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A breath of fresh air Environment
Some uplifting news to start the week. Yes, coronavirus has forced countries across the globe to shelter in place for weeks now. And while that’s certainly had negative socioeconomic effects, it's done wonders for the environment. With data from NASA, Reuters’ team built a series of maps to show the drastic reduction in air pollution above major cities because of widespread lockdowns.
How has the pandemic changed what we think about on a daily basis? The Washington Post looked at Google searches to find out. By comparing what people searched for in April 2019 to April 2020, they unearthed what hasn’t changed much since last year, like our interest in “how to boil an egg”, and what has, like our interest in “how to make hand sanitizer”.
One measure of a disease’s contagiousness is its basic reproduction number (R0), which indicates the number of new cases that typically spawn from one sick person. COVID-19’s R0 is estimated to be between two and three, high enough to spread rapidly through a population without intervention, but not nearly as high as chicken pox or measles. In this project, The Guardian shows how certain underlying assumptions and behavioral changes can affect coronavirus’s R0 and its spread.
As the coronavirus saga continues, global supply chains are starting to feel the pressure. Governments across the world are having to make difficult choices about whether to stockpile certain essentials, as nations like Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Russia have already limited food exports. Countries like Singapore — which imports some 90% of its food — are going to feel the most intense repercussions.