The Wider World

COVID-19 surge hits Europe

THE NUMBER of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. is now at 227,000 (Shutterstock).

With new cases of coronavirus rising across Europe, lockdowns and business closings are hitting France, Germany and other nations, according to the Associated Press. With similar increases in new COVID-19 infections and deaths in the U.S., the prospect of tightening restrictions here could be likely.

A national lockdown will start Friday in France, announced President Emmanuel Macron who said his country was “overpowered by a second wave” of coronavirus.  In Germany, bars, theaters and restaurants will be closed down for four weeks.

The issue has continued to be a lead element of the U.S. presidential campaign. President Donald Trump promised to “vanquish the virus.” Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, said he would not campaign on the idea of “being able to end this pandemic by flipping a switch.”

In recent days, an average of 805 Americans have died daily across the nation and overall about 227,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins University’s tallies. Referring to the outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said, “we’re not even close to being finished with it yet,” according to the Associated Press.

The News: Stocks shiver from corona news

The steep increases in new cases and deaths from COVID-19 sent a shock wave through Wall Street.  All three major stock indexes posted steep declines. The Dow was down 953.24 points, and the S&P 500 fell by 119.65. Nasdaq sunk by 426.48 points. •  Hurricane Zeta is creeping up on the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. A “life-threatening” storm surge could lash New Orleans with strong winds and heavy rains. Zeta will be the fifth hurricane to hit the Gulf Coast in 2020. • Fan capacity will be limited for Super Bowl LV, to be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa in February. Only 20 percent of the stadium will be open to fans. Masks will be required and fans will be in pods six feet apart. • RealClearPolitics.com’s average of recent presidential polls shows Joe Biden with the support of 51.1 percent of voters and Donald Trump with 43.6 percent, a margin of 7.5 percent. Fivethirtyeight.com’s survey showed Biden with 51.8 percent to 42.9 percent for Trump, a difference of 9 percent.

Weather: Warming up just a bit

We hope you didn’t get too comfortable with all that cooler, autumnal weather, because things are going to get a mite cooler soon for the West Orange County area. Thursday should be sunny with a daytime high of 79 degrees, with an overnight low of 57. Friday will see a daytime high of 79, but Saturday will hit 80 and Sunday is forecast to rise to 85. In the coastal areas (Huntington Beach), highs are expected to be 72 on Thursday, 71 on Friday, 72 on Saturday and 76 on Sunday.

Sports: Celebrating Dodgers’ Series title

Not much in the way of local sports action to report.  You already know the Dodgers won the 2020 World Series crown, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays four games to two with their 3-1 victory on Tuesday. Corey Seager was named Most Valuable Player of the series, following on his winning the MVP honor of the 2020 National League Championship Series. He batted .400 with two homers and drove in five runs.

For those of you keeping count, the Brooklyn-Los Angeles Dodgers have won World Series titles in 1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988 and now 2020.

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