The White House rejects C.D.C. guidelines for reopening safely
To prepare for the day when stay-at-home orders would be eased, public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention drew up guidelines detailing what schools, restaurants, churches and other gathering places should do to reopen safely.
President Trump has been desperate to reopen the economy as quickly as possible, and his aides thought that following the C.D.C.’s safety guidelines would slow the process and be bad for business.
The guidelines for houses of worship ran into especially fierce resistance, a federal official said, with complaints raised that telling churches how to conduct services safely would infringe on religious freedom.
Not waiting to be told: An analysis of consumer spending data by our colleagues at The Upshot shows that Americans began hunkering down on their own, days or weeks before officials issued social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders.
Consumers were spending less, traveling less, dining out less and working less outside the home. Small businesses were scaling back employment and even closing up shop.
That suggests, they write, that people will also choose their own moment to emerge and reopen their businesses and their wallets and will not necessarily jump when governors say.
Covid-19 is striking Latinos with particular force
Epidemiologists around the U.S. have noticed an unsettling disparity: Latinos are contracting the virus at higher rates than the population as a whole.
In Iowa, Latinos account for more than 20 percent of coronavirus cases, though they make up only 6 percent of the population. In Washington State, it’s 31 percent of cases, compared with 13 percent of the population.
Public health experts believe it may be because many Latinos work in low-paying jobs on the front lines and lack access to health care. They also tend to have higher than average rates of diabetes and other underlying conditions that increase their vulnerability.
The disparities are largest in states like Oregon, Washington and Utah, whose Latino communities are newer and less established. In states like California, Arizona and New Mexico, longstanding Latino communities with more resources have infection rates that are closer to those of non-Hispanics.
Racial disparities in Britain: Black people in England and Wales are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus as white people. Experts attribute the disparity to underlying health and social inequalities.
And in New York City, video images of disputes between police officers and minority residents have raised questions about whether there is a racist double standard in how social distance rules are being enforced.
Promising news on the immunity front
A new study of 1,343 people in the New York area found that nearly everyone who has had the coronavirus — even those who experienced only mild symptoms — makes antibodies at levels that may confer future protection against the disease.
There had been worries that some patients seemed to have few or no antibodies, but the new study suggests that it’s a matter of when the test is administered: People with meager results in the first few days after recovery often developed healthy amounts of antibodies later on. The researchers recommended waiting three weeks after the onset of symptoms.
Scientists don’t yet know for certain whether the antibodies confer immunity. But if they do, the new study suggests that nearly everyone who recovers from Covid-19 will have immunity.
Killing the virus with light: Special ultraviolet light fixtures installed on walls or ceilings could play a role in reducing the spread of the virus. The technology, known as “upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation,” is already used to disinfect the air in hospitals, but stores and restaurants could do the same to reassure jittery customers.
New York was the virus’s main gateway to the U.S.
How do they know? Genetic studies, travel histories and outbreak models connect the dots. “We now have enough data to feel pretty confident that New York was the primary gateway for the rest of the country,” said Nathan Grubaugh, an epidemiologist at the Yale School of Public Health.
What you can do
Make a sourdough starter. Can’t find yeast at the grocery store? With a little patience, you can achieve leavening with your own homemade starter, using water and flour along with potatoes, dried fruit or many other ingredients.
Have a good cry. There are emotional benefits to losing control (within reason) for a little while during tough times. You might also find a little relief in venting to a trusted friend, indulging in a favorite dessert or just curling up in the fetal position.
Join our movie club. Every week our film critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis watch a classic movie and discuss it. This week it was Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” and yes, they said it’s still a great movie, 31 years later.
What you’re doing
Each of our family members makes a PowerPoint presentation on something of interest, and then we draw names out of a hat to see who has to present it. It is hysterical to watch someone make a presentation when they have no understanding of the topic and have no idea what is on the next slide. Our topics have ranged from Aristotle’s rhetoric to a ranking of my daughter’s ex-boyfriends.
— Colleen D’Angelo, Dublin, Ohio
Let us know how you’re dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.