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What You Need to Know Today About the Virus Outbreak



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The United States is bracing for a painful week, with a wave of coronavirus deaths expected across the nation.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.”  U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams  

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said.

New York City, the U.S. epicenter, New Orleans and Detroit face especially worrying days ahead. Yet President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are striking optimistic tones, insisting that hard weeks ahead will ultimately lead to the nation beginning to turn a corner.

Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic.

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Liam Woodruff, 3, raises a palm to the sky during the worship portion of a Palm Sunday parking lot service at Family Worship Center in Beckley, W.V., Sunday, April 5, 2020. (Jenny Harnish/The Register-Herald via AP)

What’s Happening Today

— The first alarms sounded in early January that the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China would ignite a global pandemic. But the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.

— Coronavirus patients around the world are rushing to join studies of an experimental drug that showed promise against some similar viruses in the past. Interest in the drug remdesivir has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is boosting the size of its study.

— Across the globe, grocery workers are on the front lines during lockdowns. Their stores are deemed essential, and their work puts them close to the public and therefore at risk. They’re also afraid.

— Historic failures in government response to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of African Americans into a distrust of public institutions.

— South Africa, one of the world’s most unequal countries with a large population vulnerable to the new coronavirus, may have an advantage in the outbreak, honed during years of battling HIV and tuberculosis: the know-how and infrastructure to conduct mass testing.

— Pushing a shopping cart with two children, César Alegre emerges from the large, deteriorated house near Peru’s presidential palace that is shared by 45 families to search for food. Sometimes he begs in markets; sometimes he sells candies. It is a task that was hard at the best of times, but with a monthlong quarantine that has forced 32 million Peruvians to stay home, it has become much harder.

What You Need to Know

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.

Photo of a woman looking at her phone

A woman with a protective face mask walks into the shade of an underpass Monday, April 6, 2020, in Tokyo. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

One Number

— 94%: A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 94% of Americans say they are staying away from large groups, up from 68% in mid-March.

In Other News

— SIDEWALK THANKS: Workers at New Orleans’ Ochsner Medical Center have been greeted with expressions of gratitude from an unnamed artist, sketched out in chalk on the sidewalk. Says one lab technician: They “give us hope.”

— TIGER INFECTED: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere.

— DANCING ALONE: A senior center keeps clients up and moving with recorded exercise classes.