Good evening, here are the coronavirus updates you need to know tonight.
- Is the office era over? The surprising truth about working from home
- A new, more aggressive China takes on the world in a pandemic
- “We were kept in the dark”: Life in a long-term care facility during the COVID-19 outbreak
In Canada, there have been at least 90,189 cases reported, which is more than double the number from 36 days ago.
There have also been at least 48,116 recoveries and 7,073 deaths. Health officials have administered more than 1,713,486 tests.
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
13 per cent
In 2010, 125 call-centre employees took part in an experiment where half of those employees would work from home. Their bosses would see who was more productive. Over nine months, the working-from-home group was 13 per cent more productive. But the study also found the home-workers group wasn’t especially content.
- The decline of the office will have a dizzying array of consequences, from the design of cities to the way we parcel out our days. Some business leaders and analysts believe something like a win-win could emerge from this massive real-life experiment.
What it means: Bosses have learned a few positive things about remote work during the pandemic. One revelation is that, logistically, it saves on real estate. Another bonus for executives is that many of their employees actually seem to be operating at a higher level.
Coronavirus in Canada
There are currently at least 2,099 hospitalized cases, a 15% drop from a week ago. Of those 302 are in intensive care.
- In British Columbia, paramedics sought mental-health support in April at almost twice the rate of the previous year. B.C. Emergency Health Services said much of this increase was the result of outreach, and most cases are linked to the pandemic.
- A New Brunswick doctor who travelled to Quebec and broke self-isolation rules upon returning home sparked a new COVID-19 outbreak in the Campbellton area in northern New Brunswick. The provincial government reimposed restrictions that had just been lifted.
- The pandemic has wiped out the rodeo season in the Prairies, which is often full of significant cultural and economic events in the towns that play host to them, with competitors and visitors dwarfing the local population.
- In Ontario, drive-in movie theatres have been cleared to reopen Sunday, and backcountry camping will resume under physical distancing measures that limit the number of people who gather.
Across Canada, some universities are raising tuition for the fall term despite shifting most classes online during the pandemic. Many universities are facing revenue shortfalls because of an expected drop in the number of international students who pay higher fees. But student leaders question whether online education at a higher price provides value for money.
Coronavirus around the world
Worldwide, there have been at least 6,012,666 cases confirmed, 2,537,861 recoveries and 367,547 deaths reported.
- After the deadliest virus outbreak of modern times emerged from China, diplomats, lawmakers and armed forces have been pressed into a series of conflicts that span the world as their plans for economic strength and global prestige are being disrupted.
- South Africa’s backlog of unprocessed tests has climbed as high as 100,000 this month, exposing the fault lines in the global supply of crucial testing equipment. The test-kit shortages are wreaking havoc across Africa, where some countries have conducted only a few hundred tests, far fewer than what they need to get their cases under control.
- The Russian government presented more detailed coronavirus mortality figures for the past month in an effort to quell suspicions from some Russian and Western experts that authorities are trying to lower the reported death toll for political reasons.
Question and answer
Question: How risky is carpooling during the pandemic?
Answer: Health experts generally advise against sharing a vehicle during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zahid Butt, an infectious-disease expert and professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, says it’s best to be cautious. If the person doesn’t live with you, you probably shouldn’t drive around with them. “Most of the cases that we’re seeing now are asymptomatic, so you don’t know whether they have the virus,” Butt said. “If a person is sitting in the car next to you, there is a chance (of spreading it).”Butt and Jenne both say the duration of the trip doesn’t necessarily matter, though the longer you spend with an infected person the more likely your chances of contracting the virus.
What transportation options are safest? Butt says it’s probably best to avoid taxis and ride-sharing services during the pandemic. There are safety precautions you can take if you do have to use them, though — like not touching your face while in the car and sanitizing or washing your hands when you get out.
Maintaining a physical distance is still the best approach. That means taking public transit with a bunch of strangers — provided there’s enough room to spread out — might be safer than riding in a car with one friend.
With most public transit systems not operating at full capacity, Butt and Jenne say it’s more likely to keep a safe distance on a bus or subway now than in a private vehicle.
For the bookworm.
- In literature, walking has long been a theme
- Podcaster Paul Bae’s new book looks back at his teaching days
- Six new mystery books – including an unintentionally timely epidemic thriller
More Globe reporting and opinion
- Venerable retailers are falling victim to the industry shock from the COVID-19 pandemic. But Hudson’s Bay Co. vows it will be a survivor.
- Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday announced the deaths of the first two U.N. peacekeepers from COVID-19.
- The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts announced Friday that it will stage a limited reopening June 6, after it delayed one week to mount physical-distancing plans.
- Pico Iyer: “But nothing convinces me that our families, our economies – our imaginations – can function in the absence of travel.”
- Lisa Helps: “Yet as leaders of Canadian cities in a post-COVID world with potential climate catastrophe on the horizon, we must have the courage to confront this sense of loss and take bold action nonetheless.”
- Dan Clapson: “If you think that you are comfortable, but enter a space and suddenly feel unsafe or unsure, it is absolutely okay to turn around. We’re all in this together, as they say, but what we’re each comfortable with can be drastically different.”
- 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 physical 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.
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