By Chris Stanford
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We’re covering expanding stay-at-home orders in the U.S. and a privacy investigation involving Zoom, the videoconferencing app. The late-night comedy shows returned on Monday, at least for one night, so our roundup has, too.
More Americans are told to stay at home
Roughly three of four people in the U.S. are or soon will be under instructions to stay indoors, as states and localities try to curb the spread of the coronavirus before hospitals are overwhelmed.
Here are the latest updates and maps of the pandemic.
Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., issued stay-at-home directives on Monday, virtually shutting down the capital region. Here’s a nationwide look at restrictions.
We also have a daily tracker showing the virus’s trajectory by country and U.S. state.
In other developments:
President Trump expressed optimism about the federal government’s ability to provide adequate testing, but state governors painted a different picture.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said the worst of the outbreak was yet to come, as a Navy hospital ship arrived in Manhattan to provide relief to the city’s hospitals.
With a $2 trillion relief package signed into law just last week, Washington is already considering more legislation to fight the outbreak and bolster the economy. Here’s the latest from the stock markets.
A sickout is planned today by Whole Foods Market employees in protest at what they see as inadequate safety measures and insufficient pay for the risks they are confronting. Several workers walked off the job at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island on Monday.
The Trump administration has sped up construction of a wall on the southern border, arguing that it will help limit the spread of the virus from Mexico. Public health experts say such a barrier would not mitigate the outbreaks already occurring in every state.
As the pandemic brings life to a halt, leaders around the world are invoking executive powers and extending authority with scant resistance. Rights groups agree that extraordinary measures are called for, but critics say some governments are using the crisis to seize powers that have little to do with the outbreak.
Zoom, the videoconferencing app whose traffic has surged, is under scrutiny by the New York attorney general’s office for its data privacy and security practices.
“The Daily”: Today’s episode is about the shortage of medical supplies in the U.S.
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Two numbers that changed the president’s mind
President Trump’s decision to abandon his goal of reopening the U.S. by Easter was driven, his aides said, by the number of possible deaths and polling that showed voters overwhelmingly preferred to keep containment measures in place.
After asserting that shutting down the economy could be more damaging than the virus itself, Mr. Trump said on Monday that restrictions “may be even toughened up a little bit.” He also stressed the starkest projections given to him by public health officials, noting that more than two million Americans could have died in the absence of any measure to contain the virus.
The details: A survey released by the Pew Research Center showed that roughly nine in 10 Americans believed the current restrictions were necessary.
Quotable: “There’s an acknowledgment that there’s no getting ‘back to normal’ if the virus is still a threat,” said Kristen Soltis Anderson, a Republican pollster.
They came to mourn, then became ill
A funeral in Albany, Ga., on Feb. 29 will be recorded as what epidemiologists call a “super-spreading event,” in which a small number of people propagate a huge number of infections.
Illnesses linked to the coronavirus have since torn through Albany. The surrounding Dougherty County, with a population of 90,000, has registered 24 deaths, far more than any other county in Georgia.
Another angle: We spoke with nursing home workers about their fear of catching and spreading the virus. “Who else is going to take care of them?” one asked. Watch our video.
If you have 4 minutes, this is worth it
A story of survival
Naomi Replansky, above right, was born in 1918, the year that flu killed tens of millions of people around the world. She and her wife, Eva Kollisch, 95, both experienced anti-Semitism at a young age, and lived through the horrors of the early 20th century, including the Depression and the Holocaust.
Now sheltered in their Upper West Side apartment, they offer a welcome perspective after a lifetime of resilience.
“Confinement doesn’t bother me,” Naomi said. “My shaky frame can handle more confinement.”
Here’s what else is happening
Rollback of emissions rules: The Trump administration is expected today to announce its final rule to relax Obama-era automobile fuel efficiency standards, virtually undoing the government’s biggest effort to combat climate change.
Digital mismatch: Democrats are trying to regain an edge on the internet as the coronavirus threat pushes the 2020 campaign online.
Signing off as royals: Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, wound down their popular social media sites and transferred control of their brand to advisers in Los Angeles, their new home.
Snapshot: Above, a vendor in Mexico City who is the only wage earner in his family. Workers in Latin America’s informal economy, which is mostly beyond government oversight and without labor protections, are among the most vulnerable during the coronavirus outbreak.
Late-night comedy: The hosts returned to broadcast their shows from home, where most of them dressed down. Stephen Colbert wore his regular suit: “I do not have a physique that lends itself to casual clothing.”
What we’re reading: This Samantha Irby essay about adult friendship in The Cut. “It’s deeply improbable that an essay about making new friends is so delightful right now, but that’s just a testament to how wildly brilliant Sam is,” says Jenna Wortham, a culture writer for The Times Magazine.
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Melissa Clark’s easy mujadara, a streamlined version of the Middle Eastern classic, features lentils and rice topped with golden fried onions. This recipe is from our pantry cooking series.
Listen: Some are using their time at home to debate the best wideouts in N.F.L. history, or to address the relative merits of fast-food fries. Our classical music critics have taken on the task of ranking recordings of Beethoven’s symphonies. (Also with the earphones: there’s something heart-swelling about the Modern Love podcast.)
Watch: Not ready to commit to a multiseason series? It’s a jittery time. Here are the best one-season wonders you can stream in one day if you take the task seriously. And Kyle Turner will introduce you to the dreamy, mystical animation of the filmmaker Jodie Mack. Short film, big smiles.
And now for the Back Story on …
Chasing a dream in Afghanistan
As a U.S.-Taliban peace deal unfolds, bringing an uncertain future for Afghan girls and women, Fatima Faizi, a correspondent based in Kabul, wrote for Times Insider about how her recent visit to a progressive girls’ school triggered a flashback to her childhood.
When Ms. Faizi was 6, she set off with her grandmother for the one-hour walk to her new school.
“There were 70 students in a narrow room,” she wrote. “It was shocking. Some students were 15, or even older. I seemed to be the youngest one there.
“At first, everyone thought I was slow, because I was so shy that I wasn’t taking part in the class activities. But I was actually ahead of others my age: I started in second grade, not first, because I could already read the alphabet.
“When the Taliban were in power, girls were not allowed to go to school. I was lucky enough to study at home with my mother.”
Ms. Faizi’s middle school was in a tent. High school meant a better building, but also new hardships.
She missed a semester after she fell sick, and later stayed home to help her father recover from severe burns from an accident at a gas station. Still, she graduated from high school and went on to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist. She joined The Times’s Kabul bureau in 2017.
“Since 2017, I have covered the Afghanistan war — a war started by Americans that has changed my life,” she said. “When there were Taliban in the country, my life was upside down. I wasn’t Fatima Faizi; I was fated to only be someone’s wife, to clean, cook, raise the children and never have a chance to dream.”
“Now the peace process is unfolding,” she said. “An uncertain future waits for me.”
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Sam Sifton provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at [email protected]
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