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Astros’ Justin Verlander donating MLB paychecks to coronavirus relief
This is one reason to cheer one specific Astro. Star pitcher Justin Verlander announced in a video on Instagram with supermodel wife Kate Hudson that he will be donating his paychecks to different organizations every week helping families deal with losses caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the nation. MLB recently announced...
Should You Wear a Mask?
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that Americans wear face coverings when venturing out in public. The new guidelines come a month after the surgeon general urged people to stop buying masks, tweeting that they are “NOT effective” in preventing the general public from contracting COVID-19. So, what exactly should people wear now and when should they wear them?On this episode of the podcast Social Distance, James Hamblin answers Katherine Wells’s basic questions about the coronavirus. What is a virus? Why is this one so bad? And what should be done to avoid catching it?Listen to the episode here:Subscribe to Social Distance on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or another podcast platform to receive new episodes as soon as they’re published.What follows is an edited and condensed transcript of their conversation.Katherine Wells: What even is a virus?James Hamblin: It's just a strand of nucleic acids, DNA or RNA, wrapped in some little coating or shell capsule that can keep it alive for a small period of time.Wells: Are viruses like early life forms?Hamblin: This is a fundamental question of biology and beyond even: “Is a virus alive?” It depends on how you define alive. A virus requires a living being in order to reproduce. It cannot reproduce on its own. But in much subtler ways, most living things require other living things in order to continue living. Human beings can't reproduce on their own, if you take one human being and leave them in the middle of nowhere. So, there are kind of existential questions about where you draw that line of what defines life.Wells: What's the evolutionary incentive of a virus? If it could, it would just kill everything and be everywhere?Hamblin: I might think of it more like a tide when you take down a dam. It's not like the water wants anything. If there's a town below that dam, the water doesn't want to destroy anything. It doesn't even have an evolutionary instinct. It's just a physical force. It's just, this is what it does. It finds that receptor and invades the cell and makes more.Wells: Is it adaptive for the virus to kill us?Hamblin: That's part of what caused me initially to raise these alarm bells and get really concerned myself in February, is the basic science of it. I initially wrote this story, “You’re Likely to Get the Coronavirus,” and it made the point that there are a lot of mild cases out there—mild in terms of COVID-19, which is not a mild disease—and that there are asymptomatic carriers. There’s a long period of incubation when you can be asymptomatic. And that is what’s so scary about it.Wells: Like, if it was a worse disease, it wouldn’t be so dangerous?Hamblin: Let’s talk about it as if it were a human. There are some people who are just really genuine and good and you want to be around them and work with them and have them be in your life. And there are people who are clearly malicious and terrible, and you can immediately tell, like: Get that person away from me. And even though you might think, Oh that person is straight up dangerous; they immediately threatened to kill me, the actual probably most dangerous person is the one who is what we’d call a psychopath. Someone who seems intuitive and smart and thoughtful and caring, but actually has all these devious plans and is actually able to carry them out because they aren’t out there threatening people and throwing off signals that they’re a dangerous person. That’s what this virus is, and that’s why people fell along a spectrum of how scared they were by this. Some people were like: “Oh, it looks like these other coronaviruses, where it causes a lot of mild cases where people don’t die, so it’s not that dangerous.” And other people were like: “No, it’s because it’s so good at spreading and doesn’t kill everyone that it is so dangerous.”Wells: To the extent that I’m going to get what the virus is, I get it. But one of the things that’s been sort of paralyzing recently is, I don’t know where it is. If I walk outside, is it in the air? Is it on surfaces?Hamblin: The main way that people get it is from touching things and then touching their face. That continues to be the main way. That’s why hand-washing is so important. That’s why not touching your face is so important. Masks have very specific uses, which are absolutely necessary in some cases. We should define mask. When you say mask, what do you think of?Wells: Well, I understand there's the N95. I understand there’s the surgical mask. And then I understand there’s what I did this morning, which is take a scarf and loop it three times around my face, which I wouldn’t call a mask, but it is an attempt at some sort of barrier.Hamblin: It’s like defining life. So that’s part of the thing we need to talk about, is you can’t say masks are good or bad. A respirator is also sometimes referred to as a mask or an N95 mask. Those are these tightly woven things that are rigid and they look like a dog’s snout, and they are supposed to seal perfectly around your face. These are medical devices, not something you would wear all day, every day. That’s what we definitely have a shortage of. We’ve exhausted our national strategic stockpile as of this week, which was supposed to last us for a long time.Wells: Okay, so, I don’t have an N95, I assume I couldn’t get one