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Your Thursday Briefing

2020-05-28 04:10:35
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Moving one step closer to a shared budget, the European Commission proposed that it raise 750 billion euros, or $826 billion, to finance the European Union’s recovery from the economic collapse brought on by the coronavirus.

“This is about all of us, and it is way bigger than any one of us,” Ursula von der Leyen, the commission president, told the European Parliament in Brussels.

The British people, Mr. Johnson told a parliamentary committee, want “for us to focus on them and their needs rather than on a political ding-dong about what one adviser may or may not have done.”

Though the prime minister also announced plans for a large-scale track and trace system to head off a second spike in infections, the fallout from the Cummings affair overshadowed the move.

But later mutations did lead to the current pandemic, this model concludes, including one that arrived in the U.S. around Feb. 13, and another that arrived in Italy in early or mid-February. The European virus then hopped to New York around Feb. 20.

The authors argue that the relatively late emergence of the outbreak — roughly two weeks after President Trump banned travel to the U.S. from China — means that more lives could have been saved by earlier action.

What we’re reading: This essay by Marilynne Robinson in The New York Review of Books. Steven Erlanger, our chief diplomatic correspondent for Europe, tells us, “The author of ‘Gilead,’ one of the best American novels, tries to think through what this virus shows about the United States, and asks what kind of country we want it to be.”

Watch: “Douglas” is the new Netflix special by the comedian Hannah Gadsby. The Times Magazine interviewed her about life on the autism spectrum, online trolls and how trauma plays into comedy.

Maggie Astor, one of our political reporters based in New York, and her husband became sick with Covid-19 in late March and managed to recover at home.

It’s OK to not be OK. You don’t have to handle this “well,” whatever that means. You just have to get through each day. So go ahead and cry, binge Netflix, do a jigsaw puzzle, reread the entire “Animorphs” series — whatever gets you through the day.

Give yourself as much time to rest as your job and financial situation will allow. For me and several colleagues, that meant nearly three weeks of sick time.

Since tweeting about my experience last month, I’ve received many emails from people in the “this will never end” phase. I share the same screenshot with all of them: a text I sent to a friend on April 5.

“Why do I even bother giving good news when it’s only going to last a few hours?” I wrote. “I’m just so tired of this. I don’t know how to keep dealing with it.”

Every day, more people will hit that wall — and every day, more people will find their way past it. They will feel alone, but they won’t be.


That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.

— Victoria


Thank you
To Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh for the rest of the break from the news. You can reach the team at
[email protected].

P.S.
• We’re listening to “The Daily.” Our latest episode is about the threat that the coronavirus is posing to the U.S. Postal Service.
• Here’s today’s Mini Crossword puzzle, and a clue: Kiwis, but not apples (five letters). You can find all our puzzles here.
• Jeffrey Gettleman, our South Asia bureau chief, recently appeared on CBSN to talk about the coronavirus in Mumbai.

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