Sat. Apr 4th, 2020

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Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today

Researchers at Columbia University created a model of how the outbreak could evolve in the U.S., and the results are sobering.

Even if the country cuts its rate of transmission in half — a tall order — some 650,000 people might become infected in the next two months, the researchers say. Without widespread intervention, things could get much worse.

Our graphics team built a tool that shows how the outbreak could spread in each state.


Like readers around the world, New York Times journalists are confronting the virus — through their reporting, their aging relatives and even their own health.

Jason Horowitz, our Rome bureau chief, has been covering the unfolding catastrophe in Northern Italy. When the virus first started to spread there, he was on a family ski vacation.

As I drove the few remaining miles to drop my family off at the lodge, I alternated between apologizing to my wife, Claudia, and asking her to read out loud Italian news reports.

Outside the lodge it was incredibly quiet and white. As Claudia checked in, and the photographer waited anxiously in the car, I dug through the luggage, and grabbed some essentials. I kissed my family goodbye and left them under the Matterhorn. It was the last time I’d touch them for a month.

Dan Barry, a longtime reporter and columnist, documented a family’s wrenching decision: whether to remove their patriarch, Joseph Trinity, from a nursing home.

Mr. Trinity had found himself in a New Jersey rehabilitation facility that, like most health care institutions across the country, had declared a no-visitor policy to stem contagion. But he is 92, and in fragile health; family sustains him.

Several times a day, he would call his daughter, Mary Trinity, to ask in a faint, slightly garbled voice where everyone was — and to beg her to please, please, get him out of there.

And Tim Herrera, our Smarter Living editor, wrote about the chaotic process of getting tested for the virus in New York City.

Almost a dozen calls with five health care providers over five hours. Two hours of hold music. Two hours in a hospital. Four days of anxiously checking an online portal for results. And lots of confusion.

That’s the winding path through bureaucracy that took me from placing my first phone call last Wednesday to getting my positive coronavirus test results on Monday night.


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