“To think that we’re in New York City and this is happening,” the doctor said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “It’s like a third-world country type of scenario. It’s mind-blowing.”
New York has become the national epicenter of the outbreak, as cases there are now doubling every three days, overwhelming hospitals. New York state’s hospitals have enough personal protection equipment for just two more weeks, Governor Andrew Cuomo has said, while it’s in need of 180,000 more beds.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
A chance to show some unity
This might be a pandemic, but countries’ responses to the coronavirus have still been largely in isolation.
There will be other chances to show unity today, as a G20 video-conference meeting takes place after criticism the group had done just about nothing to coordinate an economic response. While US-China tensions could stymie progress there too, an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia may not help either.
The global economy just won’t budge
Some EU leaders are looking for new tools to stimulate their economies and are pushing for “corona bonds,” a new instrument that would allow them to collectively raise money to combat the pandemic. The plan is likely to be opposed by countries including Germany.
Social distancing works, new data shows
The restrictions worked because they reduced the virus’ reproduction number — the average number of people each infected person passes the virus on to. It’s too early to be certain, but most scientists put the reproduction number somewhere between two and three when no restrictions are in place.
The Czech Republic released preliminary data on Tuesday suggesting that the initial reproduction number there dropped from 2.64 to 1.84 after restrictions on movement were imposed two weeks ago. Long story short: the data shows that staying at home is the best course of action.
Cruise ships still causing problems
CNN spoke with passenger Maureen Foran, 75, who is aboard the ship. She has had no face-to-face contact with anyone, family or crew since the quarantine started. “We are forbidden to leave our rooms,” she said. “I am thankful for a window but I am getting claustrophobic.”
ON OUR RADAR
- There is a faint glimmer of hope in Italy after its hardest-hit region, Lombardy, reported a decline in deaths and new infections yesterday.
- A 96-year-old South Korean woman became the oldest patient in the country to fully recover from the virus.
- The National Cathedral in Washington found 5,000 masks that had been stashed away in its crypt for more than a decade.
- Instagram’s CEO is managing one of the world’s biggest social networks from his garage.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q: Can coronavirus spread through water, like in a pool or hot tub?
A: While many gyms are closed, there is no evidence that the virus can be spread to humans in pools or hot tubs, according to the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The real risk at gyms is coming into close contact with other people.
As for drinking water, doctors say you don’t need to worry about coronavirus in the tap water because most municipal drinking water systems should remove or inactivate the virus.
FROM TODAY’S PODCAST
“You can’t run the economy with no health care system because you’re overwhelming it. And that would happen if we stop being prudent and stop trying to isolate too soon,” says Arthur Caplan, CNN medical analyst and professor at NYU School of Medicine