What you need to know today about the virus outbreak

The United States is bracing for a painful week, with a wave of coronavirus deaths expected across the nation.

“This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said.

New York City, the U.S. epicenter, New Orleans and Detroit face especially worrying days ahead. Yet President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are striking optimistic tones, insisting that hard weeks ahead will ultimately lead to the nation beginning to turn a corner.

Motorcyclists and friends of Chad Edmonds, of Cedar Rapids, wave to hospital workers from a parking ramp on the UnityPoint St. Luke's campus in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Edmonds has been battling COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, in the hospital and is in an induced coma, according to his parents, who took part in the show of support. (Rebecca F. MillerThe Gazette via AP)

Here are some of AP’s top stories Monday on the world’s coronavirus pandemic. Follow APNews.com/VirusOutbreak for updates through the day and APNews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak for stories explaining some of its complexities.


— The first alarms sounded in early January that the outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China would ignite a global pandemic. But the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.

An obituary in the Kansas City Star newspaper details the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on traditional funeral services, Sunday, April 5, 2020, in Overland Park, Kan. Most funerals now are either small private services with a public memorial service sometime in the distant future or no public service at all in response to social distancing and stay-at-home orders implemented in an effort to stem the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP PhotoCharlie Riedel)

— Coronavirus patients around the world are rushing to join studies of an experimental drug that showed promise against some similar viruses in the past. Interest in the drug remdesivir has been so great that the U.S. National Institutes of Health is boosting the size of its study.

— Across the globe grocery workers are on the frontlines during lockdowns. Their stores are deemed essential, and their work puts them close to the public and therefore at risk. They’re also afraid.

— Historic failures in government response to disasters and emergencies, medical abuse, neglect and exploitation have jaded generations of African Americans into a distrust of public institutions.

Police arrest doctors demanding facilities and prevention kits to attend to coronavirus patients, in Quetta, Pakistan, Monday, April 6, 2020. The government imposed a nationwide lockdown to try to contain the outbreak of the virus. (AP PhotoArshad Butt)

— A thick thread of the American experience has always been to hold the rest of the world at arm’s length. Now, the notion of a virus that came from a distant “elsewhere,” accurate or not, stands to carve deeper grooves in that landscape.


For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.

A woman with a protective face mask walks into the shade of an underpass Monday, April 6, 2020, in Tokyo. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people, but for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. (AP PhotoEugene Hoshiko)

Here are the symptoms of the virus compared with the common flu.

One of the best ways to prevent spread of the virus is washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.

You should wash your phone, too. Here’s how.

TRACKING THE VIRUS: Drill down and zoom in at the individual county level, and you can access numbers that will show you the situation where you are, and where loved ones or people you’re worried about live.


— 94%: A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 94% of Americans say they are staying away from large groups, up from 68% in mid-March.


— SIDEWALK THANKS: Workers at New Orleans’ Ochsner Medical Center have been greeted with expressions of gratitude from an unnamed artist, sketched out in chalk on the sidewalk. Says one lab technician: They “give us hope.”

— TIGER INFECTED: A tiger at the Bronx Zoo has tested positive for the new coronavirus, in what is believed to be the first known infection in an animal in the U.S. or a tiger anywhere.

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak