Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Officer says projected $252.1-billion federal deficit could worsen if financial relief programs are extended
- Premier Ford says Ontario “getting close” to reopening economy
- Quebec government is not reopening businesses too quickly, Premier Legault says
In Canada, there have been at least 53,236 cases reported, more than double the number from 17 days ago. There have also been 21,424 recoveries and 3,184 deaths. Health officials have administered 837,354 tests.
Worldwide, there have been at least 3,270,888 cases confirmed, 1,011,336 recoveries and 232,700 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.
Photo of the day
Number of the day
The United States has reported at least 60,000 coronavirus related deaths.
President Donald Trump previously suggested this number would be the country’s total death toll, but is now praising himself for the fact that the number is lower than recent White House projections of 100,000 to 240,000.
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said it’s simplistic for Trump or other public officials to focus on the death toll since it’s incomplete. Cases not initially classified as COVID-19 could be added at a later date.
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,881 hospitalized cases, up 14% in the last week. Of those 507 are in intensive care.
- In Quebec, the Premier says the province will have adequate testing and hospital capacity to manage the eventual increase in cases when businesses and schools reopen. Nearly 500 military members – medical technicians, nurses and support staff – have arrived at care homes in the province, with more to be deployed.
- The government in Ontario released sector-specific reopening guidelines today, telling companies to “start getting ready.” The province reported 86 deaths today, its largest daily death toll. And: How a plan for the government to buy 100 million masks fell apart, just as its supplies were about to run out.
- Alberta is planning to reopen dental offices and golf courses as early as Monday.
- Newfoundland and Labrador will begin easing restrictions May 11, as long as the province believes the health care system has capacity should cases spike again.
- Nunavut reported its first coronavirus case.
- New Brunswick reported no new cases for the 12th consecutive day.
- Prince Edward Island reported no new cases today, with only six new cases in April.
- The government in British Columbia will not collect timber harvesting fees for three months to help the forestry industry.
In Ottawa, the Parliamentary Budget Officer said the federal deficit could hit $252.1-billion, about 12.7 per cent of GDP, this year. That’s up from the PBO’s April 9 projection of $184.2-billion. The government’s last fiscal update, in December before the coronavirus pandemic hit, projected a $28.1-billion deficit for 2020-21.
- The deficit could rise again if short-term emergency programs are extended, or if the government spends more in stimulus.
- The Prime Minister declined to speculate on future tax measures or stimulus spending.
Once the economy recovers, and emergency measures expire the debt-to-GDP ratio should “stabilize and then start declining under pre-crisis fiscal policy settings,” the PBO noted. [For subscribers]
Coronavirus around the world
- Beijing is using the pandemic to bolster its efforts to assert a new place of global importance.
- Sweden’s head epidemiologist has been taken to task, and commended, for his “hands off” approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
- Prime Minister Boris Johnson said coronavirus had reached its peak in Britain and promised to announce a reopening strategy next week.
- In the U.S.: Beaches and state parks in California will be ordered closed next week after scores of people disobeyed social distancing orders; a funeral home in New York overwhelmed by the coronavirus resorted to storing about 50 corpses on ice in rented trucks.
- Finance ministers from the G7 countries discussed strategies to accelerate economic activity once they reopened after sweeping lockdowns.
Coronavirus and business
Ontario tow truck operators want a reduction in monthly commercial auto insurance premiums.
- Last month, two major insurers announced financial relief for trucks parked for 30 days, which many operators say is not possible. Now, many operators continue to pay monthly premiums despite business at an all-time low.
- Many operators do not qualify because their leasing agreements do not allow them to remove insurance coverage even if they are parked. Small or rural operators can’t park trucks because of the specialized nature of the vehicles.
Insurer largely based premiums on service calls received and their associated risks, said Mark Graves, the president of a provincial towing association. With fewer calls, the reduced risk could be factored into offering premium reductions.
Question and answer
Question: What role will optimism play for those of us struggling to work from home?
Answer from Globe writer Harvey Schachter:
It’s not that our current stay-at-home guidelines are comparable to a concentration camp. But the COVID-19 lockdown has inspired various commentators to provide career and life advice from Admiral Jim Stockdale, whose experiences as a prisoner of war in Vietnam led him to be featured in Jim Collins’ classic business book, Good to Great, and Viktor Frankl, who shared his inspirational story of surviving a Nazi concentration camp in his enduring bestseller, Man’s Search for Meaning.
While we hear a lot of calls for optimism these days, Admiral Stockdale said it was the optimists who didn’t survive their imprisonment. They kept expecting to be out soon, but weren’t. He felt they “died of a broken heart.” Instead, he advised: “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
For the fitness fan: No other exercise hits as many upper-body muscles than the pull-up. Here are three tips to perfect the movement from Paul Landini.
- The setup: You need a secure bar, ledge or, for an added challenge, a set of gymnastic rings from which to hang. Palms facing away from the body (also known as pronated grip) is the standard grip for a pull-up. Prime the rest of the body before we begin pulling. Push your ribcage up in the air, squeeze your butt tight and brace your abs.
- The execution: When performing pull-ups, think of two words: slide and drive. Once you’re hanging from the bar with your arms extended overhead, initiate the movement by forcefully sliding your shoulder blades down your back as you simultaneously drive your elbows to your hips. Keep your rib cage high and push your chest to the bar as you pull. When your face is in line with your hands, lower yourself to the starting position in a smooth and controlled manner.
- Progressions and regressions: The most productive way to enhance your pull-up abilities is with resistance bands and isometric holds. Use a resistance band over the bar to create a sort of slingshot for you to kneel in. As you pull yourself to the bar, the band provides an extra boost. Isometric training involves holding the top position for a few seconds before lowering yourself to the starting position.
More Globe reporting and opinion
- The CEO of Dollarama, deemed an essential business, says he’s some mistakes during the pandemic, but insists the company’s long-term business fundamentals remain intact.
- Elizabeth Renzetti: “I’m not a vegetarian, but the current crisis has me wondering, again, if I should be.” [For subscribers]
- Meric Gertler: “As we face the largest public health crisis in over a century, some have suggested ... that we should rely less on foreign partners and instead become more self-reliant. Good idea?”
- Matt Bubbers: “Despite what it may look like, [the pandemic] is not the end of the road for car sharing; it’s more like a speed bump for an industry still finding its way.”
- Here’s what you should do if you are newly laid off; how to apply for CERB, EI, and other financial benefits; and other coronavirus and employment questions answered.
- How to minimize 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.
- How to get physical distancing right; measures condo buildings are taking to encourage social distancing; and what you can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Here are the essentials to stock up on and how to shop safely for groceries; the best pantry staples; foods to eat to maintain an immune system-friendly diet; and how to keep a healthy diet while working from home.
- How to break a bad habit (like touching your face) and what to do if you think you have the virus.
Have questions about the coronavirus? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.