Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, announced on Tuesday that she and her father, Svante, had symptoms of Covid-19 and that while hers were mild, it was “extremely likely” that she had contracted the virus. She used the announcement to urge young people to stay at home, even if they don’t feel sick, to protect those who are more vulnerable.
“Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms,” she said on Instagram, where she has 10 million followers. “Then they don’t know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups.”
“We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others,” she said.
New York City’s public transportation network is slashing service by at least 25 percent with ridership in free fall and an increasing number of sick workers hobbling its ability to run normally.
The decision to cut service on the nation’s largest transportation network on Tuesday came after ridership on the subway plunged a staggering 87 percent — or nearly 4.8 million riders — compared with the same day last year and personnel shortages forced the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which oversees subways, buses and two commuter rails, to temporarily eliminate service on three subway lines: the B, the W and the Z. New York City’s transportation system typically carries eight million riders each weekday. But the sudden and steep drops in ridership have severely strained the authority’s operating budget, about half of which comes from fares and tolls.
So far, 52 M.T.A. workers have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said.
The M.T.A. expects revenue losses of roughly $3.7 billion if ridership trends continue for the next several months, and projects that coronavirus-related expenses, like disinfecting its equipment, will reach around $300 million.
These estimates do not take into account what is sure to be a major drop in the roughly $6 billion the authority receives from dedicated state and local taxes.
The reduction in service allows the M.T.A. to lower its operating costs and help the authority stave off what it has called a “financial calamity.”
But health professionals have raised concerns that running fewer trains will lead to more crowding on those trains, increasing the risk that passengers — many of whom are essential workers like doctors and nurses — are exposed to the virus during their commute.
Quillian Fennessy is used to feeding other people. She made about $700 a week waiting tables at Seattle’s oldest vegetarian restaurant and at a friendly Italian place in the city’s Ravenna neighborhood whose menu includes a section titled “pastabilities.” It was enough to pay rent on a shared house and allow her to pursue her musical career with a psychedelic pop band called Fruit Juice.
But this week, she’ll get only a small fraction of the money — the last restaurant paychecks she will see until the threat from the coronavirus is gone.
On Tuesday, the number of states that had temporarily banned or limited dine-in service at restaurants and bars numbered 26. Dozens more cities have done the same. Ms. Fennessy, 32, is one of millions put out of work by the closings. “I don’t think reality has quite set in yet,” she said. “There’s an ominous undertone, for sure.”
So on Monday, she walked to Salare restaurant for something no one could have imagined a few weeks ago: a soup kitchen of sorts for restaurant workers, set up by the restaurant. For the first time, an industry built on caring for other people is struggling to figure out how to care for its own.
Around the country, restaurant customers and owners have mounted efforts, large and small, to raise money for workers, including at least 6,000 online efforts at gofundme.com to help the cooks and waiters at their favorite spots. The Jean-Georges restaurant group has raised more than $100,000 on the site. In Marquette, Mich., residents have collected about $13,000. The need in the town was so great that organizers had to limit the first round of giving to the first 200 workers who signed up.
In Seattle, Ms. Fennessy was one of about 40 laid-off restaurant workers who showed up at Salare to get a spaghetti-and-meatball dinner, and a bagel and hard-boiled egg for the next day’s breakfast. The chef and owner, Edouardo Jordan, hopes to give away 200 meals a day.
Mr. Jordan used $10,000 in grant money from the LEE Initiative, a small foundation that the chef Edward Lee in Louisville, Ky., set up years ago to train the next generation of women chefs and young hospitality workers. With that seed money, Mr. Lee was able to create what is fast becoming a chain of restaurant-based relief centers.
Mr. Jordan’s operation is one of 13 that the LEE Initiative is financing at restaurants around the nation to feed unemployed hospitality workers. Feeding centers are about to open in cities including Atlanta, Denver and, on Thursday, Brooklyn, at the restaurants Gertie and Olmsted.
The efforts are part of the Restaurant Workers Relief Program, which Mr. Lee started with financial help from the Kentucky bourbon distillery Maker’s Mark a week ago, after Kentucky’s governor closed that state’s dining rooms. Mr. Lee realized that he and other restaurateurs in Louisville had refrigerators packed with perishable food, no customers and an unemployed work force that would no longer receive daily staff meals or paychecks.
The first night he served 250 people. The lines kept growing. In two days, he was serving 400 people an hour.
