Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- 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
- ‘There’s no comparison to any other disease’: Four COVID-19 survivors describe their experiences
- 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 resources • Coronavirus in maps and charts • Lockdown rules and reopening plans in each province
Photo of the day
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 Alberta, the government said students should plan for a return to classrooms under “near normal” conditions despite a recent spike in cases. The government previously proposed three reopening scenarios.
- If coronavirus cases do not surge in British Columbia, the backlog of 32,400 surgeries will be cleared in 15 months under the province’s ‘ambitious’ plan. The province needs to hire six more judges to clear the backlog as courts begin to gradually reopen.
- Ontario reported 203 cases Tuesday – the largest daily number of cases since June. Fifty-seven per cent of the new cases are people under 39. Premier Doug Ford said young people who fail to follow health guidelines are putting their families at risk. Advocates in Toronto say tents are necessary for homeless people to shelter safely amid the pandemic, as at least 628 shelter residents have tested positive.
- Manitoba says it may ease restrictions as early as Sunday. Some businesses, including casinos and movie theatres, would be able to reopen at limited capacity, and the cap on indoor and outdoor gatherings would be increased.
- Quebec reported 180 cases Tuesday – the highest number of confirmed cases since June 12. A little more than half the cases were reported in Montreal.
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.
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.”
- First Person: It’s unbearable to watch her struggle with dementia – and not be allowed to help
- CFL players will be allowed to opt out of shortened 2020 season, sources say
For the stressed-out parent (that is to say, all parents): How much do children really cost?
👶 Children are incredibly cute – and incredibly expensive. Amid soaring housing costs and a precarious job market, how much does the cost of children factor into your decisions about whether to have them?
- 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.
- When: July 23, 1:00 p.m. EST
- Where: The Globe’s Instagram channel
- Have a question? E-mail the show at firstname.lastname@example.org
🎧 Catch up: How to survive the gig economy • How to get out of debt • Is now the right time to buy a house? • Crisis-proof your finances • Does investing change during a pandemic? • Can you afford city life?
- Pandemic personal finance: Rob Carrick’s 10-point checklist of things you should have done by now to protect or improve your money situation. Tips for minimizing damage to your credit score; how to manage retirement anxiety during difficult times; and things to think about if you’re considering home delivery.
- Here are the expectations for self-isolation; tips for managing anxiety and protecting your mental health; and what to do if you think you have the virus, and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus. How to break a bad habit (like touching your face).
- The best foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home; four eating tips when working from home; and five mistakes that might cause you to gain unwanted weight. Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples and how to stop stress-eating. What to cook with rhubarb (aside from pie).
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; how the CRA might identify CERB fraud; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered. What to do if your employees don’t return to work because they want to collect CERB.