Posted by on March 22, 2020 10:51 am
Categories: A-Auto

You read that right:

Close to one billion people worldwide were confined to their homes on Saturday as the global coronavirus death toll shot past 11,000 and US states rolled out lockdown measures already imposed across swathes of Europe.

The pandemic has completely upended lives across the planet, restricting movement, shutting schools and forcing millions to work from home.

The number of detected cases has hit 300,000. The number of cases in Spain, Iran, and Germany has exploded. New York City’s prison system has been hit by an outbreak.

The coronavirus outbreak is likely to increase calls for America to de-privatize health care:

In recent weeks, you may have heard that the US, despite our high healthcare spending, has fewer hospital beds per capita than many other wealthy nations. You may have also heard in recent years about an epidemic of hospital closures in poorly served rural areas, or the 2019 closure of a major academic safety-net hospital in Philadelphia. These hospitals closed not because they are unneeded, but because they are unprofitable. For the American hospital landscape is shaped by market forces, which largely determine where hospitals grow and where they wane.

And that’s just the first reason.

But there is also an unintended silver lining to the outbreak:

In cities across the United States, traffic on roads and highways has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt.

Pollution has dropped too.

A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows huge declines in pollution over major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Atlanta.

Live updates from around the world here and here.