Disease experts are warning the virus isn’t going anywhere. Some places in the U.S. might see more lockdowns.
Leading infectious disease experts in the United States are warning that the coronavirus will be making life difficult for the foreseeable future.
And as strict social distancing wanes, some leaders in New York and Texas are threatening renewed lockdowns in an effort to get people to take the persistent threat of the virus seriously.
“This virus is not going to rest” until it infects about 60 percent to 70 percent of the population, said Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
Experts have estimated that without a vaccine, about 70 percent of the population will need to be infected and develop immunity in order to stop the virus’s spread, a concept called herd immunity. The current number of confirmed cases in the United States is over 2 million, less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, according to a New York Times database.
Dr. Osterholm said that recent data show the rate of infection has been level in eight states, increasing in 22 states and decreasing in the rest. The increase is not simply because of more widely available testing, experts said, noting that Covid-19 hospitalizations are rising in several states.
Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, medical director of the special pathogens unit at Boston University School of Medicine, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the rise in cases in some states in the South and West suggested that “we opened too early in those states.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently said that by July 4, coronavirus deaths in the United States would likely reach 124,000 to 140,000, from the current total of about 116,000.
Some state officials have warned of a second lockdown.
On Sunday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said that the state had been deluged with some 25,000 complaints about businesses that “are in violation of the reopening plan.”
Specifically, Mr. Cuomo said that bar patrons in Manhattan and the Hamptons on Long Island had been flouting the rules, and warned that if local officials did not crack down on such behavior the state could be forced to suspend reopening plans.
In Houston, officials warned last week that a lockdown might be reimposed as cases continued to tick upward, CBS News reported. The region is now at what officials call “Code Orange,” meaning that there is a significant and uncontrolled level of coronavirus spread in the community.
On Friday, Jay Butler, the C.D.C.’s deputy director for infectious diseases, told reporters that “if cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” according to CNBC.
The new rise in cases in some states comes as the Trump administration announced that it did not plan to back the extension of expanded unemployment insurance benefits beyond the end of July, citing concerns that workers are opting to take the generous benefits instead of going back to their jobs.
Larry Kudlow, the director of the National Economic Council, said on Sunday that the White House would support new incentives to bring people back to work rather than push to renew the additional $600 in weekly jobless benefits when it expires at the end of next month.
A section of Beijing was locked down on Monday as the government rushed to contain a new outbreak of coronavirus infections — an unnerving breach in the capital, which President Xi Jinping of China had said should be a fortress against the pandemic.
City officials said they had tracked down 79 infections in Beijing over the previous four days, including 36 confirmed on Sunday. All appeared ultimately traceable to the vast, bustling Xinfadi food market in the south of Beijing.
While a few dozen new cases seems slight compared to the hundreds or thousands of infections reported daily by other countries, the new outbreak has jolted China, which had appeared to have largely stifled the virus after it emerged late last year from Wuhan, a city in the country’s center.
“We feel this is dangerous,” Chen Xiaoxi, who owns a shop near the market, said by telephone. He said he was waiting for the results of a test to check if he had the virus. “It is a worry, everyone is worried. This is no ordinary disease. We’re waiting at home and can’t go out.”
Some Chinese disease control experts had said Beijing appeared to respond to the outbreak quickly. Even so, this failure in the capital’s defenses appeared to rile Mr. Xi’s subordinates. Two local officials and the general manager of the Xinfadi market were dismissed on Sunday for what the city leadership said was a failure to move quickly enough against the infections.
“The market is densely packed with many moving around, and the risks are high that the outbreak will spread,” Sun Chunlan, a vice premier overseeing health policy, said at a meeting on Sunday, according to Xinhua, an official news agency. “Take firm and decisive measures to thoroughly prevent its spread.”
Until the infections from the market began to emerge on Thursday, Beijing had gone 56 days without new, locally borne cases. Its main worry appeared to be Chinese people returning from abroad with the virus.
Stocks in London, Frankfurt and Paris were 1 to 2 percent lower. That followed some sharper losses in the Asia-Pacific region, including a 4.8 percent drop in South Korea and a 3.5 percent fall in Tokyo.
Futures markets were predicting the pain would spread to Wall Street and that the S&P 500 would open about 2 percent lower.
The sell-off was spread broadly across markets. Oil and gold fell in early futures trading. Prices for U.S. Treasury bonds, which generally rise when market sentiment is weak, gained sharply, sending yields lower.
Investors were reacting in part to bad news out of China, where some monthly economic indicators were weaker than expected, and where officials are battling a new spate of cases in Beijing. In the United States, states including Arizona, Florida and Texas reported higher numbers.
Pakistanis stricken by the virus are being turned away from hospitals that have simply closed their gates and put up signs reading “full house.” Doctors and nurses are falling ill at alarming rates — and are also coming under physical assault from desperate and angry families.
When Pakistan’s government lifted its lockdown on May 9, it warned that the already impoverished country could no longer withstand the shutdown needed to mitigate the pandemic’s spread. But now left unshackled, the virus is meting out devastation in other ways, and panic is rising.
Before reopening, Pakistan had recorded about 25,000 infections. A month later, the country recorded an additional 100,000 cases — almost certainly an undercount — and the pandemic shows no signs of abating. At least 2,729 people have died of Covid-19, according to a New York Times database.
Pakistan is now reporting so many new cases that it is among the World Health Organization’s top 10 countries where the virus is on the rise. The W.H.O. wrote a letter criticizing the government’s efforts on June 7 and recommended that a lockdown be reimposed, stating that Pakistan did not meet any of the criteria needed to lift it.