“They are in a state of shock and panic and they are desperate,” Mr. Lee said. “We had grown men crying. Families with disabled children. They don’t have a safety net. We are literally trying to hold society together.”
More traditional aid efforts are also underway. The James Beard Foundation quickly assembled a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. There’s a Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, and a fund created by the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation to raise money for workers, and provide interest-free loans to restaurants that will need help reopening once it is safe to do so.
A young man whose bold defiance of social distancing guidelines while on spring break in Miami drew widespread attention — “If I get corona, I get corona,” he declared in a television interview — apologized this week for his comments. “I wasn’t aware of the severity of my actions and comments,” the man, Brady Sluder, said on Instagram on Sunday. “I’d like to take this time to own up to the mistakes i’ve made and apologize to the people I’ve offended.”
Mr. Sluder — who The Associated Press said is 22 and lives in Milford, Ohio — said in the post that he, like many people, has “elderly people who I adore more than anything in the world and other family members who are at risk.” In a caption accompanying the post, Mr. Sluder said he “can’t apologize enough,” and that he wants to “use this as motivation to become a better person, a better son, a better friend, and a better citizen.”
“Life is precious,” he said. “Don’t be arrogant and think you’re invincible like myself.” Efforts to reach Mr. Sluder on Tuesday evening by phone and social media were not immediately successful. Mr. Sluder, whose widely shared television interview was seen as exemplifying a kind of reckless attitude that many across the country had displayed, was in Florida on spring break last week despite warnings and calls from government officials for the public to practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During the television interview, he said the trip had been planned for about two or three months. “At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying,” Mr. Sluder said in the 13-second clip. “We’re just out here having a good time. Whatever happens, happens.”
When I heard that the Seattle Symphony, which had been ordered to close like everything else, would be livestreaming free concerts during the crisis, I almost cried. I had never actually been to one of its performances before, even though I live less than two miles from Benaroya Hall. But now, seeing my city shut down around me, I couldn’t wait to watch.
The performance felt symbolic: a declaration that connection and solidarity and collective beauty would continue, that we could still gather together even as we stayed apart during the coronavirus outbreak. I thought immediately of the tiny poem Bertolt Brecht wrote in the midst of World War II: “In the dark times/Will there be singing?/There will be singing./Of the dark times.”
It took about an hour for the Seattle Symphony to perform Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major. The symphony is a glorious jumble, rejected by its first audiences as too modern: It incorporates klezmer accents, folk-dance melodies, a funeral march and victorious horn crescendos. I kept waiting for the performance to feel solemn and historic, to get goosebumps of the kind I have when I read Brecht’s poem or think about people singing “There’ll Always Be an England” during the Blitz.
But instead it felt like life, strange and confusing and funny and scary and beautiful, and still going on. In the chat box, people leaned into the surreality of the situation, making jokes about the rude noise of one another’s candy wrappers, about being tall and blocking other people’s views of the stage, about whether “clap” emojis are acceptable between movements, when real clapping, per symphony etiquette, is not.
Alexander White, the symphony’s associate principal trumpet and chairman of the musicians’ labor organization, watched the chat from his own computer. “It was endearing and heartening,” he said. “But it was also reality.”
By the time it was over, nearly 90,000 people from Seattle and around the world had tuned in. By comparison, 4,835 people bought tickets for the original three-day run of the symphony, back in the other world that was last September.
The symphony made plans for more shows: experimental solos filmed in homes or the empty hall; group pieces merged together electronically; more livestreams of past performances. I knew I would want to watch them. I wanted the deep breath, the feeling of connection, even the jokes about sex bots in the chat. I wanted the woodwinds making the soft sounds of nature and the brass section trumpeting victory, whatever that might mean now.
Brooke Jarvis is a contributing writer for the magazine. She last wrote a Screenland column about hoax videos of disasters.
Green-Wood Cemetery, a national historic landmark in Brooklyn, has extended its visiting hours, giving New Yorkers another option for serenity, exercise and fresh air during the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s good to have options. With Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo concerned about the number of New Yorkers gathering at city parks and playgrounds, Mayor Bill de Blasio said officials would give residents until Saturday night to show they could practice social distancing appropriately.
If the city was not satisfied, he was prepared to shut down parks and playgrounds “for the foreseeable future,” Mr. de Blasio said on Tuesday.