if I tried. The doctors need them anyway. We’re not talking about it N95s for the average person.Hamblin: No. Apart from very specific cases.Wells: Unless you’re living with someone who has it?Hamblin: Even then, [not] unless you had to go administer nebulizer treatment to them, or an inhaler.Wells: And is that because the virus just can’t travel that far in the air?Hamblin: That’s what we’re understanding. There were some initial concerning studies about what appeared to be airborne spread in experimental cases. They could make the virus go airborne in a confined space with no airflow. Does it actually in the world become airborne? No, to the best of our knowledge. The two types of viral transmission that we’ve long thought about are droplets or airborne, as in: Is it just in these gooey little drops that come out when you sneeze or cough? Some of them are tiny, and they might fly up to six feet, but ultimately, they’re going to fall down and hit the ground, versus: Do you mist this out and does it just hang in the air like oxygen or carbon dioxide and then sort of dissipates?It turns out there’s not a black-and-white line between those two things. That dichotomy was false. This one appears to be almost entirely droplets. Occasionally, you can detect some lingering in the air for longer periods, but not clearly enough that it could infect someone unless someone is very sick, coughing and sneezing, and you were in close contact with them in a place with no airflow. So, you could be more than six feet away, but say we’re sharing a cruise-ship cabin and I'm just coughing and sneezing stuff into the air. It’s shooting out, and you're on the bed eight feet away, but we’re constantly just using the same air. There is a possibility that could happen.Wells: So, it’s not impossible that I could walk outside and just breathe it in accidentally, even though there’s no one around?Hamblin: No, that’s impossible. I want to say that’s impossible. I don’t think anyone should be worrying at that level, because we have to be able to say we can move about the world, not in states of constant fear. And walking is important, especially if we’re going to need to be doing this distancing stuff for a year. If people feel like they can’t go outside and can’t move their bodies, we are going to see compounding of all sorts of other health issues and worsening cases of this disease, because if you are worn down and not exercising and not sleeping and depressed and not eating well, you’re not priming yourself to be in good condition when you do get sick.The only instances where we believe the air would be a problem is in a constant exposure. And it would have to be a long-term thing. If you briefly shared an elevator with someone who didn’t even sneeze or cough and you were as far away from that person as you could be in an elevator, there is as close to zero percent chance of anything happening in that situation as possible.Wells: Okay. So I don’t need to be terrified of going outside and of other people. That blanket terror is not rational. In what situations am I supposed to wear a mask, and what constitutes a “mask,” given that I don't actually have a mask?Hamblin: The CDC is now telling people: Cover your face with something. If you’re sick, if you’re coughing and sneezing, just do not go out. When you are feeling okay and you need to go out, the recommendation now is that you wear something to cover your mouth. If you were practicing appropriate social distancing, that would be of no use, no value.Wells: Yeah, but realistically, in a dense city or in crowded homes or apartment buildings, you can’t, so wear something.Hamblin: If it really is physically impossible for you to isolate yourself, then it’s unlikely to hurt unless you end up touching your face more because you’re adjusting this thing. Touching your face is definitely bad. We want to minimize that in every way. A mask is a tool. It is like a hammer. There are times when a hammer is incredibly valuable to you. You could not have driven that nail without it. But if you’re trying to fix a window, that is not of any value to you.
Trump tweets Little Leaguers 'will be playing baseball soon': In meantime, 'take care of mom and dad'
What’s on deck for benched Little Leaguers once the country pulls through the coronavirus crisis? A return to the field, President Trump tweeted Saturday.
Trump, GOP challenge efforts to make voting easier amid coronavirus pandemic
The public-health crisis has intensified a long-running partisan fight over ballot access, now an escalating battle in multiple states.
Benjamin Gibbard honors late rocker Adam Schlesinger
Gibbard gave a moving tribute to late Fountains of Wayne rocker Adam Schlesinger on his “Live From Home” show.
Muslim firefighter gets coronavirus after teen allegedly sneezed into his face
A Muslim FDNY firefighter tested positive for coronavirus nine days after three Hasidic teens in Borough Park deliberately sneezed on him, it is alleged.
Coronavirus Has Now Killed More New Jersey Residents Than 9/11 Attacks
In a press conference Saturday, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced 200 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state's death toll to 846.
UN chief calls for 'large-scale' coronavirus response of 10 percent of global GDP
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres this week called for a “large-scale” and co-ordinated response to the global coronavirus crisis, consisting of 10 percent of global GDP -- and promising that the U.N. is “fully mobilized” to support such an effort.
President Trump says US to deploy 1,000 military personnel to New York City to battle coronavirus
President Donald Trump says the U.S. will send 1,000 military personnel to New York City to help battle the coronavirus epidemic.        
