"The speed with which the coronavirus outbreaks in Asia, Europe and North America metastasized into a full-blown global pandemic — catching many world governments by surprise and with little preparation — underscores just how our world today is highly interconnected and how, in order to contain and stem the surging pandemic, temporary disconnection from the physically-networked world by cities, regions and even entire nations has become an urgent imperative", according to Professor Joel Cuello, Ph.D.
"With confirmed coronavirus cases globally now exceeding 370,000 and the number of deaths surpassing 16,000, many world cities have become throbbing epicenters of the surging pandemic. Accordingly, various countries, states and cities have enforced lockdown or stay-at-home orders with drastic measures including banning public gatherings, restricting restaurants to take-out and delivery only, and closing schools, bars, theaters, casinos and indoor shopping malls, among others.
"Such orders, or their looming possibility, has consequently intensified the panic-buying urges of consumers for food and household essentials particularly in North America and Western Europe, giving occasions for daily photos of empty grocery-store shelves splashed ubiquitously from across news networks to social media platforms. The availability of food in North America and Western Europe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, however, remains generally secure, at least in the near term of the pandemic."