The cemetery’s main entrance, marked by an elaborate Gothic archway on Fifth Avenue at 25th Street, is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Starting in April, it will open at 7 a.m.
Founded in 1838 on nearly 500 acres, Green-Wood can seem more like a nature reserve than a cemetery. There are hills and valleys, more than 7,000 trees, glacial ponds, rocky outcroppings, and at this time of year, bright and colorful flowers.
Cobbled paths and serpentine lanes weave through statues, monuments and mausoleums, marking the final resting places of New York luminaries like Louis Comfort Tiffany, Leonard Bernstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
“Green-Wood was designed to be a different kind of experience,” said Lisa Alpert, vice president of development and programming at the cemetery. “It’s a more contemplative, less recreational one, intended to connect people with nature, and we are especially happy now to serve as a green space for people to get away.”
The cemetery prohibits any form of exercise other than walking, distinguishing it from Brooklyn’s other major green space, Prospect Park, which has been teeming with runners and bicyclists. Alas, dogs are not permitted in the cemetery.
Even with the increase in foot traffic of cooped-up New Yorkers, the pastoral landscape allows for strolling at the recommended six-feet distance from others. Green-Wood also has the highest natural elevation in Brooklyn.
Isolation, round-the-clock care, panic and uncertainty. Jessica Lustig, a deputy editor of The New York Times Magazine, describes her experience nursing her husband through Covid-19.
“How are you doing, love?” I call to my husband from the living-room floor, where I now sleep each night on a roll-up foam sleeping pad that my daughter has used on camping trips, topped with a couple of thin blankets. It’s quite literally hard to sleep on the floor, but after trying the couch and then, on the floor, the couch mattress — a bit of fabric stretched over some coiled rings — the floor itself has been a relief.
“I need some help,” he whispers hoarsely, shivering inside the wool undershirt and sweater he insists on wearing. “I didn’t want to wake you.” I forgot to put the Advil in the plastic dish in the bathroom that is now his. I can’t leave the bottle in there; it has to stay uncontaminated in the other bathroom, so that I can dispense the capsules into the dish and keep the bottle protected. Anything my husband, T, touches has to stay in his room or be carefully taken from his room to the kitchen, where I stand holding dishes while our 16-year-old daughter, CK, opens the dishwasher and pulls out the racks so I don’t have to touch anything before she closes it again. She turns on the faucet for me, and I hit the soap dispenser with my elbow to wash my hands.
My husband, a tall, robust 56-year-old who regularly goes — who regularly went — on five-hour bike rides from our Brooklyn neighborhood to Jamaica Bay in Queens and back, has been lying on his back, staring at the ceiling, or curled on his side, wearing the same pajama bottoms for days because it is too hard to change out of them, too hard to stay that long on his feet, too cold outside the sheets and blankets he huddles beneath. It has been 12 days since T woke up in the middle of the night on March 12 with chills. The next day, just as reports were growing more urgent about the coronavirus spreading in the United States, he thought he felt better, but then the chills came back, along with aches and a fever of 100.4.
Since then, T has been confined alone in our bedroom at the front of the apartment, where he complains of hearing trucks idling at the curb just outside and long blasts from the ships in New York Harbor a few blocks west. He creeps out only to go to the bathroom. The bedroom door stays firmly shut to keep out the cat, who is determined to get in and who howls outside it at night. “What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)” reads the sheet T is handed at the clinic two days after his symptoms begin. “Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home.” By then he has a fever of 101.5. He tests negative for the flu. Then, because he is considered high risk with what his medical chart calls “severe” asthma that sent him to the emergency room with an acute attack a few months ago, he is tested for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus — just days before a national shortage of testing supplies emerged and the restrictions were tightened further.
Now we live in a world in which I have planned with his doctor which emergency room we should head to if T suddenly gets worse, a world in which I am suddenly afraid we won’t have enough of the few things tempering the raging fever and soaking sweats and severe aches wracking him — the Advil and Tylenol that I scroll through websites searching for, seeing “out of stock” again and again. We are living inside the news stories of testing, quarantine, shortages and the disease’s progression. A friend scours the nearby stores and drops off a bunch of bodega packets of Tylenol. Another finds a bottle at a more remote pharmacy and drops it off, a golden prize I treasure against the feverish nights to come.
