Israel’s pandemic response was fast. I worry a rapid return to normal is a mistake.

People wearing masks visit a reopened market in Tel Aviv on May 7, 2020.Ariel Schalit / AP

TEL AVIV, Israel – Israel’s plans for a gradual return to school in small, controlled groups after two months of coronavirus lockdowns were all but completely abandoned last week in favor of an an immediate return with full classes across much of the country. A group of principals lashed out at the decision (of which they were informed through news reports) as Israeli chaos.

That government decision only added to my feeling that Israel has embarked on an overly hasty modern-day Exodus from “corona times” even though the education ministry was concerned a staggered return would not work for students. The beaches are suddenly packed, as quickly as they were emptied, malls are open, with long lines crowding passageways to shop at Zara, and on the streets, most people are no longer even pretending to be vigilant. Masks, if they are seen at all beyond the confines of stores and schools, are usually dangling from a sleeve, or hanging on a chin.

Read the full THINK piece here. 

Photos: Staten Islanders mark Memorial Day in different ways

Residents in face masks watch the Memorial Day Parade of motorcycles and cars on Staten Island on Monday. Spencer Platt / Getty Images
A member of the Boy Scouts of America salutes at a ceremony for veterans on Staten Island on Monday. Jeenah Moon / Reuters

Gucci, Saint Laurent seek radical change to fashion calendars

Kaia Gerber leads other models during the Saint Laurent fashion show in Paris on Feb. 25, 2020.Vianney Le Caer / AP file

SOAVE, Italy — Gucci and Saint Laurent are two of the highest profile luxury fashion houses to announce they will leave the fashion calendar behind, with its relentless four-times-a-year rhythm, shuttling cadres of fashionistas between global capitals where they squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder around runways for 15 breathless minutes.

The coronavirus lockdown, which has hit luxury fashion houses on their bottom lines, has also given pause to rethink the pace of fashion, offering the possibility to return to less hectic, more considered periods of creativity and production — and perhaps consumption.

Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele imagines a twice yearly appointments — one in the fall and one in the spring — to present co-ed collections, getting away from the hyped-up calendar which has come to require pre-season collections before the major women’s and men’s runway shows and a one-off cruise collection, increasingly in exotic locations.

Saint Laurent hasn’t articulated its intentions, but said in a statement last month that it would “take control” of the fashion schedule “conscious of the current circumstances and its waves of radical change.”

World Health Organization warns of ‘second peak’ in areas where COVID-19 declining

GENEVA — Countries where coronavirus infections are declining could still face an “immediate second peak” if they let up too soon on measures to halt the outbreak, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO emergencies head Dr. Mike Ryan told an online briefing, noting that while cases are declining in many countries they are still increasing in Central and South America, South Asia and Africa.

Ryan said epidemics often come in waves, which means that outbreaks could come back later this year in places where the first wave has subsided. There was also a chance that infection rates could rise again more quickly if measures to halt the first wave were lifted too soon.

Read the full story here. 

Second immigrant in ICE custody dies from COVID-19

A man in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody died from COVID-19 complications on Sunday, the agency said in a news release

Santiago Baten-Oxlag, 34, who was awaiting departure to his native Guatemala, died at a hospital in Columbus, Georgia, after being transferred from the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. He had been receiving care at the hospital since April 17. 

The preliminary cause of death was “complications related to COVID-19,” according to the news release. It is unknown if Baten-Oxlag had any underlying medical conditions. 

Baten-Oxlag is the second known detainee to die from COVID-19 while in ICE custody. In early May, a 57-year-old man from El Salvador died from COVID-19 at a San Diego-area hospital while in ICE detention. More than 1,200 detainees have tested positive for COVID-19 in ICE facilities, according to data on the agency’s website. 

NHL moves closer to restart with practices in early June

A lone skater before a game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Capitals in Washington on March 12, the day the NHL suspended its season.
Patrick Smith / Getty Images

The NHL announced plans Monday to allow small groups of players, no more than six, to gather for workouts in early June, with an eye toward restarting play and resuming its coronavirus-halted season.

A league memo did not say when in early June this “Phase 2”  would begin or how long it would last before games are actually played.

Phase 3 would be a full training camp and Phase 4 the playing of actual games. Players and club owners have agreed to the framework of a 24-team playoff system.

Knicks legend Patrick Ewing out of the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus

Basketball legend and Georgetown University coach Patrick Ewing has been released from the hospital and is resting at home after testing positive for coronavirus, his family said Monday.

“I want to thank all of the doctors and hospital staff for taking care of my father during his stay, as well as everyone who has reached out with thoughts and prayers to us and since his diagnosis,” his son Patrick Ewing Jr. said in a statement.

Read the full story here. 

Big changes coming to public pools this summer

A closed public pool in Mission, Kan., on May 15, 2020.Charlie Riedel / AP file

Public pools will look very different this summer if they open at all with the coronavirus threat still looming, as teenage lifeguards will be tasked with maintaining social distancing and spotting COVID-19 symptoms in addition to their primary responsibility of preventing drownings.

Pools that do plan to open will take precautions, including screening temperatures on entry, requiring lifeguards to wear masks and significantly reducing the number of swimmers allowed in the water and locker rooms, said Dr. Justin Sempsrott, the medical director for the lifeguard certification program Starguard Elite and executive director of Lifeguards Without Borders, which works to reduce drownings worldwide.

“It’s definitely not going to be business as usual this season,” he said.

Read the full story here. 

Joe Biden makes first public appearance in more than two months

Joe Biden appeared in public Monday for the first time in more than two months, laying a wreath to honor the fallen at a Delaware war memorial.

Read the full story here. 

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