Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It's not just restaurants and bars: The reopening of America will be centered around reducing our pre-virus conceptions of how many people can congregate together indoors.

The big picture: Social distancing and spacing is strongly encouraged by the CDC in its new guidelines for reopening various parts of American life.

  • It leaves the "how" more up to local government, but you can easily imagine the scale of this challenge.

The 6 sectors:

  1. Workplaces: Even keeping at-risk staffers at home will require creative planning to allow social distancing.
  2. Restaurants and bars: The service sector was built around thin margins, and many businesses will fail if they can't run at full occupancy.
  3. Child care: America already lacks availability for affordable daycare. That won't get cheaper if providers have to tighten capacity.
  4. Schools: Those that do open in the fall will need lots more space — or creative scheduling. Richer districts might be able to figure it out. Poorer districts — especially while states are bleeding funding — might be on their own.
  5. Youth programs and camps: Parents were already sweating summer plans. Now the guidance tells camps to spread out and distance. This won't be easy for the barracks-style housing for campers.
  6. Mass transit: New Yorkers and Washingtonians know that it's way easier to suggest distancing on trains — not to mention the platforms — than to handle it during rush hour.

Between the lines: The virus is also unleashing a supply chain issue for taking care of kids — much like restaurant closures messed with the food supply.

  • Social distancing for schools could easily mean that some kids stay home on certain days — leaving the parents scrambling for care.
  • The virus will also leave many former providers unwilling or unable to work because of health concerns.
  • Finally, parents with concerns about putting their kids in either school or day care will face agonizing choices this fall.

The bottom line: This doesn't need to be our reality forever, but until this virus is fully under control, get used to this new normal.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 30,393,591 — Total deaths: 950,344— Total recoveries: 20,679,272Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,722,699 — Total deaths: 198,484 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.
Updated Sep 18, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Though health workers represent less than 3% of the population in many countries, they account for around 14% of the coronavirus cases reported to the World Health Organization, WHO announced Thursday.

Why it matters: The WHO called on governments and health care leaders to address threats facing the health and safety of these workers, adding that the pandemic has highlighted how protecting them is needed to ensure a functioning health care system.

Aug 22, 2020 - World

South Korea reenters lockdown after spike in coronavirus infections

A coronavirus test being done in Seoul. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

South Korea is shuttering nightclubs and churches and cancelling professional sports and large social gatherings after an uptick in COVID-19 infections, AP reports.

The state of play: Health Minister Park Neung-hoo enacted the new rules on Saturday after 332 new cases were confirmed. To date, South Korea has seen 17,002 confirmed coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins University. Most of the outbreak is centralized in Seoul, but it is spreading to major cities throughout the country. South Korea has consistently been one of the strictest countries on COVID-19 precautions.

  • Seoul was placed under stricter lockdown rules earlier this week.