His doctor calls three days later to say the test is positive. I find T lying on his side, reading an article about the surge in confirmed cases in New York State. He is reading stories of people being hospitalized, people being put on ventilators to breathe, people dying, sick with the same virus that is attacking him from the inside now.
SAN FRANCISCO — As airlines, hotels, restaurants and other companies struggle to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook is also laboring to cope with the fallout. But unlike those other businesses, the Silicon Valley giant is being strained by the coronavirus in a different way: Its usage is going through the roof.
“We’re just trying to keep the lights on over here,” Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said in an interview last week.
Skyrocketing traffic and a crush of new users are now stressing Facebook’s systems just as its 45,000 employees are dealing with working remotely for the first time. The company is also trying to keep its users’ data secure while employees who sift through posts to moderate content do so from home. At the same time, Facebook has added to its workload by promising to do more to limit virus misinformation.
It is a pressure test moment for Facebook, which has for years grappled with a backlash over privacy and toxic content, but now has a chance to change that narrative and be seen as an essential communications and information tool during the outbreak.
What has saved Facebook’s network from crashing altogether, Mr. Zuckerberg said, was that the virus and the quarantines have had the largest impact in just a few areas where Facebook operates. Facebook is banned in China, where the virus first appeared, for instance.
Those areas that have the highest concentration of people using Facebook’s services during peak hours from home are also spread out by time zone, Mr. Zuckerberg said, which staggers the swell of traffic.
The strain has been compounded by Facebook’s work force adapting to working from home, which had been discouraged in the past.
Last week, a bug within Facebook’s system began marking thousands of posts by major news outlets like Politico and The Sydney Morning Herald as spam, which resulted in the removal of the posts. It took Facebook a day to correct the mistake, as engineers struggled to communicate remotely with one another over how the bug had been introduced and what it would take to fix it.
While they scrambled, rumors spread among Facebook’s users over the source of the bug, with many accusing the company of censoring people’s speech. Internally, Facebook managers said that while the bug was routine, the amount of time it took to fix it was not.
“This was just a technical error, and we’re still doing the post-mortem to understand what happened so we can operationalize any learnings from that,” Mr. Zuckerberg said last week.
In a typical week, Jerome Gage, a Lyft driver in Los Angeles, makes $900 to $1,000 before expenses during roughly 50 hours on the road. This week, with most of the state holed up and demand for rides evaporating, he expects to work even longer to make far less than half that amount.
Given the option, Mr. Gage said, he would stop wasting his time and risking his health and file for unemployment benefits. But unlike workers employed by restaurants, hotels and retail establishments, gig workers like Uber and Lyft drivers typically have not been able to collect unemployment benefits or take paid sick leave.
The stalemate has set up a showdown with increasingly desperate drivers. On March 11, Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Boston-based plaintiff’s lawyer who has won rulings against Uber and Lyft over the employment status of drivers, filed complaints seeking to force the companies to follow the state’s new law immediately, giving drivers access to unemployment benefits and sick days. “It is very unfortunate that such a crisis may be necessary to prompt these companies into actually complying with the law and extending employment protections to their drivers,” Ms. Liss-Riordan said in an email. Her complaints are pending in federal court.
In a call with analysts last week, the Uber chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, alluded to the problem, suggesting that his hands were tied because Uber drivers are independent contractors. “This situation certainly demonstrates the downside of attaching basic protections to W-2 employment,” he said.
And in a letter to President Trump on Monday, Mr. Khosrowshahi asked that any economic stimulus or coronavirus-related legislation provide “protections and benefits for independent workers,” along with “the opportunity to legally provide them with a real safety net going forward.” A Lyft spokeswoman said her company was also pushing to extend any forthcoming stimulus to drivers as well.
But for many drivers, the problem is not a legal void. It is that the companies they work for have not complied with existing laws or agency rulings.
The highest-profile case is in California, which passed a law last year requiring companies to classify workers as employees if the companies control how they do the work, or if they hire workers to perform a job central to the business.
The bill’s author has said she intended the law to apply to Uber and Lyft drivers, which would make them eligible for unemployment benefits and state-mandated sick leave. Legal experts have agreed with this interpretation. But Uber launched a legal challenge to the law late last year, and the two ride-hailing companies are investing tens of millions of dollars in a November ballot initiative that would effectively exempt them from it.
Uber and Lyft declined to comment on the situation in California, but both companies have announced that they would provide pay to drivers nationwide who were diagnosed with Covid-19 or were asked by a public health authority to isolate themselves.
