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NPR-COVID19

India has surpassed 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, making it the second country to reach that milestone after the United States.

Daily new cases in India are continuing to drop after a record high in September, and a government-appointed panel of scientists has said that the country is past its peak.

But the Hindu festival season, local elections and seasonal air pollution are raising concerns that the virus could surge again.

The U.S. economy grew at a record pace during the last three months, according to the last major economic report before the election.

Not many people are popping champagne corks, though, because GDP also shrank at a record pace during the previous three months. Despite the strong rebound in July, August and September, the economy has not yet recovered from the damage done by the coronavirus pandemic.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced a limited lockdown in a bid to stop the exponential growth in coronavirus cases, currently doubling every seven days.

Following long negotiations with Germany's 16 state governors, Merkel, who's been urging the public to dial down socializing for weeks, persuaded the governors that closing bars, restaurants, cafes, gyms, swimming pools, theaters, cinemas and concert venues is their best option.

"We only need infection numbers to double another four times and the health system is finished," she warned Wednesday.

Melbourne, the second-most populous city in Australia, ended its 111-day lockdown on Wednesday.

The state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, eased restrictions after recording zero new coronavirus cases on Monday — for the first time since June.

"Now is the time to open up," Daniel Andrews, the state's top official, said during a media briefing. "Now is the time to congratulate every single Victorian for staying the course."

As Election Day nears, the pandemic looms large. Amid a surge in new cases, the coronavirus has changed the way we live, work and — perhaps — how some Americans will vote.

As President Trump makes the case that his leadership has saved lives in the pandemic and ushered in record-fast vaccine and therapeutics development, Joe Biden has described Trump's handling of COVID-19 as "totally irresponsible" and points to American's health as the nation's top domestic issue.

As cold weather envelops Illinois, the state is experiencing a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases, part of a trend across Midwest states.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as a spike in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe is raising the prospect of further lockdowns that could hurt the global economy.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 943 points, a decline of 3.4%, and is in negative territory for the month. The S&P 500 fell 3.5%, its third consecutive decline, and is down over 8% from its record high in early September.

Aaron Springer of Odenton, Md., wasn't looking to sell his 2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen, which he bought used a couple of years ago.

"I love this car," he says.

But Springer heard the used-car market was hot, so he decided he might as well check. To his astonishment, used-car site Carvana offered him $1,500 more than he paid for the vehicle in 2018.

"I mean, it's just too good of a price to not sell it," he says.

Women are seeing the fabric of their lives unravel during the pandemic. Nowhere is that more visible than on the job.

In September, an eye-popping 865,000 women left the U.S. workforce — four times more than men.

The coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc on households, and women are bearing the brunt of it. Not only have they lost the most jobs from the beginning of the pandemic, but they are exhausted from the demands of child care and housework — and many are now seeing no path ahead but to quit working.

On its surface, economic growth data out this week will look like one for the record books. But dig in, and the picture is not as bright.

The Commerce Department is expected to report on Thursday record-setting growth in gross domestic product during the most recent quarter, reflecting pent-up demand as businesses reopened and consumers streamed back into the marketplace.

More Americans may be wearing masks than early last spring, but other recommended behaviors to stop the pandemic's spread haven't kept pace, according to a new federal survey. And young people are the least likely to take needed steps to stop the virus, the data suggest.

The proportion of U.S. adults reporting wearing face masks increased from 78% in April to 89% in June, according to the nationally representative survey released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday.

It took Wisconsin more than seven months to reach 100,000 coronavirus cases. On Monday, just five weeks later, it reached 200,000.

Updated Wednesday 10:25 a.m. ET

Coronavirus cases are rising precipitously in the U.S., and have now surpassed the high levels logged in the summer when daily new cases hovered above 65,000 on average for nearly two weeks.

After a dip in new cases in September, the country now is logging an average of nearly 72,000 new cases a day, and health experts worry this surge could last longer and grip more of the country than in the spring or summer. And the average daily case count has climbed 41% over the past two weeks, according to an NPR analysis.

Throughout her years as a working mother climbing the corporate ladder, Farida Mercedes tried to be home for dinner with her kids. But until recently, she never imagined staying home full time.

"I respect stay-at-home moms. But it wasn't part of my DNA," said Mercedes, who spent almost two decades working for the cosmetics company, L'Oreal. "I love the hustle. I love being hungry and passionate. And I love my children. But I just couldn't see myself out of that."

Colorado is among the states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. In August, the state logged about 2,000 new cases a week. Last week, that number jumped to more than 8,000.

The state's Democratic governor, Jared Polis, warns that the situation could worsen in the coming months.

