The Wider World

Good news on virus? Or too soon?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI cautioned against lifting policies aimed at curbing coronavirus (White House photo).

Is the worst of the coronavirus pandemic over?  There are some hopeful signs.

On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that COVID-19 is likely “on the descent” in the Empire State.

According to United Press International, the latest tally of deaths there was at 478, which shows the fourth straight day of a decrease. There have been over 14,000 deaths in the state, most of them in the New York City area.

“The question is, how long is the descent, and how steep is it,” he said.

Some manufacturers – including Boeing – have announced they were moving toward resuming production. Boeing will go back to work on its passenger jets and return from furlough about 27,000 employees.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institution of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned against premature returns to pre-pandemic practices.

“So as painful as it is to go by the careful guidelines of gradually phasing into a reopening, it’s going to backfire. That’s the problem,” he said during an interview shown Monday on the “Good Morning America” TV program.

Over the weekend, protests against stay-at-home orders and business closings took place across the U.S., including in Huntington Beach and San Clemente. Six other states also saw demonstrations.

A new poll from NBC/Wall Street Journal showed that almost 60 percent of those surveyed were more worried about lifting restrictions too early than the impact on the economy.

Reopening plans in three Southern states

Three Southern governors announced changes on Monday that will allow some businesses – closed or restricted by the coronavirus pandemic – to reopen or expand operations between today and May 1.

The details of some of the new policies have not been fully revealed, and may differ from state to state, according to United Press International.

In Georgia, it will start on Friday, April 24. Some businesses that have “close contact” such as fitness centers, tattoo parlors, hair and nail salons, bowling alleys and massage therapy businesses can reopen then if they meet social distancing rules.

Church services can resume also under that requirement. Brian Kemp is the governor of Georgia.

Theaters and restaurants will be allowed to reopen on Monday (April 27).

In South Carolina, parts of an earlier executive order which limited some retail stores to curbside service only have been dropped, if they limit the number of customers inside to 20 percent of fire code limits or no more than five customers per 1,000 square feet.  Henry McMaster is the governor of South Carolina.

In Tennessee, some businesses will be allowed to reopen as early as Monday. Bill Lee is the governor of the Volunteer State.

Death toll in Nova Scotia up to 18 people

The number of people killed in Sunday’s shooting rampage in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia has been raised to at least 18.

According to the Associated Press, suspect Gabriel Wortman, 51, who died during the spree, not only shot people but set fire to houses.  It’s the worst mass shooting in Canadian history.

The death toll may grow as detectives finish examining the crime scenes, some of which are houses that were fully consumed by flames. Most of the victims were inside their homes.

Wortman was dressed as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer and was driving a car disguised to look like an RCMP vehicle. One of the dead was a RCMP policewoman.

Oil prices in free-fall worldwide

The prices brought by petroleum are dropping, and the price of U.S. oil on Monday dropped to $0, meaning that there is more

OIL PRICES are plunging because of a drop in demand (Flickr).

supply than there is demand. Storage facilities are nearly full, according to the Associated Press.

Coronavirus and the business contractions that followed it have driven down the market for energy.

On Monday morning, the Dow Jones Average had declined 364 points, and the price of crude oil was down $1.78 to $26.30 a barrel, said the AP. At closing, the Dow Jones was down by 592.05 points, a loss of 2.44 percent.


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