While the cases play out, drivers around the state have stepped up efforts to demand that Uber and Lyft provide them with employment protections. A union-backed group called Mobile Workers Alliance, which Mr. Gage is involved with, began circulating a petition Friday demanding that the gig companies abide by the state’s new law deeming them employees. The petition has collected more than 6,000 signatures.
Lisa Opper, a Lyft driver involved with a group called Rideshare Drivers United, which held demonstrations on Thursday in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, said she typically worked 40 to 50 hours per week and made $900 to $1,000 before expenses. She made $226 the week before last, after which she stopped driving out of concern for her health.
“I won’t risk it,” Ms. Opper, who is 60 and diabetic, said on Friday. “The virus is airborne, and I had three or four people last week coughing.” She said she had been driving with a blue surgical mask but didn’t have access to the N95 mask that experts say is most effective at stopping the spread of the illness.
Ms. Opper said she planned to file for unemployment insurance and hoped to get benefits, at least on appeal. “I just believe Uber and Lyft are ignoring the law,” she said.
A growing movement has seen families stringing Christmas lights up, blowing up holiday inflatables and building artificial snowmen to foster a sense of cheer during the coronavirus crisis.
The idea has taken off on social media and online neighborhood groups, with people sharing their displays alongside hashtags like #LightsForLife, #ChristmasInMarch and #ChristmasLights. The brewing giant Anheuser-Busch, which just announced that it will be producing hand sanitizer, got into the spirit by turning on an elaborate display at its St. Louis headquarters.
“We’ve been inspired by Americans decorating their homes with holiday lights in the spirit of togetherness,” the company said in a statement. “We are proud to join in and turn the holiday lights on every night at our house.”
Early last week, as the novel coronavirus exploded from state to state, a woman called the National Domestic Violence Hotline in a crisis: Her partner had tried to strangle her and she needed medical help, but feared going to the hospital because of the virus.
In another call, a girl — aged between 13 and 15 (specific identifiers have been removed to protect the callers) — said that her mother’s partner had just abused her mother, then gone on to abuse the girl herself. But with schools shut, turning to a teacher or a counselor for help was not an option.
These instances, gleaned from the hotline’s first responders, highlight two important facets of things to come during the coronavirus crisis. First, as lawmakers across the country order lockdowns to slow the spread of the virus, the lives of people stuck in physically or emotionally abusive relationships have — and will — become harder, which has already been seen in the pandemic hotspots of China and Italy.
Second, the virus raises the stakes for domestic violence services across the country as they scramble to adapt to a patchwork of new government policies and restrictions that shift day by day and vary from state to state.
Katie Ray-Jones, chief executive of the hotline, expects to see the intensity and frequency of abuse escalate, even if the number of individual cases doesn’t — a pattern that experts witnessed during the economic downturn of 2008 and immediately after 9/11, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.
In the U.S., more than one in three women has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner (defined as current or former spouses or partners) in their lifetime, according to a 2010 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in recent years, the number of domestic violence cases (which includes assault by intimate partners and family members) has spiked, making up more than half of all violent crimes in the U.S. in 2018, according to the Justice Bureau.
Shelters across the country are adapting as best they can while trying to keep pace with constantly changing virus regulations, including implementing social distancing practices on site, taking temperatures of newcomers and regularly cleaning and disinfecting common spaces.
But several organizations have started to cut back on certain services and may have to turn away newcomers soon to avoid overcrowding at shelters. Drop-in counseling centers are shut down and in-person support groups are suspended.
Advocates, who are often the first responders in cases of domestic violence, are fielding questions remotely, preparing those who can’t flee for worst case situations, known as safety planning.
“We’re having really difficult conversations, running through horrific scenarios,” Ray-Jones said.
“What that could mean is, OK, if an argument breaks out, where is the safest place in your house? Keep arguments out of the kitchen, out of the bathroom, which can be really dangerous spaces. If you need to go sleep in your car, is that a possibility?”
Resources for victims and survivors:
Anti-Violence Project offers a 24-hour English/Spanish hotline for L.G.B.T.Q.+ experiencing abuse or hate-based violence: call 212-714-1141
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available around the clock and in more than 200 languages: call 1-800-799-SAFE or chat with their advocates here or text LOVEIS to 22522.
