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We cover an earlier chronology of the coronavirus in France, the Irish return a historic favor to Native Americans, and a baseball game for the time In Taiwan.
The chronology of viruses in Europe changes
French doctors have traced a case of coronavirus in the Paris suburbs until the end of December – a discovery which, if verified, suggests that the virus appeared in Europe almost a month earlier than expected.
This raises questions about the duration of the illness in Wuhan, China, before the epidemic was recognized by authorities.
The discovery came after doctors retested samples taken on December 27 from a fishmonger who had originally been diagnosed with pneumonia; it is not clear how the patient contracted the infection. The sample was taken a few days before China reported the disease to the World Health Organization.
Keep in mind: Doctors warn that the result has yet to be verified and that it is not certain that the patient’s case is linked to the larger epidemic.
What it could mean: The first serious measures put in place in France, largely in March, arrived much too late.
New: Two new studies offer convincing evidence that children can spread the virus. In addition, 15 children were hospitalized in New York with a mysterious syndrome possibly linked to Covid-19 which has also been reported in Europe.
Some Russian priests push back restrictions on ‘evil’
As Covid-19 spreads to Russian Orthodox monasteries and parishes, many clerics reject government efforts to limit public gatherings – an unusual break between church and state.
While some priests have closed parishes, others have threatened to damn those who obey the restrictions and have preached that it is impossible to be infected in a church.
Russia has registered more than 10,000 new confirmed infections per day.
The context: Around the world, zealous believers of many faiths have been particularly resistant to orders to stay at home. In Russia, memories of religious persecution in the Soviet Union make people very sensitive to government restrictions.
If you missed it: Three Russian doctors went out the window after complaining about the authorities handling the pandemic.
Irish people do service to Native Americans
In 1847, the Choctaw Nation sent $ 170 – the equivalent of more than $ 5,000 today – to Irish families starved during the potato famine. To date, a sculpture in County Cork commemorates this act.
Quote: ” I already knew what the Choctaw did during the famine, so soon after crossing the Trail of Tears, ”said an Irish donor. “It seemed like a good time to try to pay it back in kind.”
If you have 4 minutes, it’s worth it
Taiwan says, “Play ball! “
The stands are filled with cardboard spectators, the changing rooms are filled with disinfectant and the distance is imposed between the coaches and the players. The number of spectators online has jumped, watched by fans around the world who thirst for normality. Above, cheerleaders for Rakuten monkeys.
Here’s what’s going on
Philippines: A major broadcaster who had closely documented President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs was deported Tuesday, victim of his crackdown on the media criticizing his leadership.
Instantaneous: Above, baobabs in Madagascar. Our travel office takes you on a visual tour of the southern African island, where 90% of the flora and fauna are found nowhere else on Earth.
Magic at home: For his next turn, “the psychological illusionist” Karan Singh performs free online from his room in New Delhi for anyone who requests it.
Now a break from the news
To do: Today may be the deadline for ordering flowers for Mother’s Day for delivery to the United States: here is 10 florists with great options. These office organizers can help you if you work from home (and have been for some time). And if you’ve never read Stephen King, we have your essential guide on where to start.
And now for the Back Story on…
Covering Covid-19 in China
Steven Lee Myers, our head of the Beijing office, and Edward Wong, our diplomatic correspondent, discussed coverage of the coronavirus epidemic in China this week. Steven left Beijing on April 1 after Chinese authorities expelled American journalists from The Times and two other American newspapers. He moves to Seoul. Here is a short excerpt.
Steven: It was a slow opening, and it’s not like “turning on the lights one day and suddenly everything went back to normal”. Far from there.
As they see cases decline, they begin to loosen restrictions on people staying at home, to open museums, but by no means is everything open yet.
The exception is Beijing, the capital. Restrictions have intensified in Beijing, curiously, as the cases have decreased. This is partly because they are so worried about the possibility of a second wave or the return of people from other parts of China to the capital, which is obviously the political center of the country. They are very concerned about the leadership of the party.
Ed: Are there actions China has taken that you think the United States and others can learn from?
Steven: I was struck by the few people who wore masks when I arrived in the United States. What China has done and what people have done there, aside from the government response, is that people have taken this very seriously from the start, and they have really limited themselves.
People simply heeded the advice, found refuge there, and kept their children at home. This is probably the biggest impact they have had against the spread of the virus.