The next target of the pandemic: America
The United States, after months of mixed messages from the Trump administration about the dangers of the coronavirus, is the new center of the pandemic. As of Thursday, it had more than 81,000 documented infections, beating both Italy and China, and more than 1,000 deaths.
Scientists say Louisiana may be experiencing the world's fastest growth in new infections. Almost half of the 2,300 confirmed cases in the state are in New Orleans, possibly because so many people visited last month for what now seems like an epidemiological nightmare: the annual Mardi Gras festival.
And in an anxious New York City, which has more than a quarter of the nation's confirmed cases, our reporter went behind the scenes at a Brooklyn hospital where the emergency room may run out of space next week.
"None of us know where this is taking us," Sylvie de Souza, the hospital's president of emergency medicine, said of her staff. "We don't even know if we could get sick. But none of them so far has failed in their duty, their vocation."
Virus strain the European experiment
Germany and the Netherlands are among the member states that oppose a call by the most affected countries of the European Union, Italy, Spain and France, to issue a kind of Eurobonds to help affected countries recover from the pandemic. .
That debate is another sign of what the coronavirus is like. test the bloc's continued experiment in solidarity on issues such as sovereignty, trade without borders and freedom of movement. One analyst says it boils down to this: "Can an EU-level response to this massive crisis demonstrate to citizens that the EU will protect them and show solidarity?
Another question is whether Europe's organized effort to combat the virus will yield better results than Chinese or American models.
France, for example, appears to be well prepared: it has twice as many intensive care beds as Italy, and a more centralized system. But even its relatively lavish medical infrastructure struggles to keep up with a case number that doubles every four days.
In other developments:
Here is some good news: Small changes in personal behavior can help delay coronavirus transmission, ease the burden on hospitals, and give scientists more time to develop treatments (and ultimately a vaccine).
Why would anyone want to visit Chernobyl, the site of the worst ecological catastrophe in history?
"I was on a kind of perverse pilgrimage," a writer who traveled there write in Times magazine. "I wanted to see what the end of the world was like."
Above, two tourists in an abandoned amusement park in Pripyat, a city that was built for Chernobyl workers.
This is what is happening the most.
Israel: Citing the coronavirus pandemic, Benny Gantz said Thursday that he would be open to serve in an emergency unit government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his main rival.
Snapshot: Above, a coral colony on the Great Barrier Reef off Queensland, Australia. Abnormally warm waters have whitewashed the reef for the third time in five years, threatening one of the world's most important marine ecosystems.
John Keats: One writer recalls the British poet's 10-day quarantine off the coast of Naples during a typhoid outbreak in 1820. ("It was not the giorni quaranta, 40 days, that gave us our word,quot;). quarantine," she writes.)
What we are reading: This Jezebel essay of a writer dealing with a sudden love for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Sarah Lyall, a general writer for The Times, calls it "fun and true." She adds, "And please stay to watch the video of the two Cuomo brothers arguing with each other about which one loves their mother the most."
Now a break from the news
Chances are, you're in the same position that many of us are in now: huddled, pulling away, trying to control our new reality. We are here with news that is good, with stories of beauty, art and style, with pleasant distractions and arguments in favor of an educated life in a dark moment. – Sam Sifton, who oversees The Times' cultural and lifestyle coverage.
Cook: Cheese is the typical filling for a classic French omelette, but Melissa Clark's recipe uses garlic tahini.
"Let's go,quot;: Our critic went to the Museum of Metropolitan Art in New York, online, of course, to see Anthony van Dyck's 17th-century painting of Saint Rosalia, who is credited with saving the Italian city of Palermo from an epidemic.
Listens: Here are some great kids podcasts, and lots of musical theater, dance, and classical music to stream.
And now for the backstory on …
The biggest bull run on the planet
Jeffrey Gettleman, our head of the New Delhi office, has been covering Prime Minister Narendra Modi closure of 1.3 billion people in India. Melina Delkic, on the Briefings team, spoke to him about the unanswered questions in the general government guidelines and what to expect next.
Guide us through the pre-closing period. On the ground, were you surprised that people seemed to stay home right away and follow the rules?
There had been a steady increase in restrictions in India. So the blockade Modi announced for the entire government was quite consistent with what was already happening in some places, including New Delhi.
India has strong internal control by its security forces. Police forces are used to control the population. People tend to be afraid of police officers on the street and want to get out of their way. They treat citizens quite harshly.
The government here is trying to learn from the mistakes or the slowness of what happened in other countries. Indian officials saw what happened in China and how effective the blockades were once they were implemented – that is more their model than anything else.
India's workload remains relatively low: around 600 confirmed infections. What is the big concern when the number grows?
The country spends very little on health care per capita. So the health care system here doesn't have enough funds, and it's a huge population: 1.3 billion people. Public hospitals, the number of doctors, the number of beds, the equipment they use – everything is below the standards of most other parts of the world.
Some of the best hospitals in the world are really struggling. So imagine how a hospital with far fewer resources would respond.
Fix: Thursday's article "What We Are Reading,quot; mistakenly spelled the last name of the chief of security at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, a social media novice who took over your institution's Twitter feed. He is Tim Tiller, not Send. Thanks to the enthusiastic reader who alerted us.
That's it for this briefing. Have a good and safe weekend.
– Mike and Isabella
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
• We are listening to "The Daily,quot;. Our last episode is about negotiations in the US Congress. USA About the coronavirus relief package.
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