16,000 New Yorkers could die from the coronavirus, according to Gates Foundation projections


The coronavirus pandemic could result in the death of 16,000 New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned from Albany on Wednesday in his daily news conference.

To date, the virus has killed 1,914 across the state with 83,712 confirmed cases, according to the statistics shared Wednesday by Cuomo.

“There is a group that is funded by the Gates Foundation that projects 93,000 Americans will lose their life by the time this is over,” Cuomo said. “That model suggests 16,000 New Yorkers will pass away by the time this runs its course,” which could be through July, he added.

His U.S.-wide projection is less than what the White House gave on Tuesday, which estimated the number of deaths to be between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans.

The group referenced by the governor is the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and their specific numbers for the two rates on Wednesday afternoon are 93,765 dying in the U.S. and 16,090 in the state. The institute takes into account the effects of social distancing measures until at least the end of May 2020.

Factors affecting the forecasts, which are updated every day at 6 a.m. (PST), are based on a wide range of data sources, including state health agencies, among others, a representative for IHME told MarketWatch.

The model, which only provides statewide projections, does not provide an estimate for the death toll in New York City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.

As of Wednesday, the city has accounted for 1,096, or 57.2%, of New York state’s 1,914 deaths.

Meanwhile, at a separate news conference Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the city is expected to run out of ventilators by Sunday. He said that to handle the surge of victims, New York City will need 2,500 to 3,000 ventilators over the next week and 65,000 hospital beds by the end of April. The city will be retrofitting hotels and large venues to create 39,000 beds.

Cuomo pointed out on Wednesday that New York state will account for roughly 16% of the total deaths in the U.S. based on the modeling from the IHME. The actual figure based on IHME’s specific online numbers is a just pinch higher at 17%.

“I don’t even understand that,” he said. “Since New York is so much higher right now.”

The governor was referring to the disproportionate number of both coronavirus cases and deaths in the state. New York currently accounts for 42.7% of the U.S.’s total 195,929 confirmed cases and for 45% of the country’s 4,310 coronavirus deaths.

“If you believe these numbers, 16,000 deaths in New York, that means you’re going to have tens of thousands of deaths outside of New York,” Cuomo said. “So to the extent people watch their nightly news in Kansas and say ‘well this is a New York problem’, that’s not what these numbers say. It says it’s a New York problem today, tomorrow it’s a Kansas problem and a Texas problem and a New Mexico problem.”

Along with the projections, Cuomo said Wednesday that 7,917 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed across New York compared to the figures he announced Tuesday, 1,297 new hospitalizations and 391 more deaths.



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‘Would you risk your life for a jar of marmalade?’ My coronavirus survival guide to navigating grocery stores safely


NEW YORK — It’s not always easy to ask for help.

One of my best friends in New York is self-quarantining. She is smart, extremely well-read and makes me laugh. We read long-form articles together and, afterwards, we discuss them over tea. We don’t always agree, which we like, but we do agree most of the time, and we’re OK with that, too.

My friend remembers the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s, and witnessed people get up from a park bench if they thought a sick person sat next to them. She did not even get around to telling me about the many polio epidemics. Perspective is good: THIS IS NOT THE FIRST PANDEMIC. (That’s Point No. 1).

We take tap-dancing classes together (her idea). At least, we did until the social-distancing policies prescribed by public health officials came into effect. On Monday, we each vowed to practice 15 dance steps. That’s more “dig, brush, toe, heel, paddle and roll, paradiddle!” for me.

It’s good to be cautious, but it makes sense to be careful and take your time.

She listens carefully, tells me exactly how she feels, and remains open to changing her mind. I learn from her. Before tap-dancing class, she asks me, “So, Quentin, what color is your tutu today?” I usually describe the most ridiculous-sounding tutu. “Pink,” I say, “with yellow ruffles.”

My friend is 95, and she is now blind. Mostly, I feel grateful that we are both here at the same time, and that our paths crossed. She is one of my favorite people on the planet. She grew up in an Irish community in Massachusetts. I grew up in Dublin. She calls me “lace-curtain Irish.”

