‘It has all gone to hell’: the coronavirus economy
As countries in Europe clamp down on large gatherings — with Austria, Spain and France limiting residents’ comings and goings to necessities like buying food, going to work and seeking medical care — a clearer picture of the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic is emerging.
For weeks, we’ve heard warnings of disruptions to the economy and seen intense volatility in the markets and delayed shipments from China. But now a standstill in so many of the activities we love has gone global.
Sporting events, from basketball to baseball to soccer, have been canceled, and speculation abounds about whether the Tokyo Olympics can really go on; museums have been shuttered; restaurants, bars and hotels in many parts of the world are either on curfew, at limited capacity or closed.
Some are forced to rework their business models; others have no remedies.
Not since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has a crisis hit much of the U.S. economy so quickly.
Around the world:
Many governments, including those of Hong Kong, Beijing and New Zealand, are requiring some international incoming travelers to self-isolate for 14 days, while others are barring people coming from hotspots like the U.S. Check our full list of travel restrictions.
Italy’s death toll rose to 1,809 — a 25 percent increase over the day before and the largest one-day uptick yet of any country.
U.S. airports were in chaos over the weekend as officials implemented a new type of screening for passengers coming from Europe. Travelers described waiting for hours in thick crowds in the thousands.
The Netherlands announced a lockdown that will last until April 6, closing most schools and child care centers, as well as restaurants, cafes, gyms and sporting clubs.
Britain’s government is being urged by scientists to take stronger public health measures to match the economic relief strategy the government has introduced. And older residents are being asked to self-isolate.
Resources: Here’s how to practice social distancing and how to clean your phone. The Times is providing free access to much of our coronavirus coverage; our Coronavirus Briefing newsletter, like all of our newsletters, is free.
If you have 8 minutes, this is worth it
One year after Christchurch
A year has passed since 51 people died in a terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand. Zulfirman Syah, above, was a hero and a victim — diving over his 3-year-old son to save his life, and taking bullets in his back and groin.
Our reporter and photographer visited him, his wife and their son over the past 12 months. The family’s searing experience points to forces the world has yet to contain: guns, technology and white supremacy.
Here’s what else is happening
Israel: In a first, all 15 members of the combined slate of predominantly Arab parties joined lawmakers from Jewish parties in recommending the ex-army chief Benny Gantz over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
U.S. presidential race: Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont will face off in a debate in a few hours in Washington — without a studio audience. Follow along at nytimes.com.
Snapshot: Above, two residents of the outskirts of Blagoveschensk, Russia, who live with their cats, mice and rabbit. They are part of the Kremlin’s plan to hand out plots of land in Russia’s Far East, which has attracted some unusually freethinking settlers.
What we’re reading: This science writer’s musings on the North Pole, published in Scientific American’s Opinion section. “It’s very soothing to read about a place where time doesn’t exist,” writes Millie Tran, our deputy off-platform editor.
Now, a break from the news
Read: “Until the End of Time,” a collection of cosmological contemplations by the physicist Brian Greene, is among 11 new books we recommend.
Listen: Our reporter spent three days with the musician Francis Farewell Starlite, a reclusive muse to Kanye West, Bon Iver and Drake.
Smarter Living: If you procrastinate, it might be your emotions getting in the way — so managing those emotions could help more than trying to manage your time.
And now for the Back Story on …
Reporting from a virus hot zone
Karen Weise, a Times technology reporter, chronicled a Seattle-area family adapting to online instruction while their schools are closed to slow coronavirus spread. We talked to her about coping with disruptions.
How did the Peistrup family manage the first day of online school?
They were surprised it went pretty well. Erin Peistrup said she was fortunate because she is a stay-at-home mom. This was a hands-on experience. But the kids found their rhythm during the day. There was time for Erin to coordinate Little League and do other tasks. They also arranged for their children to play with neighbors during lunch and after classes.
How did the school district get ready for home instruction?
The prior week, they let students borrow laptops and internet hotspots, taught them how to set up passwords and advised families to log in and make sure the passwords worked. They closed down for a day to make sure teachers could use the system, too.
What about families who can’t stay home?
Around the region, people are starting to build informal networks of adult supervision. For parents who can’t be home during the day, I’ve heard stories of people offering to have classmates come to their house for remote learning. And the state has been looking to provide child care for young kids who are truly in need.
How is your family coping with the coronavirus outbreak in the Seattle area?
Life has become much more circumscribed. People aren’t going out much. We are getting used to this being the new normal. I have a toddler and even he picks up on bits of conversation. My family is talking about what happens if our day care closes. Probably some combination of help from neighbors and staggering work shifts. This is what’s potentially coming for people, businesses and schools elsewhere in the country.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
To Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford for the break from the news. Shira Ovide wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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