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Good morning,

Long-term care has become a central issue in the novel coronavirus pandemic. Terrie Laplante-Beauchamp volunteered to help as an orderly at Centre d’hébergement LaSalle, a Montreal centre where, as of Tuesday, 77 elderly residents were infected and 26 had died. After a week on the job, she developed a fever and had to take a test for potential exposure to the virus. She witnessed the storm that hit the LaSalle facility, and kept a diary of what she experienced.

Terrie Laplante Beauchamp, a University of Montreal student who has training as an orderly, she volunteered during the COVID-19 outbreak and kept a diary while she was at the LaSalle long-term care centre, where at least 26 residents died. She is now in quarantine, awaiting test results at her home in Lachine, Quebec, April 15, 2020. (Christinne Muschi /The Globe and Mail)

Christinne Muschi/Christinne Muschi/The Globe and


The Globe’s health columnist André Picard will be live on the Globe’s Instagram today at 7:30 p.m. EDT answering reader questions. You can send your questions to audience@globeandmail.com.

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This is the daily Morning Update newsletter. If you’re reading this on the web, or it was forwarded to you from someone else, you can sign up for Morning Update and more than 20 more Globe newsletters on our newsletter signup page.

Business and economy: The Canadian economy plunged by about 9 per cent in March, according to early estimates from Statistics Canada, and the Bank of Canada expects the economic downturn to be the “sharpest on record.”

Borrowing a phrase from the Harper government’s “Economic Action Plan” spending spree after the 2008-09 financial crisis, Federal Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna is looking for smaller “shovel ready” projects that can be approved quickly and create immediate jobs after pandemic restrictions are lifted.

Premier François Legault’s government has undertaken an analysis of Quebec’s economy and businesses for structural changes, as Quebec is preparing to pump billions of dollars more into its economy and rescue distressed companies in the months ahead.

However, the Business Council of Canada, the organization representing Canada’s largest corporations, is urging political leaders to listen to health authorities before restarting the economy and “not feel pressured to move faster than public health considerations permit.”

A woman wearing a protective face mask passes the closed and boarded up H&M clothing store at Eaton Centre shopping mall in Toronto on April 6, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Helgren

CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

World news: Karina Gould, Canada’s International Development Minister, says Ottawa is disappointed that U.S. President Donald Trump has frozen U.S. funding to the World Health Organization after accusing it of mismanaging the pandemic. The U.S. is WHO’s biggest funding source, providing more than 10 per cent of the agency’s budget.

David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme who recently recovered from COVID-19, says at least 30 million people could die of starvation if the UN agency doesn’t receive critical funding to feed the most vulnerable.

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Some lighter reads:

  • Nothing but thyme: Chefs discuss cooking in the time of coronavirus
  • Raptors guard Norm Powell learning sign language and Spanish to pass time during coronavirus hiatus
  • Full Stream Ahead: Your best high-brow, and low-brow, film bets on Crave, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video Canada this April 18-19 weekend
  • Buoyed by positive COVID-19 news, B.C. looking at gradual route to reopening province

Got a news tip that you’d like us to look into? E-mail us at tips@globeandmail.com Need to share documents securely? Reach out via SecureDrop


ALSO ON OUR RADAR

Emergency hearing for federal inmate deemed vulnerable to COVID-19 could lead to further releases: The Canadian government had argued against the emergency hearing being held this week, saying the case, brought by a prisoner with cancer, diabetes, a lung condition and a blood clot on his leg, lacked urgency

Former Liberal justice minister urges sanctions against Chinese officials who covered up early COVID-19 outbreak: Irwin Cotler is saying he believes transmission of the coronavirus could have been dramatically reduced if China had acted earlier.

Trump looking at easing restrictions at Canada-U.S. border: The feeling may not be mutual, given the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S. He also seemed to equate Canada’s success with efforts in the U.S., a comparison sure to raise eyebrows north of the border.

