Monday Sunrise Briefing: Europe’s lockdown flattens the curve

"Yes, you can," says a banner next to a women wearing a traditional mantilla dress as she celebrates Palm Sunday during a lockdown, in Ronda, Spain, April 5, 2020.

Europe’s worst hit countries - Italy, Spain, and France - saw coronavirus death tolls declining this weekend as weeks of lockdowns prove effective. Tension over restarting European economies rose, too. Italy’s prime minister said he didn’t expect to lift social distancing measures for another week, but called for a Europe-wide economic recovery plan. As the number of cases dropped, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Monday he would open small shops next week, and all shops and malls on May 1. “We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said.

In the U.S., there were calls for resolve Sunday, including the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who told Americans that this could be “the hardest” week of your lives. “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,’’ he told “Fox News Sunday.”

2. A monarch’s message of resoluteness and hope. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised address Sunday, thanking healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic and citizens who have reached out to help others. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any,” she said, affirming “that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet, good-humored resolve, and of fellow feeling still characterize this country.”

Why We Wrote This

Good morning! Welcome to your Monday, April 6, 2020, sunrise briefing.

Here are three news events from this past weekend (while you may have been binging on Netflix's "Tiger King," doing a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, and enjoying an offline life). Also, what to look for in the news this week.

In closing, the queen invoked the words of a World War II-era song “We’ll Meet Again”:“We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return,” she said. “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”

The queen’s address came shortly before U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, diagnosed with COVID-19, was admitted to the hospital as a “precautionary step.”

3. Allies in the fight against coronavirus. Last week, President Trump ordered 3M to reserve all N95 masks for only the U.S. market, a move that would cut sales to Latin America and Canada. On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau noted that such a move could hurt the U.S., since Canada ships medical gloves and testing kits to the U.S now and some of materials from the N95 masks originate in Canada. On Sunday, conservative Canadian politicians slammed Trump’s order. But Mr. Trudeau took a more diplomatic approach: “We are not looking at retaliatory measures or measures that are punitive, ” he said. “We know it is in both our countries interests to cooperate.


CNSphoto via REUTERS
Chinese citizens observe a moment of silence Saturday April 4, 2020 in Beijing as China holds a national memorial for those who died of the coronavirus.

Look Ahead

Monday, April 6

Oil meeting postponed. The leaders of oil-producing nations planned to meet online today to discuss crude oil output goals. But a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia was reignited this past weekend. After oil prices tumbled to an 18-year low, most observers still expect the sides to meet later this week. 

New, bite-size storytelling. A new video-streaming service, Quibi, debuts. It will offer episodes that last 10-minutes or less, and are designed to be viewed on a smartphone. The $1.8 billion enterprise was founded by former Disney chief Jeffrey Katzenberg and former Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman. Quibi launches with 50 shows. Subscriptions cost $4.99 a month with ads, and $7.99 a month without ads. 

Tuesday, April 7

Democratic test. Despite a statewide shelter-at-home order, Wisconsin voters are expected to head to the polls for a presidential primary. Absentee balloting has surged. Several other states have postponed their primaries.

Wednesday, April 8

Jews celebrate freedom. Passover, the annual commemoration of the Israelites exodus from Egypt, a journey from slavery to freedom, begins at sundown. “This year we are enslaved - next year we will be free,” Rabbi Noam Marans told the Associated Press, describing the celebration of Passover during the coronavirus lockdown.

Friday, April 10

Good Friday. Christians honor Christ Jesus's crucifixion, which precedes his resurrection, celebrated on Easter Sunday.

Generosity Watch

Photos courtesy David E. Rudolph
Organizer David E. Rudolph (left) with chefs Maxcel Hardy and Genevieve Vang while preparing meals for Detroit homeless shelters.

Here’s a recipe for giving: Too many perishables, five generous chefs, and friends in need.

When the coronavirus lockdown hit Detroit recently, many restaurants shuttered. Some gave their inventory of food to employees. But a few still had perishables to spare. That’s when a group of restaurateurs and chefs decided to cook meals for the local homeless shelters. They dubbed their effort, "Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen for Good."

Talk about food fusion. The group includes Chef Maxcel Hardy of Coop Caribbean Fusion, Ron Bartell of Kuzzo’s Chicken and Waffles, Stephanie Byrd of The Block and Flood’s Bar, James Beard Award-nominated chef Genevieve Vang of Bangkok 96 Street Food, and community executive chef Phil Jones of Ma Haru.

But the result is some inspired cooking. “We are not sure what the menu of foods will be,” chef Vang tells the Detroit Metro Times. “But you can be sure it will taste good because it’s prepared with love and from the soul of our hearts.”

Hidden gem

Start your week with a recent story that inspired Monitor readers:

Say cheese! Families commemorate their isolation with ‘porchraits’

Sneak preview

In tonight’s Daily Edition, watch for our story about Joy Harjo, the first Native American poet laureate. She talks about hearing the collective heart of the country, and the importance of listening.

Finally, check out the Monitor’s selected stories from Friday's subscription-only Daily Edition:

  1. How online learning may be more than a stopgap in the US
  2. In Kentucky, a Democratic governor gains new fans: Republicans
  3. Say cheese! Families commemorate isolation with ‘porchraits’
  4. Hot commodity: How toilet paper became an icon of stability
  5. Points of progress: Where one epidemic is in retreat

This is a beta test - an experiment with an early Monday morning news update. Please give us your feedback via the link below and let us know what you think. Thank you!

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