Britain, Antibodies, Bundesliga: Your Friday Briefing

Black people in England and Wales are twice as likely to die from the coronavirus as white people, according to official figures that lay bare an extraordinary gap in the toll of the coronavirus.

The analysis, conducted by Britain’s Office of National Statistics, found that longstanding differences in wealth, education, living arrangements and medical history could explain a portion of the outsize impact of the virus on racial and ethnic minorities, but not all of it.

“This pandemic has not been the great leveler. It’s been the great magnifier, as it were,” said Dr. Riyaz Patel, an associate professor of cardiology at University College London.

Does being outdoors limit transmission? Lithuanian officials say it does, and they are closing streets to allow restaurants and bars to offer outdoor-only service. So are leaders in Sydney, Australia, which is allowing surfing and swimming but not socializing at beaches. Bangkok is reopening parks but forbidding most social activities.

Germany is letting older children go back to school, reasoning that they will better comply with rules on masks and distancing. Denmark is doing the opposite: permitting younger children to return in hopes that they are less at risk.

The new study is the largest of several that suggests people who have had Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, would gain some immunity for some period of time. Health officials in several countries have hung their hopes on tests that identify antibodies to decide who is immune and can go back to work.

It is a national undertaking that for the first time links up major hospitals and research institutes with Israel’s vaunted high-tech sector and its military-industrial behemoths.

“In Israel, if there is a mission that has to be done, it’s like a war,” General Gold said. “Everybody drops what they’re doing.”

What we’re looking at: Room Rater, a Twitter account that rates the design of rooms in the backgrounds of Skype and Zoom calls. For the nosy among us who are bored of staring at people’s bookshelves.

That jobs report, from November 2008, indicated that employers had cut 533,000 jobs. Analysts expect the April 2020 losses to be 41 times worse — 22 million jobs.

There will be nothing fun about Friday’s report. It’s hard to even fathom what we’re going to learn, or what kinds of words can capture the human pain beneath the eye-popping numbers.

I and the rest of the jobs report nerds will dutifully analyze and do our best to find insight in the thick stack of numbers issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday morning. But it will be with none of the giddy enthusiasm of trying to solve a puzzle; rather, it’s a moment for sorrow at what has been lost.

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