She needed a couple of weeks’ worth of groceries. That is how I found myself with another Irishman — who moved to the U.S. 30 years before I did — at the Fairway Market on Broadway and 74th Street on Monday afternoon, with a shopping list in one hand and a grocery cart in the other.

We’d been asked to help buy our friend groceries, so we joined forces. I didn’t like him usurping my place as Sir Edmund Hillary on this potentially hazardous expedition. (Nor did I want to be Francis Crozier to his Sir John Franklin.) But it’s a lot for one person to carry the load. We made a good team.

I wore a balaclava I’d bought for a New Year’s Eve midnight run in Central Park.

“If we get coronavirus, a grocery store is where we’ll get it!” I said, surveying the food aisles. He looked at me like I was about to rob a store, not shop in one. “What’s wrong?” I said. I was wearing a balaclava I’d bought for a New Year’s Eve midnight run in Central Park. He tried to muffle a laugh.

“Would you risk your life for a jar of marmalade?” I asked. He turned his head, as if to roll his eyes up to heaven, but then appeared to think better of it midroll. I presumed he was about to say, “You’re completely overreacting.” But he’s a gem, so he did a diplomatic 360-degree head roll, instead.

As for wearing a D.I.Y. mask, I could be wrong, I could be right, as the former Johnny Rotten sang. There are conflicting messages on whether a face mask other than the scarcely available medical-grade N95 helps. With so many people milling about, I decided to err on the side of caution.

Research has concluded that masks have helped reduce contagion by reducing droplets being sprayed into the air during flu season; and infectious-disease specialist Anthony Fauci has said the White House’s coronavirus task force is considering giving the public the green light to wear them.

N95 medical-grade masks help filter viruses larger than 0.1 micrometers.

N95 masks filter viruses larger than 0.1 micrometers (a micrometer, um, is one millionth of a meter). The coronavirus is 0.125 micrometer. Still, I would not wear an N95. They’re needed elsewhere. And if I am asymptomatic? If I can avoid passing on one droplet while reaching for the chicken giblets, I will.

Proponents of face masks also point to countries in East and Southeast Asia, including South Korea and Taiwan, which appear to have slowed the spread of the coronavirus more effectively than the U.S., Spain and Italy have. But they also have other safety measures, including early testing, in place.

I wore gloves because studies have found that shopping carts are traditionally covered in all kinds of germs, just like subway poles and turnstiles, or anything else that lots of people touch on a regular basis. I constantly lose my gloves, alas. But I have adopted a wartime thrift: I wear odd pairs with pride.

I did not bring alcohol wipes. Next time, I will at least bring Clorox

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wipes in a Ziploc bag. I tell myself every 15 minutes to wash my hands as soon as I get home both before and after I put the groceries away. “When you get home, Quentin, WASH YOUR HANDS.” (Point No. 2.)

Shopping carts are covered in all kinds of germs, just like subway poles.

Here’s the other reason I wore a ridiculous balaclava: It’s not comfortable, it reminds me that we’re dealing with a serious health emergency, it covers almost my entire head, and — here’s the science bit — I am constantly reminded: DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FACE. (That’s No. 3.)

If you take anything away from this, rather than becoming embroiled in a heated debate on face masks, take that. Coronavirus can survive longer on a solid surface than on a pair of gloves, but it can live for a time on different surfaces, so I try to be aware that it could be on my gloves, too.

Growing up in Ireland in the 1980s during the Troubles, and living in London during the 1990s, swanning around in a balaclava would have been a risky proposition, especially with an Irish accent. But during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic with my now transoceanic twang, I think I’ll be OK.

As an editor, I play devil’s advocate with my writers, push back and ask questions. It helps to be a little paranoid. I’m putting a life skill to good use. The coronavirus pandemic is a time when germaphobes (check), quirky paranoid types (check) and workaholics (check) come into their own.

I took my time, and I stayed 6 feet away from others whenever possible.

But here’s the other thing I learned during My Day at the Supermarket: Shopping can be stressful under these conditions. It’s good to be a cautious — and a smart — shopper. I usually want to get in and out in double-quick time, but I decided to be careful and take my time.

