Gazette Daily News Podcast, March 13th

Sorry, wrestling fans.
Sorry, wrestling fans.
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That’s right. It’s Friday the 13th. Good thing we’ve been on a lucky streak lately.

For your weather, expect another day where the weather can’t decide whether it is spring or winter. According to the National Weather Service, we will start out with sunny skies in the Cedar Rapids area with a high of 49 degrees. It will be fairly windy, though, with a northwest wind of 10 to 15 mph gusting as high as 20 mph. Then, as Friday heads into Saturday, there should be a chance of rain and even snow. The chance of precipitation is currently slated at 30 percent. 

Thursday carried on the nation’s increasingly adverse reaction to the threat of the coronavirus, with major events being cancelled out of precaution and the stock market plummeting. 

Following the NBA suspending its season, the NCAA cancelled all tournaments for winter and spring sports Thursday, and this included the NCAA college basketball tournament annually heralded as March Madness. Mickey Mouse is not immune either, as DIsneyland is now closed at least until the end of March.

In Iowa, the Des Moines School District has extended its spring break, also until the end of March. The Cedar Rapids Roughriders have suspended their season. And the Mission Creek Arts and Literature Festival in Iowa City has announced they are cancelling as well, with a potential future event or events being held with individual artists.

The Dow Jones industrial Average plunged more than 2,300 points Thursday on a variety of coronavirus related concerns as well as lingering effects of an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. This massive selloff, the market’s biggest since Black Monday during the stock market crash of 1987, came despite promises of help from the Federal Reserve and the White House.

Speaking of the White House, the European Travel Ban announced by President Donald Trump during his Wednesday address to the nation will begin at the end of Friday evening. 

Let’s jump back to Iowa for a second: two more cases of coronavirus were announced Thursday, with one more in Johnson County and another in Carroll County. Both of these cases are tied to the same Egyptian cruise that authorities have tied to 15 out of now 16 of the state’s positive cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health stated Thursday that there is no known public spread of the disease in the state at this time, and didn’t recommend the cancelation of events in the state. However, it did recommend following these tips, especially if you are an older adult or chronically ill. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, limit close contact with others-- especially those that appear ill, avoid crowds if possible, stay home from work if you are sick, wash often used surfaces, and cover your mouth during coughs or sneezes with a tissue if at all possible.