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Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.

Top headlines:

  1. For a cohort of survivors who refer to themselves as long-haulers, using the term “recovered” fails to recognize it takes some patients months to get back to normal
  2. ‘There’s no comparison to any other disease’: Four COVID-19 survivors describe their experiences
  3. Schools in Alberta to open to students full-time this fall, the government is expected to announce

In Canada, there have been at least 111,667 cases reported. In the last week 3,181 new cases were announced, 37 per cent more than the previous week. There have also been at least 97,729 recoveries and 8,862 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 3,814,517 tests.

Worldwide, there have been at least 14,703,293 cases confirmed and 609,887 deaths reported.

Sources: Canada data is compiled from government websites, Johns Hopkins and COVID-19 Canada Open Data Working Group; international data is from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus explainers: Updates and essential resourcesCoronavirus in maps and chartsLockdown rules and reopening plans in each province

Photo of the day

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Florida teachers, whose unions are against their members returning to school, hold a car parade protest in front of the Pasco County School district office in Florida on July 21.OCTAVIO JONES/Reuters

Number of the day

18.7 per cent

Retail sales jumped 18.7 per cent in May over April, Statistics Canada said today.

  • If the preliminary data showing an increase in June retail sales of 24.5 per cent is accurate, retail sales will be down just 0.4 per cent from February numbers. In March retail sales dropped 10 per cent, followed by a 26.7-per-cent decline in April – the lowest point of the downturn.
  • Economists cautioned that retail sales are being “buoyed by the enormous government income-support programs” such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which is set to end in late September. Employment numbers from June are still almost 1.8 million below prepandemic levels.
  • The uptick in retail sales is not positive across the board: Statscan noted that “distortions remain” in spending patterns. For example, spending in the travel, recreation and entertainment industries remains down, while grocery and hardware store sales are significantly up.

Coronavirus in Canada

In Ottawa, Clerk of the Privy Council Ian Shugart pledged to release all relevant documents for a committee investigation into the government’s decision to outsource the management of a $912-million student volunteer program to WE Charity.

  • The top government’s top public servant also said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau would need to be involved in such a major program decision in spite of concerns of conflicts of interest.
  • Shugart said the public service did not raise any red flags with the finances of WE during discussions.
  • Shugart also pledged to release the contribution agreement between the federal government and WE Charity.

COVID-19 long-haulers: “[The doctor] wrote ‘COVID resolved’ in my file as I was literally lying there writhing in pain on morphine,” Becca Blackwood recalls. “So basically, recovered means not dead.” For some COVID-19 survivors, symptoms – like fatigue, racing hearts, breathing difficulties – persist for months after a positive test result.

Also today: Four COVID-19 survivors describe their experiences.

And: COVID-19 will likely make it too dangerous for MPs to gather in large numbers when the House of Commons is due to resume its regular business in September, the committee that oversees how the House works said today.

Coronavirus around the world

  • The World Health Organization said it is facing a “serious funding gap” in battling the new outbreak of Ebola in remote corners of northern Congo amid the pandemic.
  • After a gruelling four-day summit, European Union leaders signed off on a “historic” stimulus package that will see the bloc issue €750-billion ($1.16-trillion) in joint debt to help member countries repair their pandemic-battered economies.
  • In the U.S., the Republican governors of Florida, Georgia and Texas sparred with local officials over tighter restrictions as they dealt with surging outbreaks. California passed 400,000 cases, nearly surpassing New York’s total.
  • A s possible vaccine developed by Britain’s Oxford University could be rolled out by the end of 2020, but there is no certainty, the lead developer of the vaccine said on Tuesday.

Coronavirus and business

CN Rail’s second-quarter revenue fell 19 per cent, and profit dropped 59 per cent, the company reported today.

  • The company’s CEO described the three months ending June 30 as the “toughest quarter of his career.”
  • CN has responded to the economic downturn with layoffs of 21 per cent its work force, making idle 700 locomotives and 20,000 rail cars, and closing freight yards.
  • CN’s share price on the TSX has recovered from a crash in March, and is up by 10 per cent this year.

Also today: Canadian gold miner Iamgold will resume operations in Suriname.

Also: LinkedIn cutting 6 per cent of work force

Globe opinion

Gary Mason: “There are few provincial leaders who have enjoyed the type of pandemic-related surge in popular support that B.C.‘s NDP Premier John Horgan has.”

Globe Editorial: “Ottawa’s decision to send the Blue Jays on an indefinite road trip highlights all the ways Canada is still not ready to protect itself from renewed waves, and allow the economy and society to safely reopen, and stay open.”

Eric Reguly: “Naysaying EU leaders, the pandemic gun to their heads, had a good rethink about joint debt in particular and stimulus packages in general, and what they produced was unprecedented.”

Peter A. Singer: “WHO’s value is not merely limited to the strength of this international response. There are also direct and practical benefits that support the efforts of federal, provincial and local public-health officers, as well as policy makers right here in Canada.”

Globe reporting


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Introducing Stress Test, a new podcast from The Globe and Mail that delves into the topics impacting the wallets of Canadians between the ages of 20 and 40.Jeanine Brito/The Globe and Mail

For the stressed-out parent (that is to say, all parents): How much do children really cost?

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  • Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw discuss how much money children will really cost you.
  • We hear from a 33-year-old mother about the hefty price tag of raising four children.
  • And: Roma speaks with money expert Melissa Leong about how to save and what to plan for when you’re deciding to start a family.
Live Q&A with Rob and Roma

Join Rob Carrick and Roma Luciw as they answer your questions about the cost of kids.

🎧 Catch up: How to survive the gig economyHow to get out of debtIs now the right time to buy a house?Crisis-proof your financesDoes investing change during a pandemic?Can you afford city life?

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