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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The coronavirus pandemic is a disaster with no modern parallels, with no escape and no safe harbor, Axios Future correspondent Bryan Walsh writes.
You could hear new urgency yesterday from President Trump, as he ditched the hopeful talk and warned at a White House briefing: "I’ve spoken, actually, with my son. He says: 'How bad is this?' It's bad. It's bad."
As America comes to grips with the extent of these social-distancing measures, it’s natural to reach for historical comparisons: Those examples can offer the comfort that the U.S. has made it through dark times before.
It may be more instructive to go all the way back to World War II, which saw the strict rationing of consumer goods, full-scale mobilization of civilian industry, even "dimouts" of New York's skyline.
The bottom line: We're just beginning an endurance test that has no clear end.
Grand Central Station yesterday. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Chilling new projections: The White House's tougher line yesterday appears "to draw on a dire scientific report warning that, without action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of coronavirus, ... 2.2 million people in the United States could die," reports the N.Y. Times' Sheri Fink, an M.D. and Ph.D.
The lead author told the Times "that his group had shared their projections with the White House task force about a week ago and that an early copy of the report was sent over the weekend."
Economists have removed their rose-colored glasses in recent weeks and are beginning to price in scenarios for the world that are as bad or much worse than the global financial crisis, Axios Markets editor Dion Rabouin writes.
The big picture: The U.S., the world's biggest economy, is likely to have a recession this year and the #2 economy, China, has already undergone a significant slowdown.
Worse, many of the countries expected to be hardest hit by the outbreak are in some of the weakest economic positions, especially those in the eurozone.
The bottom line: A major struggle for policymakers is that much of the outbreak's economic impact is not yet measurable. That makes preparing for and assessing the potential for damage a new challenge.
In a new work-from-home world, the tech industry is swooping in to reshape how we shop, eat and entertain ourselves, Axios' Scott Rosenberg, Kia Kokalitcheva and Ina Fried write.
E-commerce: Amazon announced yesterday that it plans to hire 100,000 new full- and part-time employees in the U.S. to meet surging demand. It also said it's increasing pay by $2 an hour through the end of April.
Food: Instacart said earlier this month that its sales during the past week were 10 times higher than the prior week — and 20 times higher in states like California and Washington.
Entertainment: As Americans at home search for a way to break their boredom, Universal announced it would make its in-theater movies available online — abandoning the "theatrical release window" and breaking what may be Hollywood's last taboo.
Strong majorities of Americans trust major health agencies to protect the country from the coronavirus, while fewer trust President Trump, Axios managing editor David Nather writes from an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.
Between the lines: There's no significant difference between Republicans and Democrats in terms of trust in agencies like the CDC, the NIH and state health departments.
Graphic: Harry Stevens/The Washington Post. Used by permission.
The internet loved an interactive article by the WashPost's Harry Stevens, an Axios alumnus, that uses bouncing balls to show how to slow coronavirus: "Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to 'flatten the curve.'"
Some voters wore gloves to cast early ballots Saturday in Chicago. Photo: Noreen Nasir/AP
An old-school form of communication — the mail — is becoming a saving grace as coronavirus forces states to scrap in-person voting, Axios' Alexi McCammond writes.
Why it matters: Caucuses were the first electoral tradition on the chopping block after the Iowa debacle. Polling places and voting lines could soon be next.
🗳️ AP last night declared Joe Biden the winner of last week's all-mail Democratic primary in Washington state, giving him five of six wins for March 10.
Hat tip: Axios' Dominique Taylor
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