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Recognition…Anindito Mukherjee / Getty Images
India's capital New Delhi will relax some coronavirus restrictions on Monday, allowing markets to reopen with limited hours and the metro system to operate at 50 percent capacity, the region's top official said on Saturday, though he is preparing for a potential third announced wave of infections.
After one of the world's most violent outbreaks in April and May, Delhi has seen new cases fall 85 percent and the number of new deaths has fallen over the past two weeks. On Sunday, India reported a total of more than 114,000 new cases, the lowest number in two months. But across the country, gaps in testing and medical treatment keep many cases and deaths unrecorded.
"The corona situation is under control for the time being," said Delhi's Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal at a press conference.
Mr Kejriwal warned that each new wave could be worse than the spring wave, when patients suffered acute shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.
He said the region will build new oxygen production and storage facilities and expand the capacity of the intensive care units. He also said that two genome tracking facilities would be set up to examine samples of the virus and identify variants, and that a pediatric task force would advise the government on how to protect children in the event of a third wave.
Earlier this week, Delhi allowed some production and construction activities to resume for the first time since a lockdown was imposed six weeks earlier. But even reopening it gradually carries risks, as less than 4 percent of India's 1.3 billion people are fully vaccinated.
Other parts of India are also easing restrictions. In the north of Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, Reuters reported that 55 of 75 districts are now only subject to night curfews.
In the industrialized western state of Maharashtra, shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants and offices in districts where the positivity rate has fallen below 5 percent will be allowed to open regularly starting Monday, Reuters also reported, and in Gujarat government and private offices will be allowed to be fully staffed while shops can stay open longer in 36 cities.
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US vaccinations ›
Recognition…Desiree Rios for the New York Times
Long before the pandemic hit American shores, there was debate over the policy of wearing masks. More than a dozen states have laws banning people from covering their faces in public, most of them ordinances made to deter the Ku Klux Klan hate group.
These laws have been suspended, revoked, or not enforced as the wearing of masks has become a public health necessity in many states.
But as the U.S. pandemic recedes and emergency pandemic-related ordinances expire, the question of what to do with the old mask laws re-emerges.
If Virginia's state of emergency coronavirus expires on June 30, a 1950 mask ban will come back into effect.
The Anti-Klan Act, which foresightedly provided an exception to the declaration of a health emergency, prohibits “anyone over the age of 16 from wearing masks, hoods or other devices through which a significant portion of the Face is covered or covered to hide the identity of the wearer. "
Alena Yarmosky, the press secretary for Governor Ralph Northam, said in an email that the governor is looking at ways to ensure the law does not affect people who wish to continue wearing masks for health reasons.
"Governor Northam is committed to ensuring that people who have not been vaccinated and / or are uncomfortable without walking without a mask can still wear one," said Ms. Yarmosky. She did not respond to questions about whether Mr. Northam would pursue a law change or executive action.
Anti-mask laws have been enforced in a number of ways over the years. A federal appeals court ruled in 2004 that New York police had authority to refuse an organization called the Church of American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to hold an outdoor rally. Approval was denied on the grounds that the participants violated the state anti-mask law. In 2011, N.Y.P.D. Officials also arrested some Occupy Wall Street protesters, accusing them of wearing masks.
The West Virginia Supreme Court upheld the state's mask ban in 1996 in a case where an angry parent attended a school board meeting in a devil mask to protest the school's devil mascot.
And in 2018, Alabama police invoked an anti-mask law to arrest a man after leading a demonstration against an officer shooting an African American.
An article published in November in the California Law Review listed 18 states that had anti-mask laws prior to the pandemic.
New York's 1845 Act, the oldest anti-mask law in the country, was repealed in May 2020. The law, which made an exception for "masquerade parties or similar entertainment," was passed during an armed uprising by insolvent wheat farmers who disguised themselves as Native Americans during protests against feudal tenancy agreements.
Alabama’s Anti-Mask Act, which dates back to 1949 and was sparked by outrage over a dawn raid by three dozen Klansmen of a multiracial Boy Scout camp, prohibits a masked person from loitering in a public place. She makes exceptions for masquerade parties, parades or a religious, educational or historical “presentation”.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a statement in April 2020 stating that the legal description of "masking" would not include wearing a medical mask that only covered the nose and mouth.
