India is on "total lockdown." The infection rate in New York is doubling every three days. And President Donald Trump said he hopes the country can return to relative normalcy by Easter.
But first, there may be a new symptom of coronavirus: a loss of sense of smell or taste, doctors warn.
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One trillion, two trillion...
Congress is close to striking a deal on a sweeping $2 trillion economic rescue package to the worsening coronavirus crisis that includes direct payments to Americans, far-reaching financial help for small businesses and a lifeline to airlines considered crucial to the nation's recovery. The centerpiece would be one-time checks of $1,200 or more to individuals, a jolt of household capital that lawmakers hope will boost consumer confidence and give the tumbling stock market a reason for optimism. "I believe we are on the 5-yard line," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Tuesday. "We are very close."
It's official. The Olympic torch is being passed to 2021.
In an unprecedented and unavoidable move, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese government agreed to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics "to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021." Organizers said the Olympic flame will stay in Japan during the delay, and the Games will also continue to be officially called "Tokyo 2020," even as they move to 2021.
Are 19 days enough?
President Donald Trump said he hopes the country can return to relative normalcy by Easter — just 19 days from now. "I’d love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter," Trump said in a virtual town hall on Fox News. He said people can go back to work and still practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and take other precautions. But health officials and lawmakers have said that lifting the social distancing restrictions could be disastrous for both the U.S. economy and for public health.
The difference between 3,000 and 40,000 is a lot
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warns the state could be just two weeks away from 40,000 patients requiring intensive care in facilities equipped for only 3,000. The infection rate in New York is doubling about every three days and daily infection numbers could peak next month. New York is home to almost half of the nation's infections.
India's 1.3 billion people face 'total lockdown' for 3 weeks
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a “total lockdown” in the country of 1.3 billion people for three weeks "to save India." Failure to properly manage the next 21 days could set the country back by 21 years, he said. Indian health officials have reported more than 500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 10 deaths.
The U.S. trails only Italy and China in coronavirus cases
The death toll in the United States from the coronavirus nears 700, with more than 53,000 confirmed cases nationwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, more than 18,000 people have died from the virus.
- FEMA says the Trump administration is using the Defense Production Act to obtain about 60,000 coronavirus test kits.
- A case of hantavirus has been reported in China. Here's why you shouldn't worry.
- An Italian priest who contracted the new coronavirus died after he gave up a ventilator so a younger patient could have one.
- Chloroquine treats malaria: Will it work against coronavirus? The side effects are risky, experts say.
He's sorry for 'If I get corona, I get corona'
An Ohio man who gained notoriety last week for indulging in spring break partying during the coronavirus pandemic has apologized. "If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying," Brady Sluder said in a TV interview that quickly went viral. In an apology posted to his Instagram, Sluder wrote: “I’m not asking for your forgiveness or pity. I want to use this as motivation to become a better person, a better son, a better friend, and a better citizen… Don’t be arrogant and think you’re invincible like myself.”
Playwright Terrence McNally dies from coronavirus complications
Terrence McNally, a four-time Tony Award-winning playwright, has died from complications due to coronavirus. He was 81, and a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic inflammatory lung disease. McNally is best known for writing beloved musicals "Ragtime," "Kiss of the Spider Woman" and "The Full Monty." McNally is one of the first noteworthy figures in entertainment to die from coronavirus.
What else is happening?
- Look what you made them do: Kim Kardashian ripped Taylor Swift as feud with Kanye West resurfaces. And Swift's rep fired back.
- The Los Angeles Rams are marking their long-awaited move into a new stadium by rebooting their logo and team colors.
- The Navy wouldn't let Tom Cruise fly an F-18, but he still found speed in 'Top Gun: Maverick.'
- Scientists have discovered a fossil of our earliest ancestor: a tiny, wormlike creature that lived about 555 million years ago.
'Look for the helpers'
These are trying times. Tensions are running high because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has left thousands dead and almost 400,000 sick worldwide. In times of crisis, a timeless quote from the late Fred Rogers tends to emerge again and again on social media: "Look for the helpers." Consider being a good neighbor — and help your community. It can help alleviate any feelings of helplessness you may face as the virus continues to spread worldwide. Here's how to make an impact in your community with a few tangible actions:
- Donate money, or tip extra
- Donate resources to food banks, shelters
- Buy a couple of gift cards
- And please be kind to people working
Take a break from the news
We may no longer be in "The Office," but we're still watching it. The beloved workplace sitcom premiered 15 years ago on March 24, 2005 and started a sensation. But where are the employees of Dunder Mifflin Scranton now?
I'm on Season 8, Episode 24. How about you?