Coronavirus scare: First Lady Melania Trump urges Americans to stay at home

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March 17, 2020 9:26 PM

The White House on Monday advised Americans to avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people, in measures part of 'social distancing'.

Beginning this week, hundreds and thousands of Americans are staying at home, even finishing office work from there, as part of efforts to contain the fast spreading coronavirus that has taken over 7,100 lives globally. (Reuters)

US First Lady Melania Trump on Tuesday took lead in urging fellow countrymen to stay home as a preventive measure to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has claimed 85 lives in the country. “Consider taking advantage of (the) time working from home to connect with your loved ones via email or FaceTime (videotelephony service), spend time with family, or work on your well-being by reading a book or spending time on a hobby,” Melania, 49, said in a series of tweets. Apart from 85 deaths, over 4,500 Americans have been infected by coronavirus. The White House on Monday advised Americans to avoid social gatherings and groups of more than 10 people, in measures part of ‘social distancing’. Beginning this week, hundreds and thousands of Americans are staying at home, even finishing office work from there, as part of efforts to contain the fast spreading coronavirus that has taken over 7,100 lives globally. While works are on for a vaccine, doctors say self-quarantine and social distancing are the only ways to stop the communicable disease.

City and county administrations in the US have advised the people to stay at home. Companies and governments have asked their employees to work from home. Schools, colleges, hotels, restaurants and bars have been closed, sports events postponed. On Monday, President Donald Trump asked the countrymen not to gather in groups of more than 10 persons. The State of New Jersey which has a sizeable Indian-American population has imposed curfew. Several states, like Massachusetts, New York and Washington, are also considering curfews. Trump said that the situation is expected to be grim till late summer — July and August.

Fears of a major economic recession and large scale unemployment has led to major losses in the American stock exchange. Melania tweeted, “While things are different this year, and the focus is to keep each other safe and healthy, don’t forget to celebrate special events and occasions. Happy St Patrick’s Day,” she said. This years Easter Egg Roll at the White House has been cancelled. The popular event attracts thousands of people from across the country. French-American journalist Laura Haim, who is working on a documentary on the First Lady, said Melania is loved all over America, especially Republican women.

“All of them from the richest in Palm Beach to the poorest in Pennsylvania have the same expressions to describe her: ‘she is so elegant; I love her. She is a really good mother and she is clever because she speaks five languages’,” Haim told PTI in a recent interview. “She is seen as “a perfect mother and a courageous woman who has always preserved her son and is taking good care of him,” Haim said. Trump’s daughter and Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump joined the First Lady in cheering citizens. “Staying home today with kids? Plan living room camp out!” Ivanka tweeted along with a picture of herself with her two kids.

“Throw a bedsheet over some taped together brooms. Plan a menu and ‘pack’ sandwiches, salads (S’mores optional). A fun activity that also brings family together for a meal! Share your ideas and use the hashtag #TogetherApart,” she said. “As we begin this new week, let’s cultivate kindness, love and compassion towards ourselves and others,” Ivanka tweeted a day earlier. “In the United States, and across the globe, we should all be heartened by, and contribute to, the acts of benevolence, large and small, we are witnessing,” she said.

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