Rob Kahn, a law professor at St. Thomas University in Minneapolis and an expert on anti-masking laws, thinks many of the laws are out of date. But lifting them might have been easier before the pandemic, he said, before masks became such a political lightning rod.
Mr Kahn said he was not aware of any case of coronavirus anti-maskers advocating for the old anti-masking laws to be retained. However, he hypothesized that maintaining them might be popular with the sizable number of voters who today view masks as a symbol of government supremacy.
"I definitely think that there will continue to be disagreements, a divergence over masks," said Kahn. "But hopefully the conflicts that arise will be resolved peacefully."
Recognition…Alfonso Duran for the New York Times
At least 12,000 people flocked to Miami for the world's largest Bitcoin conference and the first major personal business conference since the pandemic began.
The exuberance of being inside for the first time in more than a year, in a crowd, was electrifying. Everyone hugged, no one masked. The money was zipped between digital wallets. Conference swag included neon fanny packs, festival wristbands, and a Lamborghini. The jargon – stablecoin, peer-to-peer, private key – flowed. Likewise the schnapps.
Some participants wore business casuals. Others looked ready for a music festival. One wore a furry rave bikini.
Even a dramatic drop in value from a high of USD 64,000 in April to USD 36,000 did not dampen sentiment. You are BTD – buy the dip. Wall Street bankers, institutional investors, and Senator Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming, everyone came to Miami.
Miami has fully embraced cryptocurrency as Bitcoin A.T.M.s sprinkle the city's Wynwood neighborhood. A cryptocurrency exchange called FTX recently bought the naming rights to the Miami Heat arena, and Miami's Mayor Francis Suarez announced earlier this year that the city would accept tax payments in cryptocurrency, use it to collect salaries for its employees, and see if they would keep some on their balance sheets. (The logistics of these announcements are still under investigation.)
Speakers at the conference included Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter and payment company Square, and Cameron Winklevoss, a crypto entrepreneur. The panels included one entitled "Wine, Women and Crypto".
According to a survey by The Ascent, a financial services review site, only 14 percent of American adults have bought cryptocurrency. Of those who haven't, 20 percent said they plan to do so this year.
Recognition…China Daily, via Reuters
Further Covid-19 restrictions have been enacted in Guangzhou, an industrial hub in southern China. The districts of Nansha, Huadu and Conghua are ordering residents and travelers passing through to be tested for the virus. The epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding posted a video on Twitter of a large proving ground in a stadium in the city.
This is an extension of recent lockdown orders put in place in Liwan District after a 75-year-old woman tested positive for the virus after eating at a neighborhood dim sum restaurant.
Restrictions have been imposed on restaurants, gyms, swimming pools and other public facilities. Restaurants can no longer offer dine-in service while the other shops have had to close. About a dozen metro stops across the city have also closed and schools have switched to distance learning.
Mainland China has reported an average of 38 new cases daily, with more than half of those cases detected in and around Guangzhou. It is believed that the new cases are all the variant first found in India, now called the Delta variant.
The city has a population of more than 15 million and is a major business and manufacturing center near Hong Kong.
Recognition…Juan Arredondo for the New York Times
Bre Starr, a 34-year-old pizza delivery woman who has been unemployed for more than a year, will be among the first to lose her unemployment benefits in the next few weeks. That's because Ms. Starr lives in Iowa, where the governor decided on Dec.
Iowa is one of 25 Republican-run states that recently decided to end some or all of the emergency services months ahead of schedule. With a report from the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday showing employment growth was below expectations for the second straight month, Republicans reinforced their argument that pandemic unemployment benefits are hindering recovery.
The aid, which was renewed in March and financed until September 6, does not cost the states anything. But business owners and managers have argued that the income that enabled people to pay rent and store refrigerators when much of the economy was closed is now preventing them from applying for jobs.
"I am type 1 diabetic, so it is really important for me to protect against Covid infection," said Ms. Starr, explaining that she was more prone to infections. "I know that for myself and for other people at high risk we cannot risk re-entering the job market until everything is fine again."
