Several European countries have also started easing restrictions this week but more cautiously. Spaniards, for example, were finally allowed to go outside yesterday
to run, cycle or walk after being cooped up in their homes for seven weeks. In much of Germany, people are now allowed to use public transport and go to stores, but only if they cover their mouths and noses
In Oklahoma, by contrast, one city nixed its rule requiring face masks after threats of violence were made
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: What is contact tracing? How does it help stop a virus?
A: Contact tracing tracks down
anyone who might have been infected by a person who was recently diagnosed, so they can quarantine themselves and prevent further spread. “In contact tracing, public health staff work with a patient to help them recall everyone with whom they have had close contact during the timeframe while they may have been infectious,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
What if a vaccine is never found?
The race to develop a coronavirus vaccine has consumed time and money. But despite optimism from political leaders about human trials already underway
, many experts fear that no vaccine might ever be developed.
If a vaccine can’t be produced, life will not remain as it is now. But it might not return to normality quickly, Rob Picheta writes
. As countries start to creep out of paralysis, health experts would push governments to implement new standards of living. That could buy the world the months, years or decades needed until a vaccine can wipe out Covid-19.
Warren Buffett vows that the US will recover
During a shareholders meeting yesterday, the 89-year old billionaire discussed previous times of hardship: the Cuban missile crisis, the Cold War, 9/11 and the Great Recession. Every time it seemed that times were bleak, Buffett said
, America eventually recovered.
Buffett struck a defiant tone even as his company, Berkshire Hathaway, posted a nearly $50 billion net loss
in the first quarter, its biggest ever.
The losses reflect the wider misery of the US economy right now: 30 million people have filed
for unemployment benefits, millions of small businesses have requested loans to stay alive
and second quarter economic output could decline by 40%, economists say.
Engineers, chefs and waitresses now farming in the UK
Daniel Martin is a civil engineer. Or rather he was, until furloughed in the wake of the pandemic. Now he works on a farm. He figured it would be better than sitting on his couch all summer.
As Covid-19 cases surpass 180,000 in the UK, British farmers have lost the eastern European migrant workers who normally harvest crops. With thousands of Brits out of work, it has become government policy to lure citizens into the fields. Mick Krever and Nic Robertson report.
Infections keep spiking in Russia
Russia reported 10,633 new coronavirus cases today
, another single-day record. The country has seen four consecutive days of record increases, bringing the total to 134,687.
Just weeks ago, the Russian President Vladimir Putin radiated confidence about his government’s response, reassuring his citizens that the situation was “under control” thanks to early intervention measures.
That mood has decidedly shifted. This week, Putin struck a much more somber tone, admitting there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment for medical workers. “The situation is still very difficult,” he said, according to the Kremlin. “We are facing a new and perhaps the most intense stage in countering the epidemic.”
ON OUR RADAR
- Governors, mayors and President Donald Trump are eager to reopen the US economy. But child care — or the lack of it — could be the X factor in determining when that will happen.
- A sixth religious sister at Our Lady of the Angels Convent in Greenfield, Wisconsin has died of Covid-19.
- Boris Johnson names his new son after doctors who “saved” his life.
- Man who lost mom to Covid-19 thanks nurse who arranged for them to video chat one last time.
- A travel photographer in self-quarantine “escaped” her apartment. You can do it, too
- Climate activist Greta Thunberg is donating prize money she won to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Dalai Lama has called for a “coordinated, global response” to fight the pandemic.
With much of the globe now under lockdown, we have never been so tethered to our screens — for work, to connect with friends or to distract ourselves. So here are some tips on how to protect your eyes
- Blink, rather than touch your eyes.
- Use drops if your eyes feel dry.
- Turn your devices to night mode in the evening.
- Try the 20-20-20 approach: For every 20 minutes spent staring at a screen, take a 20-second break and look 20 feet in front of you.
- Place your computer screen in line with your eyes, and about 18 to 30 inches from where you’re sitting, and tilt it back slightly.