What’s more, I enjoyed it. Everything I could have done to minimize my chances of picking up COVID-19, I did. I stayed 6 feet away from others, whenever possible, including my shopping partner. We did not go at rush hour. I talked to staff and other customers.

Everyone is freaked out. Friendly banter puts me and, I hope, others at ease. A nice woman recommended the London broil. I read peer-reviewed studies — not Facebook

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 posts. I choose caremongering over scaremongering because FEAR IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. (Point No. 4.)

There is no evidence linking coronavirus transmission with food or food packaging. Juan Dumois, a pediatric infectious-diseases physician at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., suggests that viruses would survive better on “artificial fibers” such as plastic or polyester.

Viruses survive better on artificial fibers such as plastic, vinyl and polyester.

This, too, might help: Sarah Fortune, a professor who chairs the department of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that while health-care workers might have to worry about their clothes, we should not.

But here’s the deal: If you want to change clothes or wear a mask, do it. TRUST YOUR GUT. (Point No. 5.)

As my self-quarantining friend told me the other day on the phone, “Quentin, I’m 95! Do you think I’m scared of coronavirus?” But that doesn’t mean she’s standing in line at the supermarket, either.

If you are concerned about going to the grocery store, imagine what it’s like for those who work there. I told every staff member I spoke to at Fairway, “Thank you for working today.” They need to hear that. Customers must be frazzled, and a frazzled customer is often not a gentle or happy customer.

I also got something I couldn’t buy at any store or pharmacy. Getting out of the house for a couple of hours was a great tonic. I didn’t see Yoko Ono rummaging through the vegetables at Fairway — I did see her there once, and I left her to it — but I did meet another friend outside, from 6 feet away.

If you’re nervous about shopping, imagine what it’s like for the staff.

We had two weeks’ worth, maybe more, of groceries — including bottles, cans, six-packs of kitchen roll, liters of milk, jars of this, that and the other — and they were heavy. I walked one block, and we had a few more to go. I spotted an abandoned cart on the street corner. “We’ll return it,” I said. “Later!”

I quickly piled the groceries into the cart and pushed it across four traffic lanes on Broadway. We’re in the middle of a national emergency, after all; if the cops stopped me, I’d simply tell them the truth. Thank you, NYPD, first responders and health professionals, and thank you, Fairway Market.

As I headed down Amsterdam with the speed of a clanking, yet nutritious, bullet, a man ran out of a jewelry store in pursuit of another man. “People are dying, and you try to steal something from my store? You motherf—!” Ah, yes. There are always folks with bigger problems than mine.

It was a good day in Manhattan. To quote that opening line from the postwar film noir, “The Naked City”: “There are 8 million stories in the naked city. This has been one of them.” My 95-year-old friend would have been 23 when that film was released. She, too, has more stories to tell.

This essay is part of a MarketWatch series, ‘Dispatches from a pandemic.’

MarketWatch photo illustration/iStockphoto

Voices from around the world.



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The shame of Premier League clubs cutting workers’ wages and asking for government cash while paying stars in full


Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur has been criticized for leaning on government support to pay furloughed staff while continuing to pay its £100,000-a-week-plus stars in full.

The North London club is cutting the wages of 550 non-playing staff by 20% in April and May, making use of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme “where appropriate”, it said on Tuesday. However, the players, including Harry Kane, who reportedly earns £200,000 ($248,000) a week, have not taken pay cuts.

Korean forward Son Heung-min earns £140,000 per week, while England midfielder Dele Ali earns £100,000.

Newcastle United, whose highest-earner Jonjo Shelvey reportedly nets £80,000 a week, and Norwich have also put non-playing staff on furlough and will make use of the government’s scheme. Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe became the first premier league manager to take a voluntary pay cut on Wednesday, as the club said a number of employees would be put on leave for a minimum of three weeks under the government’s scheme.

The chancellor Rishi Sunak announced last month that the U.K. government would step in to pay 80% of the salaries of those furloughed due to the pandemic – up to £2,500 a month.

The Premier League and the players’ union – the Professional Footballers’ Association – will hold a meeting on Wednesday to discuss a collective wage deferral. But as of Wednesday afternoon no such agreement was in place.