New York State Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline is available in multiple languages: call 1-800-942-6906 for English. For deaf or hard of hearing: 711
For immediate dangers, call 911.
[This article is a partnership between The New York Times and The Fuller Project.]
As prominent colleges remain closed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Liberty University, one of the largest schools in Virginia, said it would reopen this week after spring break. Up to 5,000 students may return to campus housing, and many classes will be taught online.
The announcement came as President Trump was expressing a desire to reopen the economy as soon as possible, against the recommendations of public health officials.
Jerry Falwell Jr., the school’s president and one of Mr. Trump’s evangelical supporters, said in a statement that he hoped that “Liberty’s practices will become the model for all colleges to follow in the fall, if Coronavirus is still an issue.”
Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, a Democrat, announced on Monday that public K-12 schools would be closed for the remainder of the school year to slow the spread of the virus.
“The Governor is concerned by these reports, and members of the administration have already spoken directly with Jerry Falwell Jr.,” Alena Yarmosky, press secretary to Mr. Northam, said. “All Virginia colleges and universities have a responsibility to comply with public health directions and protect the safety of their students, faculty, and larger communities. Liberty University is no exception.”
The governor’s executive order bans gatherings of more than 10 people statewide, and violations may be punishable by a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Mr. Trump’s prominent evangelical supporters are scattered across the country and so far are making different decisions based on local regulations.
Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, said his church will continue to hold only online services and follow the county’s shelter-in-place order, which goes though April 3 and is likely to be extended.
“I don’t see there’s any big lobbying effort by evangelical leaders to drop these regulations and reopen right now,” he said in a phone interview.
Pastors want to reopen at the proper time, he said, but they do not want to take chances. “We employ several hundred people, we can’t stay closed forever,” he said. “We can handle three months. Six months would be a challenge. Nine months would be devastating.”
In Ohio, where Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, issued a stay-at-home order that exempted religious groups, Darrell Scott, a pastor who also serves as a co-chair of Black Voices for Trump, said he did not know yet what his church would do about services this weekend.
Like Mr. Trump, he said he wanted businesses to reopen, even as soon as “yesterday.” He cited concerns that small businesses, including nonprofits like churches, might not recover from the economic loss of being closed.
“I think a reaction is necessary but not an overreaction,” he said. “Would I have closed the entire state? I don’t think so.”
But, he added, the governor “is privy to more information than I am.”
With statewide lockdowns in place in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus, millions of people are hunkering down at home. As we take shelter, and most likely spend more time than ever at home, we hope the advice in our book, “The New York Times Right at Home: How to Buy, Organize, Decorate and Maintain Your Space,” offers guidance for the difficult days ahead. Below is a collection of columns, many of them inspirations for our book, that offer practical advice on everything from making space for a home office to preparing for emergencies. We hope they help you through this crisis and give you inspiration for making your home a nicer place in which to find refuge.
Remake Your Space
Here are some ways to stretch the space you have for your new needs.
Making Space for a Home Office: With more companies moving to remote work for months, tips on how to make space for a home office — or two.
Designing a Feel-Good Home: What makes a space comfortable and welcoming? A lot of small changes that are easy to make.
The San Francisco Art Institute will not accept students for the fall semester after almost 150 years in operation, ending the legacy of a once-storied school that produced famous artists like Annie Leibovitz, Kehinde Wiley and Catherine Opie.
The institute announced Monday in a schoolwide letter that it plans to suspend classes after the spring semester. Graduating students will receive their degrees in May, but faculty and staff were told to prepare for mass layoffs. One senior official close to the decision-making process said the school was likely to close because of mounting debt.
“We are looking down the barrel of a gun,” Gordon Knox, the college president, told faculty during a town-hall meeting in late February. Like many art schools across the country, declining enrollment and financial hardships have plagued the institution for years.
The final straw for the faltering institution was when discussions to merge with a local university collapsed after the coronavirus sent the Bay Area into a lockdown. Pam Rorke Levy, the institute board’s chair, estimated the university’s total debt was around $19 million but likely to increase because the school is not earning revenue during the health crisis.
My family’s color-coded, Google-calendar lives were upended two weeks ago when our daughters’ school abruptly closed, and my husband and I began to work from home in an effort to flatten the coronavirus curve. So I decided to channel my inner Pollyanna. As a parent, if I approach this “break” with more pluck and less fear (and um, yelling), my girls might very well look back on this time with fondness.
