the actual physical contacts,” Berkowitz said.
Berkowitz is a pretty smart guy so as soon as I saw California, New York, and a few other states make this move I knew we would not be far behind.
And it is absolutely necessary too.
Get a load of this terrifying forecast courtesy of My Alaska:
A new model forecasts how long Alaska has until COVID-19 overwhelms the state’s hospitals. The point of no-return for intervention to prevent hospital overload is between March 24 to March 29 according to the covidactnow.org website.
According to the forecast, of the over 16,000 cases that are serious enough to require hospitalization, 15,000 Alaskans would be expected to die from the coronavirus in the next three months if no actions were taken, with hospitals being overloaded by April 7.
That number drops to 11,000 deaths with the delay Texas is experiencing. In both scenarios over 70% of the population would be infected.
These scenarios are dramatically different when an immediate response of sheltering people in place is used like the California and Wuhan models. If those protocols were followed Alaska’s hospitals would never be overwhelmed and deaths would be in the hundreds with less than 4% of the population catching the virus.
And there you have it.
If we are smart and maintain this social distancing throughout the summer at least we might have a shot of nipping this thing in the bud.
Well, in Alaska anyway.
There is also some help coming from the Governor, believe it or not.
Also courtesy of ADN:
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy on Friday proposed a broad plan to cope with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Immediate and far-reaching economic relief is needed right now,” the governor said in a phone call with news media.
The governor renewed his call for a supplemental Permanent Fund dividend payment of $1,306. That is equivalent to the difference between the 2019 dividend and the amount called for under the traditional dividend formula in state law. Paying the supplemental dividend would cost $815 million.
Dunleavy is also suggesting taking a billion dollars from the PFD reserve earnings to supplement the state’s disaster relief fund, but that will certainly hit a wall as most politicians up here treat that money as a sacred dowry which is to remain untouched.
We will have to see if our situation becomes dire enough to convince people that it is necessary to tap those funds.
In other news the Anchorage School District is extending school closures to at least May 1st, but we all know that schools are not going to open again this year.
Just like most states we still don’t how hard we will be hit, or how long this disruption will last, but if Alaskans are known for one thing is is surviving in harsh conditions.