Morning Update

March 30, 2020

Morning Update: Nine residents die, 34 workers suffer symptoms as coronavirus devastates Bobcaygeon, Ont. nursing home

Jamie Ross

Good morning,

Here’s the latest on coronavirus.

Nine residents die, 34 workers suffer symptoms as coronavirus devastates nursing home in Bobcaygeon, Ont.

On the day after three residents of the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., tested positive for COVID-19, the facility’s medical director e-mailed family members to brace them for the worst.

In the little more than a week since Michelle Snarr sent her e-mail, the worst has come to pass at the small cottage-country nursing home about 150 kilometres northeast of Toronto.

Nine Pinecrest residents had died as of Sunday evening, seven of them over the weekend. All are presumed to have died of COVID-19 in what is believed to be the worst outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Ontario.

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Health service’s call in Britain for volunteers to join coronavirus battle gets overwhelming response

When Britain’s Health Minister Matt Hancock asked for volunteers last week to help the country’s National Health Service cope with the COVID-19 outbreak, he thought 250,000 people might come forward.

The target looked exceedingly ambitious and health officials expected it would take weeks before a new program, called NHS Volunteer Responders, would get anywhere near that figure. They were quickly proved wrong.

Mr. Hancock’s target was surpassed within 24 hours and the number of volunteers has swollen to 750,000 in just five days. The program has been so overwhelmed that, on Sunday, organizers had to suspend all new applications.

Nobel laureate leads push for simple made-in-Canada ventilator

Arthur McDonald, a Queen’s University professor who shared the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics, is leading an effort by Canadian scientists at two national laboratories to produce a stripped-down, easy-to-manufacture hospital ventilator in time to meet an urgent demand for the machines because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers at the TRIUMF particle accelerator in Vancouver and the Canadian Nuclear Laboratories at Chalk River, Ont., are now aiming to complete two working prototypes of their ventilator, one at each location, over the coming week.

Majority of Canadians pessimistic about COVID-19 but support Ottawa’s response: Nanos poll

Nanos Research said it found that 67 per cent of Canadians surveyed believe the situation in their community will worsen, while 17 per cent believe it will get better and 10 per cent said it will stay the same.

Those who frequently check the news are more likely to think the situation will worsen, the research firm reported.

Health system races to make contingency plans as front-line workers are sidelined by coronavirus

Across Canada, contingency plans are being put in place as the virus that first consumed nursing homes – and continues to affect those facilities – is now infecting health-care workers in other workplaces such as hospitals and dentists’ offices.

National data on health-care workers being infected is incomplete, but regional numbers provide snapshots of what’s playing out on the ground.


The coughing monster next door

André Picard: The United States is now the epicentre of the global pandemic with more than 135,000 cases and counting. In Canada, we have every reason to be alarmed. We could very well be on a similar trajectory.

I’ve fought epidemics around the world. Now it’s Canada that must prepare for the worst

Joanne Liu: There is no room for wishful thinking when dealing with pandemics. The right mindset is to prepare for the worst-case scenario. While doing everything we can do avoid it, we must be mentally and organizationally prepared to deal with the conditions that are rocking Italy and Spain.

A path back to normalcy: How Canada needs to respond to this pandemic

David Naylor: Policy-makers have a dilemma: how to suppress the epidemic, bolster health-care capacity and minimize economic contraction. No one has a magic formula or perfect model to drive those decisions. However, we could be far better informed.


Oil took another eye-watering 8-per-cent tumble on Monday and world shares buckled again as fears mounted that the global coronavirus shutdown could last for months. The rout in oil took crude to its lowest since 2002.

Japan’s Nikkei had led the rest of Asia lower and Europe’s main markets slumped by 1.5-2.5 per cent in early trade. The Nikkei 225 lost 1.6 per cent while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.3 per cent to 23,175.11. Germany’s DAX was flat at 9,634.00 while the CAC 40 in Paris lost 1.1 per cent to 4,304.63. Britain’s FTSE 100 declined 1.7 per cent to 5,415.26.

Looking for investing ideas? Check out The Globe’s weekly digest of the latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies and what investors need to know for the week ahead. This week’s edition includes quality stocks to target, safety plays amid dividend cuts and is it time to buy?.


Monday editorial cartoon

What’s the best way to exercise to maintain a strong immune system?

For some, self-isolation is severely curtailing their usual exercise habits; for others, a sudden and unwanted excess of free time is allowing them to train harder than ever before. Neither approach, it turns out, is ideal.

Can’t help the stress eating? Here’s how to maintain a healthy diet while working from home

In theory, following a healthy diet should be easy when you’re at home. There’s no office sweets to tempt you, and you have more time to prepare home-cooked meals.

The reality, though, is that staying on track can be a challenge. The lack of structure, taking care of young children or feeling isolated can turn your regimented meal plan into a free-for-all.


A NEW SOUND AMID THE IRISH RELIABLES -- The Irish Rovers returned to Toronto in triumph this evening, March 17, 1969, and no wonder. How could a fey, funny, touching, clever and high-spirited Irish troupe fail on St. Patrick's Day? These days, however, the Rovers are trying to escape the Irish label. Instead of being merely foot-tapping folksingers, they want to be unique -- but St. Patrick's Day is no time to be deserting the old image, so almost everything they're doing in the Imperial Room at the Royal York in Toronto is still full of Irish fun. Photo by: John McNeill / The Globe and Mail Originally published March 18, 1969.
For more than 100 years, photographers have preserved an extraordinary collection of 20th-century news photography for The Globe and Mail. Each week, The Globe features one of these images on a particular theme. Since St. Patrick’s Day falls in March, we’re looking at Irish culture in Canada this month.

The Irish Rovers met in Toronto in 1963, honed their act in Calgary, had four variety shows on Canadian television, won Junos and ACTRA awards – but still the Irish claim the band as their own. Fair enough, the founding members come from County Antrim, in Northern Ireland, although the group’s home base and composition have changed over almost 60 years of touring (including dropping the “Irish” from their name for a time in the 1980s). While their repertoire is mainly traditional tunes, their version of the Christmas novelty song Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer was also a chart topper (and a child delighter). Their longest stretch on TV was a seven-year stint in the 1970s on CBC, a span that echoes lines from their signature namesake song: “We had sailed seven years when the measles broke out; And our ship lost her way in the fog; And the whole of the crew was reduced down to two; 'Twas meself and the captain’s old dog.” Like the rover in the ditty, their journey seems never to end: The band’s schedule is lighter, but it had been booked for Casino Rama in Orillia, Ont., on March 14, before the coronavirus cancelled the show. – Shane Dingman

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