Read: Italy-based ex-Manchester United star gives ‘clearer coronavirus advice’ than political leaders

The chairman of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee in parliament, Julian Knight said: “It sticks in the throat. This exposes the crazy economics in English football and the moral vacuum at its centre.”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the BBC: “It should be those with the broadest shoulders who go first because they can carry the greatest burden and have probably got savings, rather than those who were in catering or hospitality who have probably got no savings and live week by week and who probably won’t get the (government) benefits for five weeks.”

Tottenham’s accounts, also published on Tuesday, revealed that chairman Daniel Levy earned £7 million last year, including a £3 million bonus for the completion of a new stadium. The club reported revenue of £460.7 million and profit after tax of £68.6 million. However, Levy said he hoped the discussions with the PFA and the Premier League would “result in players and coaches doing their bit for the football ecosystem.” The Premier League was postponed on Mar.13 after a number of players were forced to self-isolate and the season has been suspended indefinitely.

In contrast, players at German clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have taken temporary pay cuts in a bid to support lower paid employees during the crisis. Italian club Juventus said its players, including Cristiano Ronaldo, have agreed to waive four months’ of wages worth approximately $100 million.



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The most affordable 3-row SUVs


Drivers looking for practical family transportation with plenty of seating for everyone are probably looking at three-row crossover SUVs. Sure, you could spring for a minivan, but if you’re just not ready to take the minivan plunge, these SUVs have similar levels of family-friendliness and practicality, sometimes at more affordable prices.

Here are the eight most affordable new 3-row SUVs you can get for 2020.

Volkswagen Atlas — $31,545

The Volkswagen Atlas is a relatively new contender among midsize 3-row crossovers, having just come out in 2018. The Atlas impresses with roomy seating in all three rows (this has the roomiest third row of any crossover on this list) plus a generously sized cargo bay to boot.

Some have accused the Atlas of having underpowered engine options, but it’s good on gas, which makes it a good choice for drivers who value fuel economy over performance. This Volkswagen 

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 delivers carlike handling that might make you think you’re driving a smaller car than you are. 

Also see: Looking for a minivan? Here are 5 great ones for under $40k

Dodge Durango — $30,495

The Dodge Durango is a muscular choice among midsize 3-row family SUVs. Not only does it have a mean aesthetic, but it also comes standard with a strong V6 engine, which is upgradable with two different V8 options.

Dodge

The Dodge Durango. It’s got muscle.

Most drivers will find no fault in the standard V6, which strikes a nice balance between performance and efficiency. The interior of the Durango has plenty of room, and it has one of the best infotainment systems in the business. 

GMC Acadia — $29,800

The GMC Acadia is a nice midsize crossover that got a face-lift for 2020, adding more standard features and updating its rugged yet premium aesthetic. Every Acadia has three rows of seats, with the exception of the new off-road-oriented AT4 trim, which only has seating for five.

The Acadia got slightly smaller when the current generation was introduced, leaving the legroom a little tight in the third row, but it’s fine for young kids or if you’re just using it occasionally. 

Chevrolet Traverse — $29,800

The Chevrolet Traverse has the exact same starting MSRP as the GMC Acadia because the two are very similar. However, the Traverse is a bigger SUV with more room in the third row, which makes it a more family-friendly minivan alternative.

Chevrolet

The Chevy Traverse

The Traverse comes in a close second place behind the Atlas for most third-row legroom of any SUV on this list. If you’re looking for an affordable family hauler and you’re planning on using those third-row seats often, your passengers will really appreciate the space in this Chevy.

Kia Sorento — $26,690

The Kia Sorento is a practical and affordable midsize crossover with standard 3-row seating in every trim. However, since it’s on the smaller size for the midsize SUV segment, there isn’t a ton of cargo space behind the third row.

Also see: The 10 best new car models of 2020

Among the Sorento’s many virtues are a premium cabin with an excellent infotainment system, a smooth and comfortable ride, and an excellent value with one of the lowest starting prices of any midsize 3-row crossover. Its base engine is good on gas, but upgrading to the brawny available V6 gives this Kia a surprising amount of muscle. 