Most economists say there is still no clear explanation of the difficulties some employers have in hiring. In some cases, government assistance can play a role, but so can a lack of childcare, persistent fear of infection, poor wages, difficult working conditions, and normal delays associated with reopening a mammoth economy.
However, the particular complaints that government benefits undermine the desire to work have hit a nerve with Republican politicians.
Recognition…Dawn Bangi for the New York Times
The relationship between American companies and their employees is changing profoundly: for the first time in a generation, workers are gaining the upper hand.
On the wage scale, companies are becoming more willing to pay a little more, train workers, take chances with people without traditional qualifications, and become more flexible about where and how people work.
The erosion of employer power began in the low unemployment years prior to the pandemic and could continue for years given demographics.
March saw a record number of vacancies, according to federal data from 2000, and workers were voluntarily quitting their jobs at a rate close to their all-time high. Burning Glass Technologies, a company that analyzes millions of job advertisements every day, has found that the proportion of vacancies marked “no experience required” has increased by two-thirds compared to 2019, while the proportion of those who promise a start-up bonus has increased , has doubled.
"Businesses will have to work harder to attract and retain talent," said Karen Fichuk, director of the giant recruitment company Randstad North America, who closely monitors labor supply and demand. "We think this is a historic moment for the American workforce."
Recognition…Ben Jared / PGA TOUR, via Getty Images
Jon Rahm, a popular PGA Tour player and the world's third-placed male golfer, took the lead by six strokes on Saturday in the third round of the Memorial Tournament, which he won a year ago. Rahm, 26, walked from the 18th hole, where a crowd around the green showered him with warm applause, shook hands with his playing partners and smiled.
Seconds later he was hunched up and crying, his left hand clutching his face. A Tour doctor had met Rahm on the edge of the green and told him that he had tested positive for coronavirus, a result reported to the Tour when Rahm on the difficult course at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Rahm would be forced to withdraw from the tournament and miss the finals on Sunday.
Rahm hid his face in his hands for a few moments, then straightened before swaying as he began to climb a steep hill, wiping his eyes as he walked to the adjoining clubhouse.
"Not again," he said, although it was unclear what his answer meant. It was also not known whether Rahm was fully vaccinated, although over the past year he has often spoken at length about his concerns for the health of his family in his native Spain and the havoc the virus has wreaked in communities near his hometown would have. Rahm currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife, Kelley, whom he met while studying at Arizona State, and their two-month-old son, Kepa Cahill.
Late on Saturday evening, Rahm posted a statement on Twitter saying he was "very disappointed" with his withdrawal. "This is one of those things that happens in life, one of those moments when our reaction to setback defines us as human beings," he wrote. “I am very grateful that my family and I are fine. I will take all necessary precautions to be safe and healthy and I look forward to getting back to the golf course as soon as possible. "
According to the PGA Tour, Rahm was told on Monday that he would be subject to contact tracing because he came into close contact with an unidentified person who had tested positive for the virus. Tour protocols allowed Rahm to stay in the tournament if he agreed to get tested every day and avoid using halls at the event.
Recognition…Maggie Shannon for the New York Times
Strict pandemic rules meant most of the California class spent about a year studying from home by 2021. As the spread of the virus has subsided in California and across the country, proms – even those that have been re-equipped with masked wearers and other precautions – have served many dual roles of ending both high school and the worst of times celebrate the pandemic.
"I haven't used all the moments I had in high school in so long," said Michelle Ibarra Simon, a graduate of Dos Pueblos High School in the southern Californian city of Goleta. "Covid has helped me see that I was passing time, letting every moment slip through my fingers." The prom, she added, "was probably one of the best moments of my life."
Sienna Barry, a graduate of Petaluma High School, said that because the students were either vaccinated or tested, they finally felt comfortable sending Snapchat videos, doing TikToks, and posting on their Instagram stories with devotion.
"It was like a normal meeting, being able to dance with all of your friends," she said. "For the past year and a half, you may have been embarrassed about going out with your friends."
All the typical drama of a great dance – the beefs, the hurt feelings, the tears – faded.
"Why do you have a drama on the one night you get senior year?" She said.
