New York death toll, multiple vaccines, essential wrestling

Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

The Covid-19 death toll in New York City jumped 60% after probable cases were included. The city’s health department added 3,700 deaths to its official tally, pushing it above 10,000. Previously, the tally only included confirmed Covid-19 deaths (ie people who tested positive).

US banks start reporting in the shadow of a recession. JPMorgan and Wells Fargo said they started saving funds for a wave of loan defaults as the world enters an economic crisis larger than the 2008 crash. Goldman, Citigroup, and BoA report today.

The GlaxoSmithKline chief said that we need more than one coronavirus vaccine. That’s because billions will need to be immunized, said Emma Walmsley. GSK is partnering with Sanofi to work on one of the 70 vaccines being developed.

Standard Chartered warned staff against using Zoom. The UK bank is the first major lender to restrict the use of the video conferencing tool over cybersecurity concerns, following SpaceX and the governments of Germany and Taiwan. Standard Chartered also told managers not to use Google Hangouts.

China, the UN, and Bill Gates all criticized the US decision to withdraw WHO funding. President Donald Trump instructed his administration to temporarily cut off all payments, claiming the agency could have cut off the pandemic at source in China.

The Tour de France hit the brakes. For the first time since World War II, cycling’s biggest event will leave its lycra in the locker after French president Emmanuel Macron announced that all events with large crowds are on hold until at least mid-July.

Unlocked and loaded

Around the world, people and municipalities are devising markers to encourage social distancing, using everything from chalk to floor stickers. Those signifiers will take on new importance as some cities in Asia start to reopen for business. But even the best signage can’t overcome newfound squeamishness about proximity to others.

If your lockdown is lifting, how comfortable do you feel being out and about?

👯‍♀️I’m heading straight for the nearest bar, no matter how crowded.

👀I’m going to ease myself in and keep some distance.

🙅‍♀️Let me know when there’s a vaccine, and I’ll see you all then.

Charting India’s Covid concerns

On Tuesday, India extended its coronavirus lockdown through May 3. But even though most of the population supported the extension, it’s certain to ramp up anxieties.

Under lockdown, Indians are worried about access to essential items, health care for themselves and loved ones, and employment opportunities, according to a survey conducted by YouGov.

Lockdown has also changed some domestic habits. Household chores like cooking and cleaning is the activity that most people are involved in during the lockdown, the survey found, though it was more common among women than men.

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For our members 

  • Medical crowdfunding has messy morals. Online fundraising is extremely effective at encouraging people to help others, yet incapable of providing equal access to healthcare. To understand this paradox, we must first understand what compels people to give.
  • The Dutch are craving a Doughnut. Amsterdam’s so-called “Doughnut” framework for sustainable development could foster a post-coronavirus recovery without harming the environment.
  • There’s an art to remote job interviews. If you’re among the job-seekers concerned about how to convey your professional prowess from a distance, here are a few tips.

Quartz Daily Obsession

Sweatpants aren’t just for slobs. High-fashion brands make money off newly fashion-conscious men, and athletic brands discover a women’s market they’ve long underserved. It’s still possible to project a genuinely unfashionable slovenliness with your ratty sweats, but it’s a lot harder than it used to be. The Quartz Daily Obsession invites you to slip into something more comfortable.

Surprising discoveries

Vietnam set up rice ATMs. The machines distribute free rice in cities across the country, including a 24/7 dispenser in Ho Chih Minh City.

Roman police are cracking down on turtle walks. An Italian woman was fined 400 euros ($440) for taking a nonessential walk with her (unleashed) turtle.

The bigger they come, the harder they supernova. Astronomers have confirmed the brightest supernova ever observed, caused by a star up to 100 times the mass of the sun.

WWE = World Wrestling (is) Essential. Florida deemed the WWE an “essential service,” opening the door for actual sports to return, too.

Gen Z is getting “zumped.” The era of the Zoom-based relationship has led to the rise of the Zoom-based breakup.

Cancel your meeting

Whether you’ve been under lockdown for weeks or months, Quartz at Work has a three-step plan to help you take your quarantine productivity level up a notch.

Step One: Take back control of your time.

The volume of internal meetings is on the rise, according to meeting software company Hugo, whose co-founder Darren Chait recommends a company-wide rule of thumb: No more than 10% of anyone’s work week should be spent in internal confabs.

Step Two: Use your time to continue learning.

Join us on Thursday, April 16 at 11am ET for a free virtual workshop on leading from the future, headed up by Mark W. Johnson, who co-founded the management consulting firm Innosight with Clayton Christensen. RSVP here.

Step Three: Stay ahead of the curve.

For more insights on building a productive, creative, and compassionate workplace, sign up for The Memo, a new newsletter from Quartz at Work. You can read it during all that rescued meeting time.

You asked 

To me the word “social distancing” sounds antisocial. Shouldn’t we be stating it as “physical distancing?” 

Right you are, Sohail K. “Social distancing” comes from epidemiology, but a growing group of people are calling for the term—though not the actions—to be changed. “Language matters right now,” says Cormac Russell, Northwestern University. “Stay at home and when out, remain physically apart,” he adds. “But to stay well during this time, people will need to actively seek ways to stay social.”

Singapore calls it “safe distancing.” Stanford psychologist Jamil Zaki suggests “distant socializing.” And on March 20, the WHO even changed its official language to “physical distance.”

✉️ What’s your coronavirus question?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, Zoom meeting cancellations, and Zoom relationship cancellations to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android andbecoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah and Luiz Romero.