Coronavirus Update: Cases Approach 5 Million, N.Y.C. Close to Reopening, Japan is in a Recession

By Anna Breuer on 18 May 2020
  • Share

A lake in Central Park


New York City’s mayor said the city may meet the criteria to begin to reopen the economy there in the first half of June.

Joseph La Lima, a barber in Kingston, New York, who defied the state’s lockdown measures and continued to cut hair from the back of his shop, may have infected over a dozen people, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The Ulster County district attorney’s office has launched an investigation into whether La Lima violated public health laws, a criminal offense, and whether any of his customers may also face penalties.

Meanwhile, the governor of Illinois said he will charge owners of bars, restaurants, and other establishments who open their businesses while pandemic restrictions such as closures are in place with a Class A misdemeanor.

Japan’s economy has fallen into a recession. The economy there contracted by 3.4% in the first three months of the year, the government said on Monday.

McDonald’s outlined ways in which it will minimize contact and maintain social distancing measures in its restaurants. The measures include limiting capacity once dining rooms reopen, keeping children’s play areas closed, cleaning bathrooms every half hour, and cleaning kiosks and tables between each use.

Hawaiian officials have become more strict in enforcing the two-week self-quarantine for those visiting or returning to the islands.  A tourist from New York was arrested after he posted photographs of him on the beach on Instagram while he was supposed to be in quarantine.

Meanwhile, 13 sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt testedpositive againfor Covid-19 after recovering from the disease, officials said, bringing into question both the testing procedures as well as whether those who have had the virus now have the antibodies that will resist a second infection.


Practice social distancing consistently no matter where you are outside your home and wear a mask in public.  Wash your hands often.  When you do leave to go shopping, wipe down your shopping cart with a Clorox-type wipe.  And did we say, “wash your hands”?


The number of coronavirus cases across the globe stands at 4.84 million, of which 1.87 million have recovered, based on data compiled by Worldometer, a service that compiles and makes available world statistics. The death toll now stands at 317,304.

In the United States and its territories, the number of confirmed cases stands at 1.53 million, while the death toll stands at 91,061. Russia now has the third highest number of cases in the world, with 290,678, with a death toll of 2,722, which officials in the United States believe to be a significant undercount.

While international comparisons of these figures are difficult, perhaps the most useful comparison is to look at the deaths per million members of the population, with the caveat that there are differences in how countries record deaths. It’s also important to keep in mind that the number of deaths is a lagging indicator.

San Marino, with a population of just over 33,000 and which has been testing all of its inhabitants, continues to have the highest number of deaths per million members of the population, at 1,209, unchanged for three days.

Belgium the second highest number of deaths per million members of the population, 786, is followed by Andorra with 660 and Spain with 591. Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Sweden have reported 528, 511, 431, and 366, respectively, while the Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland have reported 332, 313, and 218, respectively.  In Germany the figure is 96, while in Austria it is 70 (unchanged for three days).

The number of deaths per million members of the population in the United States is now 275.  It remains three in China, according to official figures there.


05-17 Tanglewood, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home and festival, cancelled all live performances for the season but announced an online program.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

Read previous post:
In ‘Calculated Risk,’ Italy to Reopen Its Borders to Tourists from EU Countries

Italy announced that EU citizens and those residing in Schengen Area countries will be exempt from the mandatory 14-day self-quarantine...