More young people are dying of coronavirus, WHO warns
More young people are dying of the coronavirus, according to a new warning issued by the World Health Organization. “What we are seeing in some countries is that there are individuals in their 30s, who are in their 40s and 50s who are in the ICU and who have died,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, head...
NYC real estate broker losing $250,000 because of coronavirus pandemic
This was set to be a big year for real estate broker Michael Fabbri of Nest Seekers. But the 33-year-old Gramercy Park resident is instead losing out on as much as $250,000 in commissions for spring because he can’t show homes to buyers during the coronavirus shutdown. Last year had been soft because buyers and...
USPS employees are demanding hazard pay
A petition says postal employees carry "blood, sweat, and tears" every day at the expense of their health and time with families.
This dominatrix is in a financial bind because of the coronavirus
Aviva Diamond, 33, has worked as a dominatrix in New York City for more than six years, specializing in slave training, humiliation, foot fetishes and more. But after pivoting to online sessions only, she now finds herself in a bind. I started getting concerned messages from clients in mid-March as the coronavirus became more of...
Joe Rogan Says 'I'd Rather Vote for Trump' Than Joe Biden, President Not 'Aging At All' in Office
The podcast host said he would rather vote for Trump than Biden, arguing Friday that Trump has held up well to the pressure of the office versus the former vice president.
Jill Zarin supports medical workers with ‘Noshes for Nurses’ program
The 'RHONY' star has launched a program called “Noshes for Nurses” to help feed medical workers and others fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
The best star snaps of the week: The Rock, Selena Gomez and more
Two kids hospitalized after eating pot gummies from Utah food bank
Two children have been hospitalized after eating marijuana gummies they got at a food bank. “An 11-year-old and a 5-year-old were taken to a hospital Friday night after consuming ‘Medicated Nerds Rope’ candy given to their families as part of a food distribution effort from a church working with the Utah Food Bank,” according to...
Researchers may have found coronavirus’ Achilles heel
The research shows a specific area of the virus could be “targeted with drugs and other therapies, a finding that also could help with the development of a vaccine,” according to the San Diego Tribune.
Civil rights icon Joseph Lowery honored at private funeral 
Family members of the Rev. Joseph Lowery gathered Saturday in Atlanta for a small but moving funeral for the civil rights icon who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Men in black suits and top hats attended a horse-drawn caisson carrying Lowery’s casket, the Associated Press reported. The black wagon, with the driver holding reins...
‘There will be death’: Trump warns of ‘toughest week’ ahead
The president told the country to brace for the coming apex of the coronavirus outbreak.
‘I lost not one but three jobs because of the coronavirus’
Brooklynite Hannah Kaplan, 29, was working three jobs to make ends meet — and she's lost all of them during the coronavirus shutdown.
Cops bust boozy Bronx party ignoring coronavirus social distancing rules
More than a dozen partygoers were busted when cops broke up a boozy Bronx shindig that was flouting social distancing rules, police and sources said Saturday. Police were called to a loud party at Mango Jamaican Cuisine restaurant in Wakefield at about 7 p.m. Friday, where several dozen people were drinking and celebrating, ignoring coronavirus...
NBA, along with Knicks, Nets, contribute 1 million surgical masks to New York
The NBA, along with the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets, are donating 1 million surgical masks, necessary PPE as medical workers fight coronavirus.       
Airbnb host went from making $3,800 a month to $0 amid coronavirus
Lee Thomas, a 60-year-old retiree, charges $85 a night via Airbnb to rent out a one-bedroom apartment in his Ozone Park home. But now he is living solely on his pension as bookings have dried up. Because I’m so close to the airport, people from all over the country and the world stay at my...
Trump warns of rough week ahead: 'There will be death'
President Trump on Saturday warned the nation of a deadly week ahead in the fight against the coronavirus.
Staten Island car dealer still has to pay $500K in interest while lot closed
Marcello Sciarrino, 48, lives on Staten Island and co-owns 21 automobile dealerships in the New York area. A principal of Island Auto Group, he told The Post the coronavirus is bringing his inventory-heavy enterprise to the edge of ruin and forcing him to lay off hundreds of employees. On March 16, I locked our dealerships’...
A gender reveal party ignited a 10-acre brush fire Florida, fire officials say
A gender reveal party in Brevard County, Florida, went wrong and sparked a 10-acre brush fire, CNN affiliate WESH reports.
Caterer spent $20,000 on expanding business — then coronavirus hit
New Yorker Kinyarda Wright is the owner of Around the Clock Craft Services, which provides catering for TV shows that film in the city. But she's losing money as there are no sets to cater to during the coronavirus.
