Hong Kong reports its first confirmed reinfection
A 33-year-old man was infected a second time more than four months after he initially contracted the coronavirus, a team at the University of Hong Kong said on Monday. After getting sick in Hong Kong in March, the man tested positive on Aug. 15 after a trip to Spain via Britain, picking up a strain that was circulating in Europe in July and August.
Doctors have reported several cases of presumed reinfection in the United States and elsewhere, but none of those cases were confirmed with rigorous testing. The Hong Kong researchers sequenced the virus from both infections.
Some good news: The patient did have an immune response but did not show symptoms the second time. “His immune response prevented the disease from getting worse,” an immunologist at Yale University said. Though cause for concern, one case like this out of tens of millions “should not cause undue alarm as of yet,” a Columbia University epidemiologist said.
In other developments:
The health authorities in France said a virus outbreak at a nudist camp in the southern resort town of Cap d’Agde was “very worrying.”
The first volunteer was inoculated with a “made in Italy” vaccine on Monday at the Spallanzani hospital in Rome, which specializes in infectious diseases.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand on Monday extended a lockdown in Auckland until Sunday night, saying it was necessary to make sure a cluster had been extinguished.
Usain Bolt, who won eight gold medals over the course of three Olympics, is in quarantine alone while awaiting results from a coronavirus test he took on Saturday.
A tsunami of job losses is about to hit Europe
Despite government furlough programs that have kept European workers employed, tens of millions of jobs will soon be cut in transportation, retail and many other industries across the continent.
As companies downsize, as many as 59 million people may face reduced hours or elimination of their positions altogether, according to a study by McKinsey & Company. The European Central Bank warned last week that unemployment was likely to surge and stay high even as the pandemic wanes.
“Europe has been successful at dampening the initial effects of the crisis,” said John Hurley, senior research manager at Eurofound, the research arm of the European Union. “But in all likelihood, unemployment is going to come home to roost, especially when the generous furlough programs start to ease off.”
Go deeper: Already, cuts are close at hand. Airbus, BP, Renault, Lufthansa, Air France, the Debenhams department store chain, the Bank of Ireland, the retailer W.H. Smith and even McLaren Group and its Formula One racing team, along with countless smaller businesses, are among those preparing for layoffs and reductions.
Protests follow a police shooting in Wisconsin
Kenosha, Wis., is under its second night of curfew after protests over the police shooting on Sunday of a Black man. The man, Jacob Blake, was shot seven times in the back while he opened the door of a parked vehicle on a residential street, officials said. He remained in serious condition as of Monday morning, while the officers involved were placed on administrative leave.
Protests erupted on Sunday after graphic footage of the shooting spread across social media. Demonstrations also broke out in other cities, including Portland, Ore.; Madison, Wis.; and Chicago.
Quote of note: “The police haven’t told us why they did what they did to him,” said Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer representing the family. “Being a Black man in America, he was suspicious automatically.”
If you have 5 minutes, this is worth it
The lonely plight of the Great Barrier Reef
Travel bans are keeping thousands of travelers away from the Great Barrier Reef. Tour operators in Cairns, Australia, were already grappling with the looming threat of climate change, which is destroying the reefs, and now the coronavirus has delivered a hammer blow to their lifeblood.
Our reporter Livia Albeck-Ripka looked at the uncertainty in the region, as people realize they can no longer depend on outsiders. “We’d never stopped running before — the global financial crisis, terrorism attacks, airline strikes; you name it, the world has thrown it at us,” one reef guide said. “We don’t know if we’ll ever get back to normal.”
Here’s what else is happening
Aleksei Navalny: Physicians treating the Russian opposition leader said that he had in all likelihood been poisoned. Mr. Navalny remains in a medically induced coma in stable condition. While his life is not in danger, it is too early to rule out serious long-term complications, doctors said.
Republicans: The Republican Party renominated President Trump on the first day of their convention in Charlotte, N.C. Despite rising coronavirus rates, job losses and vanishing savings, Mr. Trump’s approval ratings on the economy remain durable.
Belarus: The security forces on Monday arrested two of the last high-profile opposition figures not already in jail for demonstrating against the country’s authoritarian president, Aleksandr G. Lukashenko.
Poliovirus: A virus that once paralyzed tens of thousands of children a year is said to have been eradicated on the African continent, though a minor vaccine-derived strain still infects hundreds.
India: At least 17 people were injured in the collapse of an apartment building in Mumbai, according to news reports, and about 30 people were pulled to safety. Dozens more may still be trapped in the debris.
New Zealand massacre trial: The final phase of the murder and terrorism case after last year’s attack at two mosques is underway and is scheduled to last four days. It presents complex legal and logistical challenges and, for victims, the emotional turmoil of confronting their assailant.
TikTok: The popular video app sued the U.S. government on Monday, accusing the Trump administration of depriving it of due process when the president issued an executive order banning its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, from making transactions in the U.S.
Snapshot: Above, a concert that was also a scientific experiment to help create safety measures for live events around the world. In Leipzig, Germany, volunteers who had been tested for the virus beforehand were gathered in an arena with distanced seating. Outfitted with tracking devices, masks and fluorescent disinfectant, they were then asked to do things like visit concession stands and restrooms with varying degrees of social distancing in an effort to determine which scenarios pose the greatest risk for transmission.
What we’re reading: This Los Angeles Times story about the long history of militant activism in Portland, Ore. “It’s helpful context for what’s been happening there for the past couple of months,” writes Melina Delkic, on the Briefings team.
Now, a break from the news
And now for the Back Story on …
Our colleagues at The Morning looked at how you can fight the feeling of tired routines, which people are so desperate to escape that in one study, 67 percent of men and 25 percent of women chose to shock themselves over sitting alone with their thoughts.
So how can you fight it (without electric shocks)?
Try new things. Boredom can result from feeling unchallenged, explains Erin Westgate of the University of Florida, for the website The Conversation. So use the downtime of the pandemic to take on a new activity, like cooking, gardening, home improvement, genealogy or exercise. There are online classes for almost anything these days.
Socialize safely. Boredom has led some Americans to behave unsafely, at parties, bars and elsewhere, Luke Fernandez and Susan Matt write in Salon. But it’s possible to see other people safely — on a walk or a bike ride, during a masked or outdoor grocery run or, if all else fails, over a video chat.
Embrace boredom, to a point. Letting your mind wander can free up time for creative thinking. “The secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed,” the great psychologist Amos Tversky said. “You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
Thanks for starting your day with me. See you next time.
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the break from the news. You can reach the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about a surge in shootings in the U.S.
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