What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, July 1

What you need to know about coronavirus on Wednesday, July 1

In the absence of leadership from the top, it’s up to every individual to do the right thing.

Going to a bar is definitely not the right thing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, said at a Senate committee hearing yesterday. “Bars: really not good, really not good … We really have got to stop that,” he said, expressing dismay over people congregating in crowds and not wearing masks. “There’s going to be a lot of hurt if that does not stop.”

Fauci had a lot to say. But his starkest warning came when he said new infections in the United States could go up to 100,000 a day if the upward trend in cases in some states doesn’t turn around. The US has been adding around 40,000 new cases a day in the past few days — more than at any other point during the pandemic.

The toll of the disease in the US has been staggering: a country that has 4% of the world’s population has recorded about a quarter of all cases and deaths globally. More than 1,000 Americans have died on average every day since the first death was recorded in February. In total, more than 127,000 people have succumbed.

The worsening crisis has forced at least 19 states to pause or rollback their reopening plans. It has also struck the US off the list of countries Europe considers coronavirus-safe.

But despite the heartache, the White House seems to be living in a different reality, describing the record-breaking new infections that are sweeping the nation as “embers that need to be put out” and claiming credit for the “phenomenal” success of President Donald Trump’s pandemic leadership.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q.Why has the guidance on masks changed so much?

A: Earlier in this pandemic, scientists didn’t know how easily the new virus spread between people without symptoms or how long infectious particles could linger in the air. There was also a shortage of N95 respirators and face masks among health care workers.

But since then, the CDC, the US Surgeon General and other doctors have changed their recommendations and are now urging the widespread use of face masks. We now know that it’s easy to spread this highly contagious virus by just talking or breathing, even without feeling ill. Masks and social distancing are the best way to stop it.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Beijing approves experimental Covid-19 vaccine for use in Chinese military

The Chinese government has approved the use of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine for the country’s military — the latest step in a global race to stop the deadly disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

At least 17 vaccines are currently in clinical evaluation around the world, according to the World Health Organization. Eight of them are being developed in China.

No vaccine has been approved yet for commercial release and there is no clear picture of when one might be available, or even if one is possible, but Fauci has said there are hopes for a drug by the end of 2020.

Why Europe is off limits for Americans this summer

It was hardly a surprise yesterday when travellers from the US were left off the list of 14 countries considered by the EU a “safe country”. But one chart shows why better than anything.

The list is expected to be reviewed every two weeks, however EU diplomats stressed to CNN that the criteria and methodology are “extremely unlikely” to change, which means US infection rates will need to dramatically drop if Americans are to be allowed entry.

The criteria requires, among other things, that a country’s rate of new coronavirus cases be similar or lower than the EU rate over the previous 14 days.

Amazon’s own virus tracking shows a problem

Behind the scenes, Amazon has been closely tracking the spread of the virus inside at least one warehouse, according to an internal memo viewed by CNN Business. And its own data may raise new concerns about the rate of infections in its facilities.

Amazon has previously claimed that coronavirus cases were “popping up at roughly a rate generally just under what the actual community infection rates are.” But the internal memo revealed that the infection rate at an Amazon warehouse in Shakopee, Minnesota was notably higher than the surrounding communities, Sara Ashley O’Brien reports.

He was an athlete in the best shape of his life. Then Covid-19 nearly killed him

Ahmad Ayyad has spent 25 days in an induced coma. He lost 60 pounds, had a blood clot in his left arm and damage to his heart and lungs. It’s been a little over two months since those touch-and-go days, and he’s still recovering. Still out of breath at times, he has one thing to say: “It worries me a lot seeing people take this lightly. I got it and survived, and I’m still terrified.” Alaa Elassar tells his story.

ON OUR RADAR

  • The US Army quarantined 90 members of a survival training course after one tested positive for coronavirus.
  • Mexico’s flagship airline Aeromexico is filing for bankruptcy protection, making it the latest aviation victim of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Airbus announced yesterday it would cut 15,000 jobs.
  • Last week, a judge ordered Brazil’s coronavirus-skeptic president, Jair Bolsonaro, to wear a face mask in public. Yesterday a federal judge overturned the order on appeal.
  • After 53 years of marriage, a Texas couple died from Covid-19 while holding hands.
  • The UN Security Council is expected to adopt its first coronavirus resolution today, calling on countries to adopt a halt in hostilities to focus on the pandemic.
  • Even Goldman Sachs says masks are good. The investment bank has suggested face coverings could help save the economy.
  • Tokyo Disney parks have reopened after a 4-month closure. But while Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be riding on floats in the parades, they won’t mingle with fans or pose for photos.
  • The lion statues outside the New York Public Library are wearing face masks to encourage humans to do the same.

TOP TIPS

Making a DIY face covering? Here’s what you need to know.

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have experimented with different materials and styles of non-medical masks and found that a well-fitted stitched mask made from two layers of quilting fabric was the most effective in stopping the spread of droplets from emulated coughs and sneezes.

Bandana-like cloth, on the other hand, was the least effective, despite having the highest thread count.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“There are medications, there are different forms of psychotherapy that can really make a difference. And in addition to getting professional help, there’s a lot of self-help.”

— Dr. Gary Small, Psychiatry professor at UCLA

The pandemic is taxing everyone’s mental health, but not all people are impacted equally. According to the CDC, young people and people of color are the most likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks to psychiatrist Dr. Gary Small about why this is happening and how to cope. Listen Now.