On December 31, 2019, as many around the world were celebrating the New Year, Chinese health officials were reporting to the World Health Organization (“WHO”) that approximately forty-one people had contracted a mysterious pneumonia from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Within seven days, Chinese officials determined the virus was a novel Coronavirus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, which causes the COVID-19 illness. The virus rapidly spread throughout the world, including the United States, and prompted all but eight states to issue statewide shutdown orders. These shutdowns, which had
questionable effectiveness, closed businesses, hamstrung the supply chain, and are expected to play a role in shrinking the United States’ expected real gross domestic product (“GDP”) by $7.9 trillion over the next decade. However, SARS-CoV-2 is not the first pandemic to cause a mass disruption. For instance, the 1918 H1N1 pandemic swept across the globe, prompting quarantines, shutdowns, social distancing, and mask use throughout the United States.