The summer is over. It’s time to hunker down.
The coronavirus pandemic is not going to ease up, Dr. Anthony Fauci warned yesterday. In fact, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said he believes the situation is likely to worsen again in the months ahead.
“I just think we need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter because it’s not going to be easy,” Fauci said in a talk with Harvard doctors. “I think as we get into the fall and we do more indoor things, we’re likely going to see upticks in Covid-19.”
It’s been exactly six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. At that time, there were 118,000 cases in 114 countries, with more than 90% of those infections reported in just four countries. As of Friday, there were more than 28 million cases in 214 countries.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said yesterday that the WHO program aimed at speeding global access to coronavirus tests, treatments and vaccines needs $35 billion to scale up.
The United States remains the most impacted country, with almost 6.4 million cases. While nearly 30 US states are reporting downward trends in Covid-19 cases, the US is still seeing about 36,000 new Covid-19 cases a day. That’s fewer than in mid-August when the number was almost 80,000 a day, but “still too high,” according to Fauci. “I keep looking at that curve and I get more depressed and more depressed about the fact that we never really get down to the baseline that I’d like,” he said.
Fauci predicted the US will continue to see coronavirus surges, although he dismissed the idea that this will be a second wave of the pandemic. “I don’t talk about second surges because we’re still in the first surge,” he said. “We’re going to see these surges that we’ve seen in the southern states, in the Midwest and now, if you look at the map, it’s Montana, North and South Dakota, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa.”
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: My kid hates the idea of nasal swabs. Is there a saliva test for Covid-19?
A: The SalivaDirect test could soon be a fast and cheap option. “We simplified the test so that it only costs a couple of dollars for reagents, and we expect that labs will only charge about $10 per sample,” said Nathan Grubaugh, one of the Yale researchers who developed the test.
The SalivaDirect test can produce results in less than three hours, and the accuracy is on par with results from traditional nasal swabbing. The Yale researchers said it might become publicly available in the coming weeks.
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
India’s Covid-19 numbers don’t tell the full story
India has set another global record for the highest number of new coronavirus infections reported in a single country in a day. The nation of 1.3 billion people added 96,551 new cases on Friday.
With more than 4.5 million cases, India is the world’s second-worst impacted country after the US. But its reported mortality rate — calculated by the number of deaths per 100 confirmed cases — is surprisingly low compared to other countries with high infection rates.
The Indian government claims the lower death rate is a sign of its success in handling the crisis and has used the figure to support its decision to lift some coronavirus restrictions. But some experts warn that the data is full of gaps, Jessie Yeung and Manveena Suri report.
Adults with Covid-19 are much more likely to have visited a restaurant
People who tested positive for Covid-19 were approximately twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant in the 14 days before becoming ill than those who tested negative, according to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The researchers took a close look at how patients responded to questions about wearing masks and various community-based activities, including whether they recently ate at a restaurant, hung out a bar or went to a gym, for instance.
They found that 42% of the adults who tested positive reported having close contact with at least one person known to have Covid-19, compared with 14% of those who tested negative. Most of the close contacts, 51%, were family members.
AstraZeneca says it could still have vaccine approval by end of 2020
AstraZeneca should still be on track to have a set of data to submit for approval of a Covid-19 vaccine before the end of the year, despite having to pause the trial because of an illness in a volunteer, CEO Pascal Soriot said yesterday.
The drug company said Tuesday it had temporarily halted the trial because of the volunteer’s unexplained illness. The WHO’s Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said yesterday that the pause was normal procedure and good clinical practice.
Regulators will examine the data to determine when and if the trial can proceed.
A 40-year party could finally be over
Ibiza is perhaps the best-known Balearic island, attracting everyone from celebrities who arrive on superyachts, to planeloads of young British and German tourists looking for a good time. But thanks to a summer characterized by quarantines, shuttered nightclubs and canceled flights, the Balearic Islands — alongside other European party hotspots across the Mediterranean — are suffering from an abysmal hangover without even having enjoyed the night before, Francesca Street reports.
ON OUR RADAR
- The number of vacant Manhattan apartments climbed to a record 15,025 in August.
- “Saturday Night Live” is heading back to 30 Rock for the first time since March.
- The UK sent millions of workers home for the pandemic. They may never return.
- A World Heritage site is reopening in Mexico — despite the country’s ongoing struggles with Covid-19.
- WFH doesn’t have to be grim (if you’re wealthy). Check out this luxury remote working package in the Maldives.
- JPMorgan is asking senior sales and trading staff to come back to the office.
- Terrance Bannister, who lost his 28-year-old cousin to coronavirus, spoke at CNN’s coronavirus town hall. Watch the full event here.
It’s going to be a while before many of us can return to the office. So CNN Business’ Kathryn Vasel asked career experts for some solutions to common work-from-home problems and concerns. Here’s what she found out:
You’re worried about your career: Now that almost everyone in your company is working from home, you might have more access to meetings and conversations that only higher-level executives used to attend. Ask to join those meetings. You can learn new information, meet new people and find new opportunities.
Motivation is lacking: Time can seem pretty meaningless these days. Before you know it, several hours have passed and you haven’t been as productive as you should have. Create a schedule that blocks off time for things like work that requires deep thought, creative thinking, meetings and emails.
You feel overworked: Remember when you sat at your desk for eight hours straight in the office? Yeah, me neither. Add breaks into your schedule. Turning off your brain for a little while can help you be a better worker.
“Soap operas, instead of having, you know, the torrid love scenes they usually have with two actors, they’ve been incorporating things like blow-up dolls. Which the Internet is having a lot of fun with when they catch it.” — Lisa Respers France, CNN senior writer
The entertainment industry is adapting in all kinds of ways during the pandemic, from mannequins on set to robotic cameras. CNN’s Lisa Respers France joins CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to discuss how Covid-19 has impacted the fall TV schedule. Listen Now.