They’ll remember heading into the kitchen to bake with me. We make simple, uncomplicated things like shortbread, drop cookies, quick breads and one-bowl cakes like this one, a tender and chocolaty affair made with pantry items that can be found and measured by little hands: flour, sugar, cocoa, oil, baking soda and vinegar.
This recipe, which I first wrote about a year ago in an article about the best kids’ cookbooks, is adapted from Mollie Katzen, a chef and author best known for “The Moosewood Cookbook.” It’s an ideal recipe to make with young kids (or for older kids to make alone) because it calls for just a handful of ingredients, and it’s mixed and baked in one pan. (It’s also vegan.) It’s surprisingly moist and delicious on its own or dusted with confectioners’ sugar, but in times like these, a layer of buttercream frosting and a rainstorm of colored sprinkles are a very good idea. A couple weeks ago, my 5-year-old made it while I looked over her shoulder. She took a bite of the finished cake, looked me in the eye with pride and said, “My cakes are better than Mama’s.”
Americans, housebound because of the coronavirus crisis, have been watching more TV than usual, and they have returned to the network news programs that have not been at the center of the national conversation for years.
ABC’s “World News Tonight” and the “NBC Nightly News” had an average of about 12 million viewers for each of their newscasts last week, among the biggest totals for all network shows, according to Nielsen. Those figures are roughly the same as an average “Monday Night Football” game, and higher than the 10 million who tuned into “The Voice” last week. The audience for “World News Tonight” was on track to be its largest since 2000, and the number of viewers watching “NBC Nightly News” was the most the show had drawn since 2005.
For now, at least, a concise, crisply produced news program, devoid of the punditry and histrionics typical of many cable broadcasts, seems to match the national moment.
Josh Harris, the billionaire co-owner of the N.B.A.’s Philadelphia 76ers and the N.H.L.’s New Jersey Devils, has canceled plans to impose temporary salary reductions of up to 20 percent upon full-time employees from both teams who earn at least $50,000.
A social media outcry greeted Harris and co-owner David Blitzer on Tuesday after the reductions, which were first disclosed Monday by The New York Times, became publicly known. The move was initially billed as a measure Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment were taking, from April 15 through the end of June, to avoid layoffs in response to anticipated financial losses amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
“After listening to our staff and players, it’s clear that was the wrong decision,” Harris said in a statement. “We have reversed it and will be paying these employees their full salaries. This is an extraordinary time in our world — unlike any most of us have ever lived through before — and ordinary business decisions are not enough to meet the moment. To our staff and fans, I apologize for getting this wrong.”
Joel Embiid, an All-Star center for the 76ers, tweeted out praise for the reversal.
In these trying times, I’m proud of the Sixers organization for reversing course and “doing a 180”. Let’s focus on beating this Coronavirus now. Let’s be responsible and Trust the Process!!— Joel “Do a 180” Embiid??? (@JoelEmbiid) March 24, 2020
It was not immediately known if other N.B.A. or N.H.L. teams had instituted a similar program, but the considerable blowback Harris in particular received could conceivably dissuade others from following suit.
The Sixers’ planned reductions marked the first confirmed financial cutback for an N.B.A. franchise in the wake of the global pandemic, and it stood in stark contrast to the steady flurry of charitable donations from players and teams throughout the league since the season was suspended March 11.
Before Harris’s reversal, Embiid had announced Tuesday that he would donate $500,000 to Covid-19 medical relief efforts and said he planned to provide financial assistance to 76ers employees affected by salary reductions.
As dining rooms in 15 states and some individual counties and cities have gone dark, the first to feel the impact were restaurant employees and owners. In a letter to the president and congressional leaders asking for financial and tax relief, the National Restaurant Association said it expected five to seven million restaurant jobs would be lost because of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the pain is also radiating out to the thousands of small companies across the country that rely on restaurants for most or all of their sales. The size of this indirect economy is unknown, but independent restaurants can spend anywhere from just under 20 percent to more than 30 percent of their revenue on food, alcohol and other goods.
Some businesses that serve restaurants have already laid off workers, driving a nationwide surge in new unemployment claims that labor experts predict will total between 1 million and 2.25 million for last week alone. Others are scrambling and improvising, trying to convert wholesale businesses into retail shops overnight.One business, Abundant Seafood, had opened its first processing plant just two days before Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina shut down all restaurants and bars in the state except for takeout and delivery. Mark Marhefka catches fish from the side of his 39-foot boat, and he and his wife Kerry sell them directly to some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the Southeast.