Recognition…Saul Martinez for the New York Times
The Florida Department of Health will no longer update its Covid-19 dashboard and suspend daily case and vaccine reports, the governor's office confirmed on Friday. Officials will instead post weekly updates, making it the first US state to transition to such a rare release schedule.
Officials first announced last week that the state would end daily reports in a press release detailing Florida's plans to move into the next phase of its Covid-19 response now that cases in the state are declining. Last month, Florida closed its state test sites but gave counties an opportunity to take them over.
Christina Pushaw, Press Secretary for Governor Ron DeSantis, told Florida News Service Friday that there was no need to keep the daily reports out.
"Covid-19 cases have dropped significantly in the past year as we have a positivity rate of less than 5 percent and our state is returning to normal, with vaccines becoming widespread across Florida," Ms. Pushaw said in an email to reporters .
In the past two weeks, Florida has seen coronavirus cases and deaths decrease by 43 percent. According to a New York Times database, 50 percent of the population received at least one dose of vaccine, just below the national average of 51 percent.
The Florida dashboard was created in part by Rebekah D. Jones, a state data scientist who was fired in May 2020 for disobedience to coronavirus bans. The data actually showed that the virus spread quickly in a state that was reluctant to put extensive restrictions in place.
The dismissal of Ms. Jones became a focal point as Mr. DeSantis, a close ally of then-President Donald J. Trump, touted Florida's early success in the fight against the virus – a round of victories that then turned out to be premature and a disastrous summer . State officials insisted Ms. Jones' allegations about hiding virus data were false. She was fired for making unilateral decisions to change the virus dashboard without authorization.
After Ms. Jones was released, she created her own database of Florida Department of Health public virus case records buried deep in PDF files on the state website.
In December, state police officers with guns drawn ransacked Ms. Jones's home in Tallahassee in order to execute a search warrant on a criminal investigation after police said a violation at the Florida Department of Health had been traced on her computer. She denied having anything to do with the break.
Ms. Jones' dashboard generally shows a higher number of cases than the number reported by the state. It also contains information from other authorities, such as B. Health Administration Agency Hospital Admission Rates Not Listed on the State Dashboard.
But after the state announced it would no longer update its public records, Ms. Jones said she could not update her dashboard either.
“No more data,” she wrote in a message on her website. “PDF summary reports only. Please be patient while I work on reformatting the website to accommodate these changes. "
Recognition…Scott McIntyre for the New York Times
In early May, after US travel restrictions were relaxed and he was fully vaccinated, writer and psychologist Andrew Solomon took a commercial flight to visit his daughter in Texas. He writes about the experience:
I did not eat or drink anything on board and my mask was firmly attached to my face. Still, there was a sense of festive nostalgia associated with reclaiming heaven, a feeling I usually associate with returning to a university where I once studied or revisiting the summer of childhood.
As we plunged through the clouds into the stratosphere of private sunshine so familiar to jet travelers, I felt the restless joy I discovered when I hugged friends for the first time after vaccination. The quarantine had given me extra time with my husband and son, days for writing, and the calming repetition patterns. But the outbreak was a relief nonetheless.
At the end of "Paradise Lost" Adam and Eve are banished from the Garden of Eden and John Milton makes no secret of their fear of displacement. But it doesn't end on that sour note, as banishment from one place meant an opportunity to find another, however timidly that process was carried out:
She let fall some natural tears, but they soon wiped them away;
The world was all before them where to choose
The place of rest and providence, the guide:
They walk hand in hand with wandering steps and slowly
This lonely path went through Eden.
So let's go back to the pre-Covid options.
Read the full article here.
Recognition…Suzie Howell for the New York Times
Almost a decade ago, a government-ordered review found that Britain's so-called High Streets – the retail foundation of the country's urban and inner cities, comparable to American highways – had reached a "crisis point".
Things have only gotten worse since then, as corona lockdowns and an increase in online shopping over the past year accelerated the downward spiral in brick and mortar retail. A record number of closed stores in 2020.
But now an unlikely combination of self-interest comes together to help. Giant asset managers and landlords are taking risks to revive their suppressed investments. Buyers and businesses are emerging from the pandemic with renewed interest in their neighborhoods. And city officials are willing to spend a lot of money to instill trust.
