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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine April 24, 2020

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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United States
The Week Publications, Inc.
€ 6,04(Incl. btw)
€ 77,74(Incl. btw)
48 Edities

in deze editie

2 min.
editor’s letter

Buddhists are taught to meditate on their own deaths—to visualize the end, and reflect on its inevitability. Reminding yourself of your mortality isn’t a morbid exercise; it serves as a spiritual face slap, meant to heighten your appreciation of the current moment, to put small worries and irritations in perspective, to wake you to the reality that our time here is limited. The coronavirus pandemic is not a drill; it has brought great suffering and death to humanity. But if we are to extract any value or meaning from this scourge, it must be in the clarity it can provide about what really matters. Hiding out from the virus at home is terribly frustrating. Still, I’ve noticed a greater sweetness in everything not denied me. My love and appreciation for my…

5 min.
the brewing battle over when to re-open

What happened The coronavirus pandemic’s spread in the U.S. showed signs of slowing this week, a hopeful shift that turned the national focus toward the next steps after lockdown—and set the stage for battles over how soon they might be taken. The U.S. death count soared past 26,000 by midweek, the highest in the world, but new infections leveled off at 30,000 a day, and hospitalizations dropped in hard-hit New York City and began leveling off in Chicago and other cities. “The worst is over,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But he warned that gains would be lost unless social-distancing restrictions stayed in place until there is a strong, sustained decline in cases. National health adviser Anthony Fauci cautioned that President Trump’s preferred date of May 1 to “reopen the…

2 min.
scientists hunt for a covid-19 treatment

With a Covid-19 vaccine unlikely for at least a year, scientists around the world are conducting some 300 clinical trials into existing or experimental treatments that might help patients infected with the coronavirus. Analysts said last week that they saw “a ray of hope” in early results from a small study into remdesivir, an antiviral that California-based Gilead Sciences developed to battle Ebola. Doctors observed improvement in 36 of 53 patients with severe Covid-19 cases who received the drug. Other teams of researchers are studying immune system–boosting antibody treatments, including transfusions of blood plasma from recovered patients (see Health & Science). Remdesivir has proved effective against other deadly coronaviruses in animal studies, said Hal Dardick in the Chicago Tribune. It’s thought to work by inhibiting a virus’s ability to replicate in…

2 min.
congress battles over next phase of aid

Democrats and Republicans remained deadlocked this week on the terms of the next economic stimulus package, even as another 6.6 million people filed for unemployment and time ran short for businesses relying on a key program to keep workers on the books. Close to $350 billion has already been allocated to the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides forgivable, low-interest loans to businesses with fewer than 500 workers as long as they keep paying employees. But about 21 million small businesses, or 70 percent of the nation’s total, have already applied, and money is running out. Republicans are insisting on a “clean bill” to provide an additional $250 billion, without additional aid programs. Democrats demand that any package include $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for beleaguered state governments. Democrats are…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

A 99-year-old World War II veteran has raised more than $5 million for Britain’s National Health Service by walking 10 laps a day around his garden. With the aid of a walker, Tom Moore aims to complete 100 laps—about 1.6 miles—by his 100th birthday on April 30. He had hoped his mini-marathon would raise about $1,000. But a social media campaign led by his 16-year-old grandson, Benji, went viral, and donations poured in. “I shall certainly do the 100 [laps] before my birthday,” Moore said, “but I’m planning to do more.” The Amish of Central Ohio are famous for keeping themselves isolated from the outside world. But when hospitals in neighboring areas were flooded with coronavirus patients, the community’s artisans reached out and began producing much-needed protective gear for frontline medics.…

3 min.
coronavirus: how mass testing could reopen the country

With “flatten the curve” now a national mantra, a “new rallying cry has emerged,” said Denise Chow in NBCNews.com: “test and trace.” Experts agree the coronavirus won’t simply “go away,” as President Trump once suggested, and a vaccine could be more than a year away. That means the only way America can return to quasi-normalcy in coming months is by testing citizens for the virus in massive numbers, then tracing and quarantining those infected and their recent contacts so the uninfected can return to work in relative safety. That’s how South Korea (population 52 million) kept its Covid-19 deaths to only 225 (compared with more than 26,000 in the U.S. thus far) while avoiding sweeping lockdowns. Before Americans get too excited, said Umair Irfan in Vox.com, some experts estimate we’ll…