Virus mutes Easter celebrations as Europe's death toll tops 75,000 - AFP (VATICAN MEDIA/AFP / HANDOUT)
Virus mutes Easter celebrations as Europe’s death toll tops 75,000 – AFP (VATICAN MEDIA/AFP / HANDOUT)

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

With most of the country under stay-at-home orders, Americans spent Easter Sunday on lockdown as the toll from coronavirus surpassed 20,500 deaths over the weekend. With more than half a million confirmed cases, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed “cautious optimism ” the outbreak is slowing in the U.S. 

The Queen of England also offered reassurance in her first Easter audio message, saying “coronavirus will not overcome us.”

Severe weather across the central U.S. is expected to hit Sunday, though the worst devastations could be softened by the fact most people are already staying at home in accordance with coronavirus protocols. Stay-at-home orders could also contribute to decreased crime rates around the world. Chicago, one of America’s most violent cities, has seen a 10% drop in crime since the pandemic began. 

Grappling over when to reopen the economy, President Trump calls the move the “biggest decision I’ve ever had to make. ” Trump has leaned into his hopes of reopening by May 1, but governors and mayors may hold the power to enforce further closures. New projections also indicate a summer coronavirus infection spike if stay-at-home orders are lifted after 30 days as planned.

Despite Trump’s earlier call for “packed churches ” on Easter, churches today are navigating the extended stay-at-home orders across the U.S. by streaming Easter Sunday services. 

Following a year onboard the International Space Station, two Nasa astronauts are expected to return to a “drastically changed world .” The astronauts have expressed difficulty fathoming all the changes and guilt over returning in the middle of a medical crisis. 

Saturday Night Live made its return after production was shut down in early March. The show wasn’t live from New York but rather recorded by cast members in their homes. The episode opened with the 17 cast members on Zoom and was hosted by Tom Hanks, who touched on his coronavirus recovery. 

Francis describes Easter of ‘solitude, lived amid the sorrow and hardship’ – UPI – 4/12/2020
“After the Second World War, this beloved continent was able to rise again, thanks to a concrete spirit of solidarity that enabled it to overcome the rivalries of the past,” he said. “This is not a time for self-centeredness, because the challenge we are facing is shared by all, without distinguishing between persons.”

Here’s what it will take to live in a world with covid-19 – MIT Technology Review – 4/12/2020
In recent weeks a consensus has started to build among various groups of experts on what this new normal might look like. Some parts of the strategy will reflect the practices of contact tracing and disease monitoring adopted in the countries that have dealt best with the virus so far, such as South Korea and Singapore. Other parts are starting to emerge, such as regularly testing massive numbers of people and relaxing movement restrictions only on those who have recently tested negative or have already recovered from the virus— if indeed those people are immune, which is assumed but still not certain.

Couples Quality Time, All the Time – New York Times – 4/10/2020
Our living rooms have become office cubicles, and the person with whom you may have shared vows has morphed overnight into that irritating colleague who chomps his gum and taps on the desk while he thinks. Suddenly a life partner is also an office-mate who might, say, accidentally photo-bomb a video conference call in his underwear, an unfortunate incident recently immortalized on Twitter.

The Coronavirus crisis: A catalyst for entrepreneurship – The Conversation – 4/12/2020
Throughout human history, crises have been pivotal in developing our societies. Pandemics have helped advance health-care systems, wars have fuelled technological innovations and the global financial crisis helped advance tech companies like Uber and Airbnb. The present coronavirus pandemic will arguably not be an exception; entrepreneurs can be expected to rise to the challenge.

Welcome to the World’s First COVID-19 Art Museum – OZY – 4/12/2020
Launched in mid-March, just as Spain was careening into the health crisis, this volunteer effort showcases the creative fruits of mostly European artists who have something to say about how society’s changing before our eyes. Musing over the ways social distancing has altered daily life, or simply poking fun at it, creators from Italy, Germany, Spain and elsewhere have weighed in with their keen artistic wit.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post. 

Mayor Bill de Blasio @Mayor Bill de Blasio 10 Apr This has been a painful week in our city. But our faith in humanity should continue to guide us. You’ve answered the call. The world is watching and applauding your efforts. Let’s show them we will complete this mission and come out of it together.

Melania Trump @Melania Trump 12 Apr This #Easter Sunday, I send greetings to all Americans and their loved ones as we come together to reflect on the importance of family & faith. May God bless our great nation!

Tim Cook @Tim Cook 12 Apr Even though many can’t be physically together, it’s more important than ever to cherish the moments we have with loved ones and friends — they truly are the most precious gifts we can receive. A happy and healthy Easter to everyone celebrating.

Justin Trudeau @Justin Trudeau 12 Apr Happy Easter! This is a time for joy, for hope, and – normally – for coming together. So while we may have to get creative and celebrate differently this year, Easter’s themes of love, forgiveness, and renewal are more relevant than ever.

Boris Johnson @Boris Johnson 12 Apr It is hard to find the words to express my debt to the NHS for saving my life.The efforts of millions of people across this country to stay home are worth it. Together we will overcome this challenge, as we have overcome so many challenges in the past. #StayHomeSaveLives

CONTENT FACTS

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