With new coronavirus cases on the rise, residents of El Paso, Texas, nestled on the U.S-Mexico border, are encouraged to stay home for two weeks as a judge imposes a mandatory curfew.

Noting that area hospitals are overrun and the positivity rate of residents has ballooned since the beginning of the month, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego said he was "left with no choice" but to impose a countywide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.

To make ends meet, Martha Tapia works 64 hours a week at two Orange County, Calif., nursing homes. She is one of thousands of certified nursing assistants who perform the intimate and physical work of bathing, dressing and feeding the nation's fragile elderly.

"We do everything for them. Everything you do for yourself, you have to do for the residents," Tapia says.

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Stocks on Monday posted their worst day since early September amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe and declining optimism about another U.S. pandemic relief bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 650 points, or 2.3%, posting its biggest decline since Sept. 3. The other major indexes were also down, though not as much.

Stay out.

It's what people are being asked to tell each other. Less than 10 days ago, London banned people who live in different households from meeting each other indoors, to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"Nobody wants to see more restrictions, but this is deemed to be necessary in order to protect Londoners' lives," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told the London Assembly.

For people who are itching to travel, airlines are working hard to offer reassurance. They're requiring masks, disinfecting airplane cabins between flights and using hospital-grade HEPA air filtration systems. Airlines are also touting a recent study that shows that modern aircraft ventilation systems help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and suggests the probability of spreading and contracting the coronavirus on even a packed airline flight is low.

Nellie Riether, a single mom from Ringwood, N.J., faces a stark choice: raid her retirement savings or uproot her kids from home and move in with her sister.

"To be honest, it's mortifying and embarrassing at 46 years old to say I'm going to have to move in with my sister," she says. "Emotionally, it's a bit of a failure."

Riether has been out of work since April, when she was furloughed from her job in office building design. She can't pay the rent much longer, and she's worried about her kids, who are 13 and 15.

Twice a week, mathematics professor Andrea Bruder squats in the sewage tunnels below South Hall, a mostly freshman dorm at Colorado College. She wears head-to-toe protective gear and holds a plastic ladle in one hand and a to-go coffee cup in the other. Bruder hovers above an opening in a large metal pipe and patiently waits for a student to flush.

That flush will flood the pipes with just enough water to carry human waste down to her ladle, then to her coffee cup and eventually to a lab for processing.

New regulations and social distancing rules are being introduced across multiple European countries in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus as a second wave of the pandemic accelerates across the continent. Europe reported more than 1.3 million new cases this past week, its highest single week count yet, according to the World Health Organization.

Risa Calibuso, 34, wanted to give birth to her second child at home.

In the Philippines, where she lives, that's against the law.

In 2008 the country passed the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition Strategy policy — referred to as the "no home birth" policy. The goal was to reduce the country's high rates of maternal mortality, from 203 out of 100,000 live births that year to 52 by 2015.

It's a controversial law. Despite the good intentions, some local groups assert that it impinges on the rights of women.

Narcissus stares a little too long at his reflection during a video call. Stuck at home, Medusa tries to cut her own unruly curls.

In his series Greek Quarantology, illustrator Jonathan Muroya recasts Greek gods and myths to creatively capture aspects of life during the pandemic.

Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, is in isolation after testing positive for the coronavirus, his spokesman announced Saturday.

"The president is fine," his spokesman, Blazej Spychalski, said on Twitter. "We are in constant contact with the relevant medical services."

The United States hit a record high number of confirmed daily coronavirus cases Friday, recording more than 83,000 new cases, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The number surpasses the previous record of more than 77,000 cases in mid-July.

It's time to gather the family together for the talk. Not that talk — the talk about what to do for Thanksgiving this year as the pandemic rolls on.

It has been months since many of us have seen extended family — we're longing to check in on aging parents, to see old friends from back home, etc. But even though Thanksgiving often conjures up pictures of big happy reunions, how safe is it to make them a reality?

The Food and Drug Administration's sprint toward approving a COVID-19 vaccine does not mean the government is "cutting corners" or shorting safety, said Dr. Mark McClellan, former FDA commissioner under George W. Bush.

McClellan observed Thursday's FDA advisory panel on COVID-19 vaccine research, where independent experts offered advice on the way forward. Later that day, President Trump fueled fears that a vaccine is being rushed when he promised at a presidential debate to have "a vaccine that's coming, it's ready, it's going to be announced within weeks."

Wales is heading into a 17-day lockdown on Friday evening, as many parts of Europe reimpose safety measures because of rising coronavirus case counts.

The "firebreak lockdown" went into effect at 6 p.m. local time and requires that people remain home with few exceptions.

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