Orders from restaurants, normally 80 percent of the Marhefkas’ sales, stopped almost entirely.
“There are some restaurants trying the takeaway thing, so they are buying a little,” Ms. Marhefka said Friday. “We had two orders go out to restaurants this morning. I would never think there would be a time when I would be excited about two orders.”
A few businesses have closed for now, wondering how long it will be before it is safe again for people to eat and drink together. As local and federal governments debate measures to help the economy, they are watching to see when relief will come, what form it might take and whether any of it will reach them.s
Working from home with kids can be chaotic, with interrupted conference calls and meltdowns between meetings, among other challenges. As we try to adjust to this new normal during the coronavirus pandemic, we want to celebrate the small wins from working while parenting. NYT Parenting readers shared their best tips:
After two days spent inside, today we went outside for a bit — and my 5-year-old got started on his bike without a push for the first time! Small victory, indeed. — Darcy Whittemore, Brooklyn, N.Y.
If my 2.5-year-old knows I am home, she absolutely will not leave my side. In order to get my work done, I camp out upstairs from 5:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. while my husband watches her. Then at 2 I come in the front door and surprise her. We all celebrate me “getting home from work.” — Andrea Mueller, Hyattsville, Md.
I made a “school bell” by filling three different sized glasses with water and hitting them with a spoon. We ring it at the start of “school” and between “periods.” — Cat Balco, Hamden, Conn.
Laptop in the bathroom + putting my 4-year-old and 2-year-old in the bath to play = WFH success. — Anna Dubenko, New York
Mo Willems saves the day! His Lunch Doodles drawing class has kept my 6-year-old busy. — Erin Dudley, Charlotte, N.C.
I just made a story fort behind the couch with the drapes as the roof so I could write my master’s essay. — Ashley Knowlton, Ohio
When I need a break, I put on the Roomba. My one-year-old just sits on my lap and watches! — Ayla Newhouse, Copenhagen
Spray bottle of water and a towel! Hours of entertainment and my walls are sooo clean! — Lyndsey Hoffer, Tulsa, Okla.
My boys (5 and 7) made a fort together in the backyard and didn’t want to come back inside. — Jennifer Whiteford, Ottawa
My kid gave me kisses because I’ve been doing so many activities with him. — Kim McClure, Louisville, Ky.
Grandma taught my kids how to make chicken noodle soup via FaceTime. — Brynne Thompson, New Jersey
Lawrence S. Bacow, the president of Harvard University, and his wife, Adele, have tested positive for Covid-19, Dr. Bacow said on Tuesday afternoon in an announcement to the Harvard community.
Dr. Bacow said that he did not know how he and his wife had contracted the virus, but were heartened that they had not come into contact with many people over the last few days.
“Earlier today, Adele and I learned that we tested positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Bacow’s email, which was sent to alumni at 1:04 p.m. Tuesday, said. “We started experiencing symptoms on Sunday — first coughs then fevers, chills, and muscle aches — and contacted our doctors on Monday. We were tested yesterday and just received the results a few minutes ago. We wanted to share this news with all of you as soon as possible.”
Like other universities, Harvard began trying to “reduce its population density over the last days and weeks, asking students to leave their residence halls unless they had no where else to go, and to move to online instruction. Soon after, Dr. Bacow indicated, he and his family also began to practice social distancing.
“Neither of us knows how we contracted the virus, but the good news — if there is any to be had — is that far fewer people crossed our paths recently than is usually the case,” Dr. Bacow’s letter continued. “We began working from home and completely limiting our contact with others on March 14 in keeping with recommendations to adopt social distancing measures. In line with standard protocols, the Department of Public Health will be in touch with anyone with whom we have had close contact over the past fourteen days.
“We will be taking the time we need to rest and recuperate during a two-week isolation at home. I am blessed with a great team, and many of my colleagues will be taking on more responsibility over the next few weeks as Adele and I focus on just getting healthy. Thanks, in advance, for your good wishes. Thanks also for your understanding if I am not as responsive to email as I normally am.”
Dr. Bacow added, “This virus can lay anyone low,” and urged everyone to be vigilant, and to follow advice from experts. “The world needs your courage, creativity and intelligence to beat this virus — wishing each of you good health,” he said.