Some workers and customers are expressing trepidation as a few nations — and U.S. states — begin easing coronavirus restrictions while European leaders prepare for a summit. The air has temporarily cleaned up as people stay home, including athletes who suddenly have no outlet for their competitive instincts. Meanwhile, the Class of 2020 is adapting to a new reality without the prom and graduation festivities.
Here are some of AP’s top stories Wednesday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
— One of the grimmest symbols of the coronavirus outbreak — a morgue set up in a Madrid skating rink — has closed as stores and other businesses reopened in places across Europe, while the U.S. was beset with increasingly partisan disagreements over how and when to restart its economy. As some governors in the U.S. — largely Republican ones — moved to reopen an ever-wider variety of businesses, others took a more cautious approach and came under mounting pressure from protesters complaining that their livelihoods are being destroyed and their freedom of movement is being infringed on.
— European Union leaders are preparing for a virtual summit to take stock of the damage the new coronavirus has inflicted on the lives and livelihoods of the bloc’s citizens and to thrash out a more robust plan to revive their ravaged economies. The leaders will endorse urgent spending measures and debate a massive recovery plan they hope to introduce in coming weeks.
— An unplanned grand experiment is changing Earth. As people across the globe stay home to stop the spread of the virus, the air has temporarily cleaned up and people are noticing animals in places and at times they don’t usually.
— Coronavirus-related symptoms accounted for more than 85% of all admissions for a period of nearly four weeks at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Westchester County, New York. And half of the approximately 280 staff members who were tested for the disease were positive.
— President Donald Trump announced what he described as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States.” But an executive order he is expected to sign to implement the change would bar only those seeking permanent residency, not temporary workers.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.
One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.
TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.
— 10 MILLION: There are over 70 million people worldwide who have been driven from their homes by war and unrest, up to 10 million are packed into refugee camps and informal settlements, and almost none have been tested for the new coronavirus.
— CLASS OF 2020: For millions of Class of 2020 teenagers living through the coronavirus outbreak, coming-of-age moments like the prom and graduation look and feel vastly different.
— ATHLETES SIDELINED: Seasons have been on pause for weeks with no end in sight. So, too, has the competitive drive of tens of thousands of the world’s best athletes, the bottle corked by simple, sobering orders: Back off. Stay home.