Volkswagen Tiguan — $24,945
Volkswagen

The VW Tiguan

The Volkswagen Tiguan is a compact crossover with three rows of seats, but there’s a catch. Three-row seating is standard on front-wheel-drive models, but if you upgrade to all-wheel drive, the third row becomes a $595 option. The extra cost for more seats plus the extra cost to add AWD means that a Tiguan equipped with both can get quite a bit pricier than a FWD Tiguan where the third row comes at no extra charge. That complicated caveat aside, the Tiguan is a solid choice in 3-row SUVs with a generous list of standard features and a strong reliability rating. 

Mitsubishi Outlander — $24,895

The Mitsubishi

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  Outlander is overdue for a redesign, but its affordable base price makes it an attractive option for bargain hunters looking for a 3-row crossover. It got a modest update for 2020 with the addition of the stylish new SP trim and some newly available features.

Also see: 8 affordable new cars priced well below $20k

There’s a plug-in hybrid version of the Outlander available, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a third row of seats to make room for the battery. The non-hybrid version of the Outlander still boasts good fuel economy plus a surprisingly strong towing rating for a compact SUV. Like the Tiguan, the third row is a bit tight since the Outlander has compact dimensions rather than midsize. 

Dodge Journey — $23,495

The Dodge Journey is the most affordable 3-row crossover on the market, but if we’re being completely honest, it’s a tough SUV to recommend buying new in 2020. The Journey is simply outdated, having been around since 2009 without ever getting a major redesign. That means you can get a very affordable used model that won’t be that different from a new one.

Be sure to read: The best times to buy a new car

With that said, if you like the idea of being the first owner of a new midsize SUV with three rows of seats and a manufacturer’s warranty, then you’ll appreciate the value proposition of the Journey. 



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Stockpiling triggers boom in grocery sales as self-isolating Brits buy 22% more alcohol


Christmas came early for U.K. grocers as supermarket sales in March trumped those usually posted over the festive period and broke all records, new data show.

Households facing lengthy lockdowns appear to have panic bought long-life items such as pasta, rice and tins of vegetable, as they splashed out a hefty £10.8 billion ($13.4 billion) over the past four weeks at Britain’s grocers, according to latest figures from market research firm Kantar.

The widely followed data give the first insight into the effect stockpiling has had on supermarket sales as investors look to food retailers, such as Tesco

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Sainsbury

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and Morrison

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which are increasingly being seen as defensive stocks during the crisis. The U.K’s third biggest player, Asda, is owned by Walmart

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which has said it is reviewing its options for the chain. Developments in the U.K. grocery market could be seen as a playbook for the U.S., which is slightly behind Britain in terms of the coronavirus crisis.

Read: Resurgent Tesco stock could have more good news ahead

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said: “Retailers and their staff have been on the frontline as households prepare for an extended stay at home, with grocery sales amounting to £10.8 billion during the past four weeks alone — that’s even higher than levels seen at Christmas, the busiest time of year under normal circumstances.

“Growth has been primarily driven by people making additional shopping trips and buying slightly more, rather than a widespread increase in very large trolleys,” or shopping carts, full of purchases.

In the four days between March 16 and March 19, a Monday-through-Thursday span, 88% of households visited a grocer, making five trips on average — adding up to 42 million extra shopping trips in less than a week.

Read: U.K. grocer Sainsbury is placing big bets, and here’s how that could boost the stock

McKevitt said: “With restaurants and cafés now closed, none of us can eat meals on the go any longer and an extra 503 million meals, mainly lunches and snacks, will be prepared and eaten at home every week for the foreseeable future.

Those missing the pub have been stocking up on booze to recreate trips to their favorite haunts, some of them socializing with friends over apps like Houseparty and FaceTime. The Kantar data show alcohol sales were boosted by 22%, an additional £199 million, in the past month, as Brits hit the bottle.

Clive Black, an analyst at broker Shore Capital, warned: “With so much stocking up, consumption of filled-up larders and freezers is likely to lower near-term U.K. grocery demand.”

While the economic shadow of the coronavirus crisis could be long and dark, he offers some optimism: “From a relative perspective, that may enhance the attractiveness of the U.K. supermarkets as equity investment plays, as their defensiveness, free cash generation, liquidity and solvency shines through.”



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