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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
It’s already hard to envision the world we lived in one month ago.
Flashback: A WHO report from March 1 shows a total of 7,169 coronavirus cases outside of China, with just seven countries having recorded even a single fatality and the total death toll under 3,000, including China.
Flash forward: The global case count has now topped 1 million.
April is going to be far worse.
What to watch: Citizens of hard-hit countries have been offered little clarity as to when they'll be able to return to something approximating the lives they led one month ago.
The bottom line: Our way of life changed in fundamental ways in less than a month. The return to "normal" will likely take far longer.
Disinfecting in Dakar, Senegal. Photo: John Wessels/AFP via Getty Images
By my calculation, 88% of new coronavirus cases confirmed on Wednesday came within the OECD club of wealthy nations, which together account for just 17% of the world's population.
The big picture: While that data is based on uneven and inadequate testing, it's nonetheless the case that the virus is currently spreading most widely in countries that should be among the best equipped to handle it. There's little reason to believe that will remain the case.
What they're saying:
The big picture: In many poor countries that are now imposing lockdowns, millions live in cramped conditions without regular access to running water — and many simply can't afford to stay home. The effectiveness of those policies is thus uncertain, and the economic pain is severe.
The bottom line: This virus has brought unprecedented challenges to the Western world. But in the developing world, the consequences could be deeper still and far more difficult to recover from.
Go deeper: Debt crisis awaits in emerging markets
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
I’ve written regularly in this newsletter about how the policy responses to this global crisis have been every-country-for-itself and — in the case of the U.S. and China — tinged with geopolitics.
The flipside: The scientific work underway to understand the virus and develop a vaccine has been globalized on an unprecedented scale.
Zoom in: Trump has boasted that in the race toward a vaccine, “America will get it done!”
The good news: The global scientific community has perhaps never been so singularly devoted to one issue, and borders have not been a major barrier to that work.
But, but, but: Nationalism and geopolitics could still come into play in the eventual distribution of a vaccine, Axios’ Alison Snyder notes.
Two times as many people have likely died of the coronavirus in Italy's hardest-hit cities than are reflected in the official death toll (currently 13,915 ), WSJ reports.
1.18 million people per year die of tuberculosis, making it the world's deadliest infectious disease — until now.
50,000+ people are tested every day in Germany, more than three times the rates in Spain, France and the U.K., per the FT.
38% of people in India use the internet at least occasionally, well behind the rates in countries like Kenya (48%), Nigeria (54%), the Philippines (70%) and Turkey (85%), according to a 2019 Pew survey.
368 million children around the world are currently missing out on school meals, according to the World Food Program.
Netanyahu chairs a weekly Cabinet meeting. Photo: Ronen Zvulun/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shared with his Cabinet a video he claimed was evidence of Iran concealing coronavirus deaths by dropping bodies in garbage dumps, two Cabinet ministers tell Axios contributor Barak Ravid.
Behind the scenes: Several hours later, Netanyahu's office realized the video had nothing to do with Iran, or with the coronavirus crisis. It was a clip from “Pandemic," a 2007 Hallmark Channel mini-series.
The backdrop: Iran has been Netanyahu's top foreign policy focus for 25 years. Israeli intelligence believes there have been up to five times more coronavirus deaths there than the 3,036 that have been officially acknowledged. Netanyahu thought he'd seen evidence of a cover-up.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
As space becomes increasingly key for militaries, nations are finding new ways to protect their military and research satellites, raising concerns that they might develop ways of destroying enemy satellites and making some parts of space unusable, Miriam Kramer reports in her Axios Space newsletter.
Details: Last year, France established its own offensive and defensive posture in space, as it looks to counter any threats to its own space-based assets.
The big picture: Space-faring nations have shied away from using destructive means to respond to threats to their satellites, but that could change in the future.
What to watch: Demonstrating the ability to destroy a satellite may now become a signal to other nations that a country has major capabilities in space.
Buddhist monks in Bangkok wear face shields as they collect alms. Photo: Allison Joyce/Getty Images
“Avoid wearing house clothes. ... Put on makeup and dress neatly.”— Malaysia’s Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development in a since-withdrawn infographic on how women should live under lockdown. Women were also advised not to nag their husbands.