Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

Germany halted all religious services and ordered bars to close, among other measures. Italy, especially hard hit, announced $28 billion in emergency aid to individuals, businesses and the health care system. The country has reported more than 2,100 deaths, the most outside China. Hospital morgues are inundated as funerals are postponed.

The European Union leaders will vote on Thursday on a proposal to halt nonessential travel into the bloc for 30 days, but many countries have also imposed border lockdowns. Spain said it would shut its land borders to foreigners at midnight Monday.

  • Six counties in Northern California, including San Francisco, ordered millions of residents to “shelter in place” and not leave home except for the most essential reasons.

  • The number of cases in the United States crossed the 4,000 mark, and the number of deaths surged past 70, including the first deaths in Indiana, Nevada and South Carolina.

  • The governor of Ohio moved to postpone the state’s presidential primary, scheduled for Tuesday. Three other states — Arizona, Illinois and Florida — are also scheduled to vote on Tuesday.

  • The pace of infections in Europe has accelerated, with the total now at more than 58,000.

  • Spain, with about 8,000 cases and about 300 deaths so far, ordered medical students, private hospitals and factories that make medical equipment to pitch in and help the public health system.

  • The Vatican said the religious services traditionally held in the week before Easter would not be open to the public.

Keep your distance. The virus spreads most readily through close contact, so social distancing is vital to slowing it down. Have questions about that? Here are answers.

Work from home if possible. If you are new to it, here’s some advice: Try to wake up at the same time daily, and schedule a break in the middle of the day, so you don’t forget to get up from your desk.

Navigating the outbreak while pregnant? Here are tips from readers, from buying your own prenatal yoga mat to thinking twice about looking at photos on a friend’s phone.

When you finish reading this, wash your hands. Scrub with soap and water for 20 seconds. And remember to clean “high-touch” surfaces like phones and tablets — Apple recommends using 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.

  • With everybody working or streaming at home, will your internet slow to a crawl?

  • Religious congregations that can no longer gather to worship are trying to maintain their bonds of friendship and faith.

  • Gun stores and ammunition dealers in the U.S. have seen a surge in sales, especially among first-time buyers, as anxiety builds over the virus outbreak.

  • Some contrarians are arguing that America may be overreacting and paying too little heed to the harm that drastic measures will do.

  • Free-for-all versus quarantine versus social distancing: The Washington Post built a simulator that visualizes how effective staying home can be in slowing the virus’s spread.

I’m a nurse and also have a small medicinal and culinary herb farm. I am making sure to take time to hike alone in the woods, and start lots of seedlings. These help me take care of myself so I can care for others.

Melody Wright, Connecticut

Let us know how you’re dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.

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Lara Takenaga and Tom Wright-Piersanti contributed to today’s newsletter.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/world/coronavirus-today.html

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