Compounding the dire situation, medical workers across Pakistan are being assaulted on a near-daily basis for not being able to admit patients or having to tell families that their loved ones had died.
“Our hospitals are completely exhausted,” said one doctor, who asked for his name to be withheld because he is a government employee.
Medical professionals now expect the virus to peak in July or August and infect up to 900,000, adding further strain to an already shaky health care system that some warn may collapse.
But government officials have ruled out the possibility of a further lockdown and dismissed the recommendations by the W.H.O.
Charter schools, including some with healthy cash balances and billionaire backers like Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates, have quietly accepted millions of dollars in emergency coronavirus relief from a fund created to help struggling small businesses stay afloat.
Since their inception, charter schools have straddled the line between public schools and private entities. The coronavirus has forced them to choose.
And dozens of them — potentially more because the Treasury Department has not disclosed a list — have decided for the purpose of coronavirus relief that they are businesses, applying for aid from the Paycheck Protection Program even as they continue to enjoy funding from school budgets, as well as tax-free status.
Parents, activists and researchers have identified at least $50 million in forgivable loans flowing to the schools, which, like all schools, are facing steep budget cuts next year as tax revenue, tuition payments and donations dry up.
“To me, either you’re a fish or a fowl — you can’t say you’re a public school one day, but now because it’s advantageous, say you’re a business,” said Carol Burris, the executive director of the Network for Public Education, a group that scrutinizes charter school management, and whose early donors included a teachers’ union.
Charter leaders say traditional schools have long benefited from capital that they cannot obtain.
“Those who are questioning our eligibility for this program are those who question whether we should get money at all,” said Nina Rees, the president and chief executive of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.
The clothing stores are open, but the fitting rooms remain closed. Bookstores are allowing browsing, but any item touched and unpurchased will be put in “quarantine” to ensure no virus lives on the surface. Dealers of higher-end jewelry will use ultraviolet boxes to decontaminate diamond bracelets and gold necklaces.
Stores in England that sell nonessential goods reopened on Monday for the first time in nearly three months, part of a broader global attempt to restart commerce even as the virus remains deeply woven into the fabric of society.
Britain was among the last countries in Europe to close down commerce as the virus swept across the Continent, and it is now one of the last to tentatively allow shops to reopen. But the opening is coming with new precautions.
For the first time, all people using public transportation in England will be required to wear face coverings. Restaurants, pubs and gyms all remain closed.
Elsewhere in Europe:
The European Commission encouraged the lifting of all internal border restrictions on Monday, and across the Continent countries are hoping to inject life into devastated economies
President Emmanuel Macron of France, speaking to the nation on Sunday, declared a “first victory” against the virus and said all business could resume this week. But he warned that, “The summer of 2020 will be a summer unlike any other.” he said.
About 70 percent of Spain’s 47 million residents have entered the third phase of the government’s plan to end its lockdown, with gatherings of as many as 20 people permitted and all restrictions lifted on when people are allowed outdoors. Next week, the government is planning to end a state of emergency, which has been in effect since mid-March.
Italy began a gradual reopening on May 4, and many stores, restaurants and other activities are up and running. The epidemiological curve has also been on a steady downward curve from March, when the number of new cases that tested positive in one day reached more than 6,500, to the 338 registered on Sunday.
The coronavirus left migrants in Russia without work and without a way home.
With regular flights canceled, charters offer the only feasible way out for the more than five million migrant workers from former Soviet republics now stranded in Russia as a result of the pandemic, with many living in increasingly dire circumstances.
While Russia has been battered by the virus, with the third most cases in the world after the United States and Brazil, the crisis has hit migrant workers especially hard, as they were the first to lose their jobs and often the last to receive medical help.
A migrant’s life has never been easy in Russia. Lured by higher salaries, visa-free entrance and a common Soviet heritage, migrants from Central Asia often live in cramped apartments and dorms, frequently sharing a room with up to 10 other workers. Police officers habitually harass them. Many local Russians express a loathing of them. If they are fired, employers often do not pay their final salaries.
But the coronavirus crisis has magnified the inferior status of migrant workers. The police, for example, have locked up entire dorms when one person has become infected.
In Moscow, the coronavirus lockdown deprived 76 percent of migrant workers of their jobs, and 58 percent lost all their income, according to a poll conducted by Evgeni Varshaver, head of the Group for Migration and Ethnicity Research. Among Russians, 42 percent lost employment and 23 percent lost all income, Mr. Varshaver said the poll found.
Food relief efforts staged on the sidewalk in front of a church. Friends spread out on the stoop and drinking tallboys. As New York City reopens, residents emerging from quarantine may feel a bit nostalgic for the socially distant bonds they formed outside their homes.
The city first went on pause in early April, which is when Andrew Cotto, who lives in the Greenwood Heights section of Brooklyn, restarted a ritual from the summer of 2019: drinking a beer on the stoop with his retired neighbor.
In May, Christina Crespo, who is raising her children in her grandparents’ home in the Boerum Hill neighborhood, began chalking inspirational messages on her stoop.
“I started to follow these beautiful female poets and writers of color on Instagram, and I was so touched by their words,” Ms. Crespo said. She and her children also put out a quote request box for passers-by.
These are just two instances of how people combated their loneliness and came together, often with neighbors, in the spaces just outside their homes.
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Reporting was contributed by Maria Abi-Habib, Pam Belluck, Chris Buckley, Salman Masood, Erica L. Green, Raphael Minder, Jesse McKinley, Ivan Nechepurenko, Aimee Ortiz, Elisabetta Povoledo, Zia ur-Rehman, Marc Santora, Kaly Soto and Carlos Tejada.