Theresa Tam says reason for ‘cautious optimism’ as epidemic growth rate slows: She cautioned that while everyone is hoping for a sprint to the finish, preventing the spread of COVID-19 is a marathon, and that “there are no rewards for quitting early.”

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MORNING MARKETS

World stocks head for higher ground, oil stuck in a rut: Europe led world stock markets back to higher ground on Thursday as tentative moves to reopen parts of the some of its larger coronavirus-hit economies offset weak global economic numbers. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 was just below break even around 6 a.m. ET. Germany’s DAX gained 1.01 per cent. France’s CAC 40 rose 0.95 per cent. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.33 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng ended down 0.58 per cent. Wall Street futures were higher. The Canadian dollar was trading at 70.90 US cents.


WHAT EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT

Health officials deserve better than political pot shots

André Picard: “The principal criticism of Dr. Tam is that she followed the recommendations of the WHO. Let’s see, Canada’s top public health official took direction from the world’s leading public health agency. How is that in any way outrageous?”

Embracing Islamic finance presents an opportunity for Canada

Dr. Walid Hejazi and Mohamad Sawwaf: “Many people would be surprised to hear that many of the companies listed on the TSX and S&P are by default already compliant with Islamic finance principles.” Dr. Hejazi is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Rotman School of Management, and Mohamad Sawwaf is a Doctoral Candidate in Islamic Finance and the Co-Founder & CEO of Manzil, an Islamic financial institution.

Ontario’s lack of diversity data for COVID-19 is an embarrassment

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Adam Kassam: “In Canada, where we are quick to declare that diversity is our strength, we must now dispense with the empty platitudes and put our money where our mouth is.” Kassam is a Toronto-based physician who writes about health care and public policy.


TODAY’S EDITORIAL CARTOON

By Brian Gable

Brian Gable/The Globe and Mail


LIVING BETTER

Iced Dalgona Coffee, a trendy fluffy creamy whipped coffee.

Jennifer Gauld/iStockphoto

I’m seeing whipped coffee all over social media. How do you make it?

Whipped coffee isn’t new, but It is a cinch to make. All you need is instant coffee, hot water, sugar and milk. You can use a hand mixer to make the job a bit easier or go the old fashioned way by whisking by hand (which will take at least 15 minutes). This gratifying treat fulfills a desire for a rich coffee experience.

How I took my hair colour into my own hands (with an assist from my stylist via FaceTime)

Johanna Schneller sent her hairdresser photos of her current roots. In response, he provided a kit – six tubes of colour, two litres of developer, a mixing bowl, a brush and gloves. Next, she FaceTimes her hairdresser, props her phone on the windowsill and they started working together. “I am alone. Existentially alone. Why am I doing this?” she writes. “But I’m not wildly vain, I think I just want something to feel normal.”


MOMENT IN TIME

New York Rangers Wayne Gretzky pauses by the boards under a fans sign asking him not to retire during the pre-game warmup to what was rumoured to be his last Canadian NHL game in Kanata, Ontario Thursday April 15, 1999. (CP PHOTO/Tom Hanson)

Tom Hanson/The Canadian Press

Wayne Gretzky announces his retirement

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April 16, 1999: After a Rangers game in Ottawa, a fading 38-year-old hockey superstar hinted at retirement, saying it would take a “miracle” for him to change his mind. One day later, no supernatural phenomenon having occurred, Wayne Gretzky officially called it quits after 20 seasons in the National Hockey League and one (as a 17-year-old phenom) in the World Hockey Association. “Sunday will be my last game,” hockey’s all-time leading scorer and one of Canada’s greatest natural resources confirmed at a New York news conference, after a week of skating around the question. “I know in my heart I’m making the right decision.” His general manager, John Davidson, had tried to get Gretzky to reconsider, but arguing against the instincts of such a sublime playmaker and cerebral athlete was a mug’s game. Two days later, the product of a backyard rink in Brantford, Ont., played his last contest, tallying one assist in a 2-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden, after which he shed tears and his home-blue uniform. The man they called the Great One was done. - Brad Wheeler

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