Thursday, March 19
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TODAY’S COVERAGE HIGHLIGHTS:
The U.S. and global economies have come to a shuddering stop, unleashing a wave of layoffs that is much larger and moving much faster than job losses in previous downturns.

More African countries have closed their borders as the coronavirus’ local spread threatens to turn the continent of 1.3 billion people into an alarming new front for the pandemic.

President Donald Trump has declared U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams a rising star for his work during the coronavirus outbreak.

Cleaning workers are often the first line of defense against the global COVID-19 pandemic, cleaning and disinfecting homes, medical facilities and public spaces where the novel coronavirus could spread. But the people doing this all this cleaning earn low wages, often lack sick leave and paid days off.

A police officer walks in the empty Trocadero square, in Paris, Wednesday, March 18, 2020. French President Emmanuel Macron said that for 15 days starting at noon on Tuesday, people will be allowed to leave the place they live only for necessary activities such as shopping for food, going to work or taking a walk. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Veterinarian Eva Martinez feeds lemurs during a daily check up at the Madrid Zoo, Spain, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

What’s Ahead
UPCOMING by 12 a.m. Eastern Friday/0400 GMT: Public officials and health experts have said that the risk of transferring the virus person-to-person through the use of banknotes is small. But that has not stopped businesses from refusing to accept currency and some countries from urging their citizens to stop using banknotes altogether.

UPCOMING by 1 a.m. Eastern Friday/0500 GMT: The adolescent brain is definitely in play as authorities around the globe struggle to keep young people from gathering while parents fret at home about what they’re up to as the coronavirus spreads.

UPCOMING by 3 a.m. Eastern Friday/0700 GMT: The northern Italian city of Bergamo struggles with a huge toll — some of it hidden — as the epicenter of Italy’s coronavirus epidemic. Families here are deprived of a farewell with virus-stricken loved ones, or even a traditional funeral. And the main cemetery is so overwhelmed by the number of dead that military trucks transported 70 bodies to neighboring provinces for cremation this week.

UPCOMING at 5 a.m. Eastern Friday/0900 GMT: The coronavirus is now moving into parts of the world that may be the least prepared. Some countries in Africa and Latin America lack the isolation wards, ventilators or even trained health workers to respond.

One Good Thing
At a time of isolation, people in many European cities hit hard by the new coronavirus are taking at least a minute each night to come together in gratitude. They stand at open windows or on balconies in Rome, Madrid, Paris, Athens and Amsterdam, singing, cheering and applauding, even though they know their intended audience is too busy to listen.

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