Would you like to receive The Morning by email? Here is the registration.
Good Morning. France and Germany impose new bans. Hurricane Zeta hits the Gulf Coast. And not all virus outbreaks are created equal.
With coronavirus cases on the rise in most of Europe and America, it can be easy to give in to nihilism and wonder if there is a good way for a country to fight the virus.
However, the magnitude of the recent outbreaks varies widely from country to country. Two countries deserve some attention: Canada and Germany.
As you can see, neither Germany nor Canada escaped the falling wave of the virus. But they are both far less badly than their neighbors. As?
For one, both countries avoided wishful thinking better than the Trump administration or some European governments.
Germany announced yesterday that it will close restaurants, bars, gyms, theaters and more for several weeks. “We have to act now to prevent a national health crisis,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel. Compare that to the US, where the rate of confirmed new cases in the past five months was almost all higher than in Germany – and yet almost no one is talking about the closings of restaurants.
Yesterday’s move is not the first aggressive move from Germany. It was also way ahead of the US in developing generally available tests this spring, offering them free to residents.
Canada could be an even better example, however, as the current rate of new cases is well below Germany’s. Look at this map:
Part of Canada’s success is likely cultural and would have been difficult to replicate in the US, as Ian Austen, a Canadian who has covered the country for The Times for more than a decade, told me. “Authority is generally well respected in Canada,” said Ian.
But certain measures were also important. Unlike in the US, conservative politicians in Canada don’t doubt the wisdom of wearing masks, Ian said. That spring, Ontario Conservative Prime Minister Doug Ford described people protesting social distancing as “a group from Yahoo”.
And some high-ranking public health officials in the Canadian provinces have become celebrities as they have repeatedly urged social distancing, mask-wearing, and other forms of caution. Imagine versions of Anthony Fauci, but those that are praised across the political spectrum, rather than being labeled a “disaster” like President Trump did with Fauci.
Some of Canada’s most successful regions have included the four small provinces along the Atlantic Ocean that nearly wiped out the virus. They did this by largely closing their borders – a strategy that has worked in several other countries as well, including Australia, Ghana, Taiwan and Vietnam, despite the skepticism of some political liberals around the world.
The four Canadian provinces – Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and the combined Newfoundland and Labrador – were so successful this spring that they were able to form a joint “bubble” this summer. The residents can travel between the four even if they remain closed to the outside.
“We have no cases here,” said Sharon Stewart, a restaurant owner in Pictou, Nova Scotia, recently to The Globe and Mail, “and we want to keep it that way.”
THE LATEST NEWS
Philadelphia enforced a 9 p.m. curfew amid protests after police fatally shot Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old black man. In the days since the shooting, people have set cars on fire and police arrested dozens of people.
Hurricane Zeta landed in southeast Louisiana with winds exceeding 100 miles per hour, causing widespread power outages.
Tens of thousands of people in Poland protested a supreme court decision to ban almost all abortions. The leader of the country’s ruling party accused demonstrators of wanting to destroy the nation and called on his supporters to “defend Poland”.
Trump will open more than half of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to deforestation and development, and remove protection from one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world, the Washington Post reports.
One morning read: The idea of modifying the Earth’s atmosphere to cool the planet – solar geoengineering – was once considered too risky to seriously consider. Now it is attracting new money and attention. One expert compared it to “Chemotherapy for the Planet: If All Else Fails, Try It”.
Lived life: Cecilia Chiang introduced Americans to the richness and diversity of authentic Chinese cuisine through her San Francisco restaurant, Mandarin, in the 1960s. She attracted guests with the fine dishes she had eaten in Beijing. She died at the age of 100.
The Times can help you choose – to separate fact from fiction, understand the polls, and make sure your ballot counts. To support our efforts Please subscribe today.
IDEA OF THE DAY: Who are the non-voters?
The turnout in the 2020 elections will be high. At least 145 million Americans – out of approximately 240 million eligible voters – will cast ballots. But that still leaves a lot of non-voters. Who are you?
Compared to voters, they “tend to have a lower income; be young; have a lower level of education; and to say they don’t belong to any political party, ”stated FiveThirtyEight. They are also disproportionately Asian-American or Latin American.
Why don’t you vote? Some say they missed their state’s registration deadline. Others say they cannot leave work and find their polling station. They are also more cynical about politics and consider the system too broken to be fixed by vote.
PLAY, WATCH, EAT, BASEBALL
Chokers no longer
One of the main characters in sport is the choker – the athlete who allegedly lacks the emotional strength to be successful when the effort is at its peak. Over the past few decades, several baseball stars have been classified as chokers, including Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, David Price, and Clayton Kershaw. Quarterbacks Steve Young and John Elway shared a similar image in football.
But it’s largely a myth. And this week showed again why.
Kershaw, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, had a long history of playoff disappointments – until he excelled in two World Series games that year and led his team to a championship. He followed a path similar to that of Bonds, Rodriguez, Price, Young, and Elway before. Each of them ended years of conversations about their alleged chokes with dominant performances in the playoffs. Nowadays fans even remember some of them because they were Clutch.
The truth is that all top athletes have already demonstrated the ability to succeed under pressure. This way, they knock out thousands of other people who want to be in their place. Undoubtedly there are some differences in players’ ability to deal with tense moments, but the bigger problem is sample size: a player has some difficult playoff games, and fans and broadcasters then come up with a story to explain it.
“There’s just no one who can’t play well in October,” said Joe Sheehan, who writes a baseball newsletter. “We are doing everyone a disservice with this tale, and I hope we now leave it behind for good.” We probably won’t, but at least Kershaw – perhaps the best mug in the last 20 years – no longer suffers from it.
Do something rich
This recipe is an adaptation of galbijjim, a Korean braised short rib stew. Season to taste with fresh ginger, soy and garlic.