Your Monday Briefing – The New York Times

Many of the first known coronavirus cases clustered around a market in Wuhan, China, but by the time officials locked down the city of 11 million and acknowledged that the illness could spread among humans, it was too late: Outbreaks had already been seeded around the world.

Our data journalists analyzed the movements of hundreds of millions of people to show why the most extensive travel restrictions in human history haven’t been enough to stop the outbreak.

Background: We also looked back at a century of epidemics, including the 1918 Spanish Flu and Ebola, to give context to the current one.

Being healthy and stuck at home is a best-case scenario right now — but that doesn’t mean cabin fever isn’t real.

Scott Kelly, a retired NASA astronaut, offered advice on isolation from his year on the International Space Station: Follow a schedule, pace yourself with work, make sure to leave time for fun activities — he watched “Game of Thrones” twice — and go outside if you can (but leave at least six feet between you and others).

Here are other tips:

Religion is a solace for billions of people grappling with the outbreak. “In times of hardship, fear or panic,” an Egyptian pilgrim said, “either you think, ‘How can God do this to us?’ or you run to Him for protection and for guidance, to make it all make sense.”

But communal gatherings, the keystone of so much religious practice, are now a clear threat to public health. Above, a Buddhist temple in Myanmar.

Political clash in Israel: Citing a threat to democracy, opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the Supreme Court to block what they described as a power grab under the guise of combating the coronavirus.

Afghan peace deal: Amid fears that an agreement could fall apart, Afghan government officials spoke with Taliban delegates over Skype to discuss details of a prisoner release that is a part of the deal.

Snapshot: Above, the Place de la Concorde in Paris last week during what would normally be a morning rush hour. The Times asked dozens of photographers to capture images of once-bustling public spaces.

Metropolitan Diary: In this week’s column, discussing a “horrible” rock band, dreaming of a secret life and more reader tales of New York City.

What we’re watching: This video on Twitter. “It’s a bunch of Italian mayors and local leaders lashing out at people who are not obeying the decrees demanding that people stay at home,” writes Jason Horowitz, our Rome bureau chief, who has covered the coronavirus pandemic even through his own quarantine. “I did love this.”

Cook: This leek, mushroom and goat cheese tart is something that “someone with whom you vector might enjoy,” writes Sam Sifton, our Food editor.

Watch: Without live sports to cover, a rugby commentator has turned to narrating everyday life in London.

Listen: The video for Lil Yachty’s single “Oprah’s Bank Account” is a nine-minute comedy sketch featuring Drake and DaBaby. Our critics discuss it and eight other new songs.

Smarter Living: Smart speakers are most often asked to play music on command, but they can do a lot more. Here’s how to get the most out of them.

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the systems that keep our lives running. Add to that the pressures of working (and keeping a job) in an increasingly precarious economy.

Those strains, felt across the world, were echoed in text exchanges between the editor of our gender initiative, Francesca Donner, and Corinne Purtill, a journalist in Los Angeles. They have five children between them.

Francesca: “First things first: How do you maintain a sense of control when you’re WFH? Is there a daily routine? Do you get dressed every day?”

Corinne: “All good questions. If you take away one key point from this conversation, it should be this: Put on pants. Real pants. Every day.”

That was not Corinne’s only resonant piece of advice. “Days home with small children should be approached like airplane flights with small children,” she wrote. “Whatever it takes to get through it, do it, as long as they’re safe and not hurting anyone. We’re going to have to stretch some of our rules here.”

That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Chris

Thank you
Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at

• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Today’s episode is about the coronavirus pandemic and the Democratic presidential primary.
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