Enough confidence for the likes of Hope Dean to make a living on revitalizing the High Streets – with a little help.
Their cozy plant shop Wild Roots is rent free for two years, along with several other recently opened stores in the southwest town of Poole. They are part of a redevelopment project being carried out by the owner of their real estate, giant London-based asset manager Legal & General Investment Management, a unit of the country's largest corporate pension manager with over £ 1 trillion in assets.
Recognition…Adam Dean for the New York Times
Despite the rigor of mask-wearing and obedience that many have shown in Thailand, the trigger for Bangkok's recent outbreak has been the abandonment of a privileged few.
Thailand remained without a single confirmed case of local broadcast for months. Aber in diesem Frühjahr wurden nach Angaben von Gesundheitsbehörden zwei Luxus-Nachtclubs, die mächtige und wohlhabende Männer in der Hauptstadt Bangkok bedienen, zum Epizentrum des derzeit größten und tödlichsten Coronavirus-Anstiegs des Landes. Zahlreiche Personen, die mit den Clubs in Verbindung stehen, wurden positiv getestet, darunter ein Botschafter und ein Regierungsminister. Auch Polizisten und Frauen, die in den Clubs arbeiteten, haben sich infiziert.
Die Epidemie hat sich von den Nachtclubs bis zu den Slums ausgebreitet, die Bangkoks Autobahnen und Eisenbahnschienen umgeben, enge Viertel, in denen soziale Distanzierung unmöglich ist. Die Infektionen haben sich auch auf Gefängnisse, Baulager und Fabriken ausgebreitet.
„Die Party der Reichen und die Armen leiden unter den Folgen“, sagte Sittichat Angkhasittisiri, ein Nachbarschaftsvorsitzender in Bangkoks größtem Slum, Khlong Toey, wo Hunderte von Menschen mit dem Coronavirus infiziert wurden.
Anerkennung…Andrea Mantovani für die New York Times
LONDON – Während die Vereinigten Staaten zu versuchen scheinen, den Vorhang für die Pandemie zu schließen – mit gefüllten Restaurants, verworfenen Maskenpflichten und mehr als 135.000 Menschen, die das Oval im Indianapolis 500 blockieren – ist es eine andere Geschichte über den Atlantik.
Einige europäische Länder halten Beschränkungen für Versammlungen aufrecht, setzen Reisebeschränkungen wieder ein und wiegen lokale Sperren ab. Und Teile Großbritanniens haben die Sperrbeschränkungen verlängert, während Wissenschaftler heftig darüber diskutieren, ob eine landesweite Wiedereröffnung für den 21. Juni geplant ist.
Obwohl Impfungen dazu beigetragen haben, Coronavirus-Fälle auf beiden Seiten des Teiches einzudämmen, sind Amerika und Europa in der grundlegenden Frage, wie man sich einem Ende der Pandemiebeschränkungen nähern kann, auseinandergegangen.
„Die Briten machen sich mehr Sorgen als jedes andere Land“, sagte Tim Spector, Professor für genetische Epidemiologie am King’s College London. "Wir scheinen für die Weltuntergangsszenarien viel empfänglicher zu sein als in den USA."
In Großbritannien hat die Verbreitung einer neuen, hoch ansteckenden Variante, die erstmals in Indien entdeckt wurde, Berechnungen durcheinander gebracht. Obwohl sich Wissenschaftler über die Schwere der Bedrohung durch die als Delta bekannte Variante nicht einig sind, argumentieren einige, dass die Kosten für eine Verzögerung der Wiedereröffnung um einige Wochen im Vergleich zu dem Schaden, der durch zusätzliche Ausbreitungsmöglichkeiten der Variante entstehen könnte, verblassen während die Menschen noch Immunität erwerben.
„Wir schauen uns jetzt eine Variante an, bei der wir weniger Wissen über ihre Eigenschaften haben“, sagte Theo Sanderson, Forscher am Wellcome Sanger Institute. "Es bedeutet nur, dass wir weniger Gewissheit darüber haben, wie die Dinge in Zukunft aussehen werden."
