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

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Things will never truly return to "normal" after the coronavirus. That's cause for eager anticipation, and also for dread.

What to expect: The world after COVID-19 will be poorer, at least for a time. 

  • It will be more unequal too, both within countries — where many skimmed along without coffee meetings and business trips, while others performed newly dangerous jobs, or lost them — and between them.
  • Developing nations were hit earliest and hardest, and they'll likely be slowest to recover.

That’s some of the bad news, but perhaps not all of it. 

The other side: There's cause for optimism among the rubble. Practices and institutions that endured only through inertia before the pandemic may be halted, and then reversed.

  • Systemic racism, inadequate health care and incompetent governance have all been laid bare. Unprecedented displays of international solidarity have filled streets from Minneapolis to Nairobi.
  • Technologies and ideas that already existed are now being put to widespread use — to conduct business, education and health care remotely, for example.
  • Crises have historically yielded innovation and creativity, as the FT’s Tim Harford documents. After the Plague came the Renaissance; after the Great Depression, the New Deal.
  • For starters, medical research is now moving with unprecedented urgency. That haste has its own dangers, but the breakthroughs that are achieved will likely facilitate others.

What to watch: Innovation may surface in surprising ways. It was the death of thousands of horses in an 1815 famine, the Economist notes, that led Karl von Drais to invent the bicycle.

  • Incidentally, demand for bicycles has never been higher. That’s in part due to the difficulties of traveling through our pandemic world. 
  • But it’s also indicative of a more encouraging trend, backed up by polling data. After so much time spent in our homes, we’re finding greater appreciation in the world outside.

The bottom line: The pandemic won't only change the world, but also the way we look at it.

Go deeper

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director warns "now is not the time" to lift COVID restrictions — Exclusive: Teenagers' mental health claims doubled last spring.
  2. Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans' hopes rise after a year of COVID
  3. Vaccine: J&J CEO "absolutely" confident in vaccine distribution goals — Vaccine hesitancy is shrinking.
  4. World: China and Russia vaccinate the world, for now.
  5. Energy: Global carbon emissions rebound to pre-COVID levels.
  6. Local: Florida gets more good vaccine newsMinnesota's hunger problem grows amid pandemic — Denver's fitness industry eyes a pandemic recovery.

New York daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for first time since June

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

New York on Friday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases for the first since June.

Why it matters: The New York City metropolitan area was seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout the spring. But strict social distancing and mask mandates helped quell the virus' spread, allowing the state to gradually reopen.

Sep 26, 2020 - Health

U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases

Flags on the Washington National Mall on Sept. 22, each representing 1,000 people killed from the virus. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

The United States reported 55,054 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Why it matters: It was the highest single-day increase since August 14, when the country reported 64,350 new cases over a 24-hour span, and suggests that the U.S. has yet to contain the spread of the virus.

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