Dog walker asks clients to pay him half-salary during coronavirus
Manhattan dog walker Jim Olmstead has seen his business plummet by 80 percent since the Coronavirus outbreak.
Cuomo says China and Oregon will be sending ventilators to New York
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that as the state faces what could be the peak of the coronavirus crisis, China and Oregon have both said they will send ventilators. Watch his remarks.
Trump’s pick for coronavirus inspector general wins praise from some oversight experts as Democrats slam pick
President Trump's pick as the new special inspector general overseeing the $500 billion coronavirus bailout fund won praise from some oversight experts on Saturday, but Democrats expressed immediate skepticism.
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NYC church has a unique way of lifting the city’s spirits
It’s music to anxious New Yorkers’ ears. Although St. George’s Episcopal in Gramercy Park closed its doors three weeks ago in the wake of the coronavirus, the church is still lifting the spirits of the neighborhood with pealing chimes. “Church bells are historically rung to call people to prayer, in times of celebration, and in...
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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot urges people to 'Stay Home, Save Lives' in humorous Twitter video
Lori Lightfoot is a lot more than the mayor of Chicago.
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The real ‘Molly’s Game’: Inside Tobey Maguire’s high-stakes underground poker ring
In a new book about the infamous 'Molly's Game' poker games he co-founded with Tobey Maguire, Houston Curtis says that the 'Spider-Man' star used famous pals like Leo Di Caprio as bait to lure in wealthy opponents sure to lose.
Coronavirus patients mistakingly taken to USNS Comfort, report says
Several patients infected with COVID-19 were mistakenly brought to the hospital ship USNS Comfort, according to a new report on Saturday, “Less than five” infected patients were transferred to the vessel sometime on Friday, an official told Fox News. The 1,000-bed US Navy ship, which docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side after its...
Bristol Motor Speedway iRace may be most difficult for NASCAR drivers
Sunday's NASCAR iRacing event at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway will be a challenge for drivers because of the close quarters.
Palm Sunday and the pandemic: sanitized fronds, clergy in protective garb and live streams
The coronavirus pandemic has challenged Christian churches to find socially distant ways to launch Holy Week on Palm Sunday.
Opinion: Kobe Bryant deserved to give what would have been a memorable Hall of Fame speech
Kobe Bryant was supposed to deliver a speech that fully matched his complex personality, full of epic stories about his life and love for basketball.
Trump optimistic NFL season will start on time with hopes of fan-filled stands: report
President Trump is confident that the NFL season will begin on time despite growing concern that the spread of the coronavirus might derail the schedule early on, according to a new report.
'This Is A Big Deal': New York Hails Ventilator Deliveries From China And Oregon
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., is still waiting on its order from federal authorities. But others have stepped in with some 1,140 ventilators.
Why Antonio Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko almost never happened, and how the fight actually saved Bigfoot's life
Longtime MMA manager Alex Davis recounts a rocky build-up to Antonio Silva vs. Fedor Emelianenko and how the fight saved his client's life.        Related StoriesMichael Johnson issues UFC 249 challenge to Alexander HernandezMatt Mitrione praises Bellator for postponements: 'You can't force a square peg in a round hole'Jairzinho Rozenstruik wants Francis Ngannou bout to be UFC 249 main event, interim title fight
Pelosi, Schumer blast Trump pick to oversee $2T stimulus, call for 'urgent' House oversight
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer railed against President Trump's choice to nominate a White House lawyer to oversee the massive coronavirus stimulus program as a failure and re-upped up calls for more congressional oversight.
Grassley demands 'explanation' for firing of intel community watchdog
Also on Saturday, Thomas Monheim was tapped to be acting inspector general.
Most of us are under stay-at-home orders. So why are 6 out of 10 still on the road?
Rush-hour backups are gone, but there’s more traffic out there than you might think.
The Post ranks the best 18 golf holes on public courses in NY metro area
The demands have been heard, and The Post has responded! After such terrific feedback from our flawless list of “The Best 18 Holes in the metro area” from this past Sunday, quite a few readers eloquently described their frustration with so many of those holes being on private courses. Hey, yo, they said, how ’bout...
Trump put American lives in China's hands
The Trump administration needs to do what it takes to save lives right now in the Covid-19 pandemic. But it should be aware that the reliance on China comes at great cost, writes Samantha Vinograd.
Until 1970, it was illegal to fly a kite in Washington. Hippies got the law changed.
Fifty years ago, protesters flew kites on the Mall — and were promptly arrested.
Sean McVay is finally watching ‘Game of Thrones’ while under quarantine
LA Rams coach Sean McVay is binge-watching “Game of Thrones” while staying home during the coronavirus crisis.