Falls Du es verpasst hast
Anerkennung…Raul Arboleda/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Länder in Lateinamerika verzeichnen steigende Infektionen und stagnierende Impfraten, was neue Coronavirus-Wellen in der gesamten Region antreibt. Sechs lateinamerikanische Nationen – Uruguay, Argentinien, Kolumbien, Chile, Paraguay und Costa Rica – gehören zu den Top 10 weltweit bei den gemeldeten Neuerkrankungen pro 100.000 Einwohner.
In Kolumbien starben laut dem Projekt Our World in Data der Universität Oxford in den letzten drei Wochen täglich rund 500 Menschen an dem Coronavirus. Das ist die bisher höchste tägliche Sterblichkeitsrate des Landes. Steigende Fälle und Todesfälle fielen mit einer Explosion der öffentlichen Wut zusammen, die Tausende auf die Straße brachte, um unter anderem gegen die durch die Pandemie verschärfte Armut zu protestieren.
Argentina is experiencing its “worst moment since the pandemic began,” according to its president. In-person classes in the province of Buenos Aires, the country’s most populous, have largely been called off. Argentina bowed out of hosting the Copa América, the region’s premier soccer tournament, deeming it impossible to welcome hundreds of players and their entourages while the virus raged.
The tournament is now being held in Brazil, which has been averaging more than 60,000 new coronavirus cases each day. Leaders of the congressional panel investigating the government’s pandemic response reacted with incredulity and said they intended to summon the head of Brazil’s soccer federation to testify.
“It’s illogical to hold an international event,” said Senator Omar Aziz, the head of the panel. “We have nothing to celebrate.”
Peru said that its Covid-19 death toll was almost three times as high as it had officially counted, making it one of the hardest-hit nations relative to its population. In a report released on Monday that combined deaths from multiple databases and reclassified fatalities, the government said that 180,764 people had died from Covid-19 through May 22, compared with an official death toll of about 68,000.
Paraguay and Uruguay have the highest reported fatality rates per person in the world. Social networks in Paraguay have become obituaries in motion: “Rest in peace professor,” reads one. “My mother has died,” reads another. “My heart is broken into a million pieces.”
Experts say that the only way to stamp out the virus in these regions — and the world — is to rapidly increase vaccinations, which have raced ahead in the United States and Europe while lagging in many other countries. But the White House’s announcement on Thursday that it would distribute an initial 25 million vaccine doses across a “wide range of countries” was generally regarded as insufficient.
Here’s what else happened this week:
The number of hospitalizations related to Covid-19 among adolescents in the United States was about three times greater than hospitalizations linked to influenza over three recent flu seasons, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday. The findings run counter to claims that influenza is more threatening to children than Covid-19 is, an argument that has been used in the push to reopen schools, and to question the value of vaccinating adolescents against the coronavirus.
After the C.D.C. advised vaccinated Americans last month that they could go maskless in most indoor settings, employers withdrew mask policies. Some frontline workers are now feeling endangered by unvaccinated customers. “We just feel like we’re sitting ducks,” said Janet Wainwright, a meat cutter at the Kroger supermarket in Yorktown, Va.
Britain removed Portugal from a list of places that travelers could visit without having to quarantine upon their return, complicating vacation plans for Britons hoping for an easy European getaway this summer. The decision, which came as Portugal saw cases rise by 37 percent in the previous two weeks, dismayed Britain’s travel industry and prompted one tabloid to scream “Brits’ Foreign Holidays Nightmare” in a front-page headline.
Britain’s drug regulator endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use in 12- to 15-year-olds, although it could be months before adolescents will have access to the shots as the government gradually expands eligibility. The approval came as Britain reported its highest rate of coronavirus cases since late March.
As organizers struggle to persuade a skeptical public that the Tokyo Olympics can be held safely in the midst of the pandemic, the Australian women’s softball team became the first to arrive in Japan to prepare for the Games. The players are seen as a test case for protocols designed to prevent coronavirus outbreaks.
Health ministers from the Group of 7 nations met this week and agreed to devise a system of “mutual acceptance” of Covid-19 vaccine certificates, or vaccine passports. The move is expected to hasten a pandemic recovery in the global travel and commerce sectors.