Good morning. Life is changing for all of us — fast. It's not easy. But remember that each one of us can contribute to mitigating the impact of this virus. Let's keep making decisions with our neighbor in mind, and remember that small acts of kindness can go a long way in this difficult time.
Today's word count is 1,040, or a 4-minute read.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
If the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. gets really bad — if it stretches on longer than we anticipated, if huge numbers of people get sick, if the disruptions to daily life become even more severe — early flaws in the testing process will bear a lot of the blame, Axios' Sam Baker writes.
The big picture: You probably know that there were some early problems with testing, and that they're getting better — which they are.
Why it matters: Because we haven't been doing enough testing, we don't actually know how many people in the U.S. have the coronavirus. We know the official count is too low, and that the number of confirmed cases is likely to explode in the coming weeks as testing improves.
Widespread, accurate testing has been a key component of other countries' success in bringing their outbreaks under control.
But the U.S. has not been able to do those things on the scale we'd need. And so, experts say, the virus has probably been spreading undetected for weeks.
Health insurance companies are not concerned yet that the new coronavirus is going to drive up their medical claims and spending, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
The big picture: More people will need expensive hospitalizations to treat COVID-19, which has turned into a full-blown public health emergency.
What they're saying: Barclays held its health care conference digitally last week, and several insurance executives reiterated their companies' profit projections for this year — relatively remarkable statements considering economists believe a recession is imminent.
Between the lines: A lot more cases and hospitalizations are coming. But those will be partially offset, from an actuarial perspective, by delays or cancellations of costly elective procedures like joint replacements — something that hospitals are starting to do.
The bottom line: The coronavirus is throttling almost every business in America. Large insurers think they're mostly immune, and if medical claims start to rise uncontrollably, they will increase everyone's premiums next year.
The CDC said in new guidelines Sunday that gatherings of 50 or more people should be postponed or canceled in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A number of state governments on Sunday called for the closure of bars and restaurants, a drastic step to enforce "social distancing."
The Federal Reserve on Sunday cut its benchmark interest rate to almost zero and launched a $700 billion quantitative easing program in response to the expected economic downturn and stock market slump caused by the coronavirus.
Nursing homes should not allow any visitors, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a new memo. There's one exception: "compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation."
It took a stock market crash — and a Fox News star's intervention — to finally snap President Trump's delusional and possibly disastrous fixation with treating the coronavirus like just another winter flu, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.
The Italian government reported 368 new deaths from the coronavirus on Sunday, the largest 24-hour increase since the country confirmed its first case, according to AP.
Schools, bars and restaurants were ordered to close in Spain on Saturday, while citizens were told to stay at home unless absolutely necessary, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and health officials announced.
France and Israel moved on Saturday to close restaurants, cafes, movie theaters and clubs to promote social distancing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The world once looked to the U.S. for leadership and aid in global health crises.
A new reality sets in today for many working parents: double duty as a remote employee and a home-school supervisor, Axios' Kim Hart reports.
The big picture: As schools and offices shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, parents must figure out how to do two full-time jobs at once. It'll be a struggle even for privileged households, and could border on impossible for some working-class families.
Working from home with kids in tow is a lot to juggle, no matter what. And social distancing will make it even harder to redirect kids' short attention spans long enough to write an email.
Reality check: Playdate bans and juggling kids while working remotely are problems of the privileged. White-collar professionals often have the leeway to work from home, even without a crisis to force it.
Some hospitals in areas hit hard by the coronavirus are putting off surgeries that aren't urgent, WSJ reports.
Why it matters: This frees up space and staff to care for coronavirus patients, and also reduces patients' exposure to the virus.
The other side: Calling all non-coronavirus care "elective" right now can be misleading.