Trump’s reopening plan, Boeing’s comeback, Disney vs. Netflix

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Here’s what you need to know

“Opening Up America Again.” Donald Trump outlined how states could emerge from their lockdowns in three phases, with governors managing the process. Phase one, for example, would allow places like restaurants to reopen, but under strict social distancing rules.

Boeing said it will restart production next week. It was already struggling with the 737 Max crisis, then came the pandemic. The company has delivered only 50 planes since January, the lowest number for many years, and CEO Dave Calhoun said that the industry will need state aid.

China’s economy shrank for the first time in decades. The 6.8% drop in GDP in the first quarter, compared to the same period in 2019, is the first since the country started publishing GDP figures in 1992. Separately, after being accused of lying about its death toll, China revised the Covid-19 numbers in Wuhan. The death toll is now 50% higher.

A space crew returned to a pandemic-hit Earth. Three astronauts, who departed for the International Space Station last year, landed in Kazakhstan today. They face a more intense isolation period than usual.

An estimated 280,000 US health care workers don’t have papers. An immigration advocacy group says that undocumented immigrants play a big role in the most critical workforce during the pandemic, and they still have to worry about being deported.

Why does India have so few Covid-19 cases and deaths? Many possible explanations have been put forward: The epidemic started later there, the lockdown is working, testing is insufficient, there are relatively few elderly people, and previous vaccination campaigns give its population a health boost. But none of these are completely convincing.

Some banks are in more trouble than others. As business closures and unemployment threaten to cause a wave of credit losses, risks are more manageable for American banking giants than for their European counterparts.

Banks observed an unusual surge in “algos” since March. In part, that’s because the volatility is extending for a long period, allowing the robots to learn how to navigate it, but also because traders stuck at home are having to rely more on automation.

We need you! 

Political campaigns spend a lot of money to reach voters on Facebook. Here’s how much US presidential candidates have shelled out so far this year:

🔴 Trump: $10.7 million

🔵 Biden: $7.4 million

⚫ Dark money groups: ???

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Charting Disney vs. Netflix

For only the second time ever, Netflix is worth more than Disney (✦ a Quartz member exclusive). But this time, it could stay that way for a while.

Netflix’s stock surged to an all-time high on Wednesday, putting the streaming service’s market capitalization at $187.3 billion. Disney’s market cap, meanwhile, has plummeted in the last two months as the coronavirus pandemic ravages its movies and parks businesses. In February, the Mouse House was valued at more than $250 billion. As of yesterday, it’s worth $186.5 billion.

Image for article titled Trump’s reopening plan, Boeing’s comeback, Disney vs. Netflix

More for Quartz members: 

  • “This feels very unprecedented. I don’t know that we have an easy analogy to another historical event that we can draw on about what this might mean for young people.” —Lisa Damour, a psychologist.
  • “People are looking for distraction. I think people are missing sport and that doesn’t mean just directly the competition on the sports field. For a lot of people that’s the ambience, the cadence.” —Rugby announcer Nick Heath
  • “In many traditional companies, a new initiative takes six months just to schedule a plan, never mind to do it. And now we don’t have six months.” —Eric Ries, consultant

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Quartz Daily Obsession

Sourdough is the undisputed king of Covid-19. With a timeline that stretches over days, the bread is slow stuff, and baking forums are full of sob stories about deflated loaves. Experienced bakers are also up in arms about newbies grabbing up flour that’s in short supply. Ignore them all. Let’s get it started in here with the Quartz Daily Obsession.

Surprising discoveries

There were no US school shootings in March. It was the first March without one since 2002.

Iceland’s forestry service recommends hugging trees, not people. “There are plenty of trees,” one ranger points out. “It doesn’t have to be big and stout, it can be any size.”

The scent of male lemurs’ wrists seduces females. This sort of “stink flirting” could be the first discovery of primate sex pheromones.

A Florida bar removed $10,000 from its walls. The money, all in greenbacks, went to 22 staffers who were recently laid off.

Bears under lockdown in Yosemite Park are having a blast. Rangers say they’re feeling freer since the park closed for visitors.

You asked 

Why are some countries committing to end lockdown by a specific date? 

A few political leaders are pinpointing end dates for regional lockdowns, including France’s president Emmanuel Macron, who said his country will start to re-open on May 3. Other world leaders have extended confinement in two- to three-week increments without making further promises.

But psychologists say the specificity makes sense, given what we know about the human brain. “The combination of uncertainty and danger…feeds an intense desire for certainty, better known to psychologists as the need for cognitive closure,” writes psychologist Arie Kruglanski in The Conversation. “It is the time when authoritative, confident direction is much preferred over flexible, laissez-faire guidance. We need to be told what to do, plain and simple.”

✉️ What’s your burning question?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, videos of overjoyed bears, and an overpriced bottle of male lemur scent to Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS or Android and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Luiz Romero and Hasit Shah.