New York City’s museums and other cultural institutions will be allowed to reopen on Aug. 24, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
N.C.A.A. Division I fall sports championships, excluding football, will be canceled.
A new frontier for Hollywood
After a five-month hiatus, Hollywood film production has returned. But you won’t find cast and crew members in Los Angeles County, where coronavirus cases remain high and testing is scarce. Instead, studios are shooting overseas, bringing numerous safety protocols with them. Among the first test cases is Universal’s “Jurassic World: Dominion,” which has become a model for moviemaking in the Covid-19 era.
Shot mainly outside London, “Jurassic World” resumed production in early July with some 750 people. To keep the virus at bay, Universal spent about $9 million on measures that include an entire rented hotel for the cast and crew, 150 hand sanitizer stations and temperature stations staffed by nurses. A comprehensive manual covers details like how to serve meals, which are vacuum sealed and distributed from behind plastic barriers.
Production has been divided into two categories: a larger one with departments that don’t need regular access to the set and a smaller “Green Zone” for the director, cast and essential crew. Green Zone workers and hotel staff members are screened three times a week for the virus, thanks to a supply of 18,000 tests, and sets are regularly fogged with antiviral mist. After an initial two-week quarantine, the cast and crew have been able to wander their hotel bubble mask free — no social distancing required.
Only two crew members who had been on set in England have tested positive for the virus. Others have been sent to a second filming location in Malta, where four have tested positive. Universal said no one had fallen seriously ill.
Production changes are one thing, but the pandemic has also thrown a wrench into film debuts. Some Hollywood executives believe consumer behavior may be shifting permanently as big-budget films opt for streaming debuts over theater premieres, explained Nicole Sperling, a Times reporter who covers media and entertainment. “But then there’s the argument that once theaters are open again, aren’t people going to want to get out of the house?”
Changes onscreen. People in the film industry say the future of TV and movies will be defined by austerity, The Washington Post reports. Don’t expect many crowd scenes, real-world locations or displays of romance. And expensive virus safeguards could mean there will be cutbacks in other areas, like the number of takes for each scene, resulting in a less polished final product.
A risk factor for men only?
A new study suggests that extreme obesity puts men — but not women — at higher risk of death from Covid-19.
Researchers analyzed thousands of patients at a Southern California health system and found that extreme obesity was a risk factor for dying, particularly among men and patients 60 or younger. For reasons that scientists don’t fully understand, obesity on its own did not appear to increase the risk for women. It could be physiological: Women carry weight differently from men, who tend to have more visceral and abdominal fat.
Science can be messy. A Korean study last month is being re-evaluated after the researchers released additional data. The study suggested that children between the ages of 10 and 19 spread the coronavirus more than adults. But now it’s not clear who was infecting whom.
The findings influenced the debate about the risks of reopening schools, and it’s a reminder that when making important decisions about the coronavirus, it’s important to look at the entire spectrum of evidence, rather than any one specific study.
Treatment delays. Clinical trials for monoclonal antibodies, drugs that make Covid-19 less deadly, are taking longer than expected. Researchers at a dozen clinical trial sites said that testing delays, staffing shortages and reluctant patients were causing them to delay potential treatments by week or months.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated September 4, 2020
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
- In the beginning, the coronavirus seemed like it was primarily a respiratory illness — many patients had fever and chills, were weak and tired, and coughed a lot, though some people don’t show many symptoms at all. Those who seemed sickest had pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome and received supplemental oxygen. By now, doctors have identified many more symptoms and syndromes. In April, the C.D.C. added to the list of early signs sore throat, fever, chills and muscle aches. Gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea and nausea, has also been observed. Another telltale sign of infection may be a sudden, profound diminution of one’s sense of smell and taste. Teenagers and young adults in some cases have developed painful red and purple lesions on their fingers and toes — nicknamed “Covid toe” — but few other serious symptoms.
Why is it safer to spend time together outside?
- Outdoor gatherings lower risk because wind disperses viral droplets, and sunlight can kill some of the virus. Open spaces prevent the virus from building up in concentrated amounts and being inhaled, which can happen when infected people exhale in a confined space for long stretches of time, said Dr. Julian W. Tang, a virologist at the University of Leicester.
Why does standing six feet away from others help?
- The coronavirus spreads primarily through droplets from your mouth and nose, especially when you cough or sneeze. The C.D.C., one of the organizations using that measure, bases its recommendation of six feet on the idea that most large droplets that people expel when they cough or sneeze will fall to the ground within six feet. But six feet has never been a magic number that guarantees complete protection. Sneezes, for instance, can launch droplets a lot farther than six feet, according to a recent study. It’s a rule of thumb: You should be safest standing six feet apart outside, especially when it’s windy. But keep a mask on at all times, even when you think you’re far enough apart.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
- Employers have to provide a safe workplace with policies that protect everyone equally. And if one of your co-workers tests positive for the coronavirus, the C.D.C. has said that employers should tell their employees — without giving you the sick employee’s name — that they may have been exposed to the virus.
The five U.S. metropolitan areas with the highest rate of new cases relative to their population are now all in South Texas.
France declared Paris and the Marseille region to be high-risk zones, giving local authorities powers to impose new restrictions to contain the virus.
South Korea reported 103 new cases, mostly in Seoul — the nation’s largest daily tally in three weeks.
What else we’re following
The U.S. agreement with Canada and Mexico to limit nonessential travel has been extended a fifth time, through Sept. 21, the Department of Homeland Security said today.
The cost of “learning pods” — often from $30 an hour per child to $100 or more — has prompted concerns that they could make public education even more unequal.
Researchers have found a way to sanitize N95 masks for reuse using electric cookers like the Instant Pot, The Washington Post reports.
Cosmetic surgeons say business is booming, with quarantine offering an opportune time to recover in secrecy.
What you’re doing
When the public beaches closed in South Carolina, I started live-streaming sunrise from the ocean for my friends who were craving a nature fix. Somehow it’s become a daily thing: it gives me a way to connect with distant friends and connect them with one of the most basic, reassuring parts of nature.
— Judy Drew Fairchild, Dewees Island, S.C.
Let us know how you’re dealing with the outbreak. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.