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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Medical staff processes a COVID-19 test in Zeitz, Germany. PPhoto by Jens Schlueter via Getty Images

Europe continues to struggle with the rapidly evolving coronavirus as Germany's public health agency warns of a "third wave" of coronavirus infections and Italy prepares to enter another near-nationwide lockdown.

The big picture: Countries have attempted to lift restrictions as vaccination campaigns are deployed, but doing so too quickly could invite another wave of infections amid the spread of new variants.

  • Germany has gradually relaxed lockdown restrictions in recent weeks, but there are "clear signs" of a third wave that has already begun, Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases, told CNBC on Monday.
    • Germany has had over 2.5 million coronavirus cases and saw a spike in the number of daily cases in March, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
    • Noting that Germany was underprepared in vaccine distribution, Wieler added that "the virus is not going to disappear, but once we have a base level of immunity in the population, we can control it."
  • Italy's top officials are considering enforcing tougher health measures from March 15 through April 6, Italian news agency ANSA reports.
    • The government plans to place almost the entire country in its red zone, imposing the maximum level of restrictions from April 3 to April 5. This period includes Easter Sunday and Easter Monday.
    • Italy has topped 3.2 million coronavirus cases, with the number of daily cases rising steadily since February, per Johns Hopkins University.
    • The only region in Italy's white zone is Sardinia, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • The new restrictions come after many European countries suspended AstraZeneca vaccinations amid reports of blood clots.

Go deeper

"No-code" miracle for startups

Expand chart
Data: Interactive Advertising Bureau; Table: Axios Visuals

The U.S. has reached a tipping point in its shift from the industrial economy — one that relied on the buildout of hardware — to an information economy that relies on the transfer, storage and implementation of data, according to a new report.

Why it matters: This shift towards a data and information-based economy has allowed more businesses to establish themselves and scale quickly and at a very low cost. As such, the number of jobs created by the commercial internet has more than tripled since 2012.

Amazon's small business shield

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Amazon is touting the success of small sellers on its platform through the pandemic — and warning that antitrust legislation could jeopardize that success and blow up its open-marketplace model.

Why it matters: As online shopping became a lifeline for both businesses and consumers during the pandemic, Amazon reaped big benefits, but also saw its regulatory risk grow.

The new cold war panic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The world has seen a power struggle between nuclear powers before, and has seen those countries inch closer to military conflict. But it's never before seen a cold war between two countries as interconnected — with each other and with the rest of the globe — as the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Escalating antagonism between the world's two superpowers is likely to hinder global cooperation to fight climate change, divert resources to costly arms and tech races, complicate diplomacy for U.S. allies, and victimize Chinese and American citizens living in each other's countries.

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