35 articles from SUNDAY 15.3.2020

Starwatch: the moon and planets party till dawn

Early risers in the northern hemisphere can see the crescent moon in the south-east in close conjunction with Mars, Jupiter and SaturnA nice grouping of three planets will grace the pre-dawn sky this week. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will all rise in the south-east about an hour before the sun. The chart shows the view looking in that direction at 05:15 GMT on 18 March. On that morning, the planets...

UK coronavirus crisis 'to last until spring 2021 and could see 7.9m hospitalised'

Exclusive: Public Health England document seen by Guardian says four in five ‘expected’ to contract virusCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe coronavirus epidemic in the UK will last until next spring and could lead to 7.9 million people being hospitalised, a secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials reveals.The document, seen by the...

The Guardian view on the UK’s Covid-19 response: confused and hesitant | Editorial

Britain’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak carries a risk to the public and to politicians. Time to get a gripBoris Johnson’s decision to go it alone, in global policy terms, over the UK’s Covid-19 outbreak is being challenged every day – and there is a sense of foreboding that the government is coming up short with its answers. Unlike our nearest neighbours, ministers said there would...

Coronavirus: health experts fear epidemic will ‘let rip’ through UK

Doctors and scientists urge government to stop ignoring strategies from countries that have brought cases downCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePublic health experts and hundreds of doctors and scientists at home and abroad are urging the UK government to change its strategy against coronavirus, amid fears it will mean the epidemic “lets rip” through the...

Coronavirus: Germany seals its borders as 100m Europeans on lockdown

Restrictions on travel and commerce across continent as countries scramble to contain threatCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWalls are being raised and mass quarantines enforced across Europe to combat the spread of the coronavirus, with Germany the latest to partly seal its borders, banning entrants from France, Switzerland and Austria from Monday.More than 100...

Start of spring to usher in severe weather threat for central US

An uptick in stormy weather across the country will put the Plains to the Ohio Valley on alert for severe weather later this week.An intense storm wrecked havoc earlier in the week, dumping feet of snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the West and sweeping rain across the remainder of the Southwest into Wednesday.Meanwhile, several rounds of wet weather will target the center of the country. Wet...

These Lab Animals Will Help Fight Coronavirus

Among the many lessons of the coronavirus pandemic is how close humans are to the rest of the animal kingdom. We get diseases from other animals, and then we use more animals to figure out how to stop the diseases. As research ramps up treatments and vaccines, animals are crucial to fighting the pandemic.There are different animals at each end of the pandemic, of course. The new disease almost...

Coronavirus facts: is there a cure and what is the mortality rate of the virus?

Covid-19 essential guide: can it be caught on public transport, how is it different from the flu, and how sick will I get?Coronavirus – latest updatesHow to protect yourself against coronavirusCoronavirus symptoms: what are they and should I see a doctor?The Covid-19 virus is a member of the coronavirus family that made the jump from animals to humans late last year. Many of those initially...

After Math: How COVID-19 is already clobbering 2020

Welp, we had a good run, America. While every other developed nation on the planet scrambles to defend itself against the deadly spread of COVID-19, the US had to be dragged into fielding a response. This year everything is cancelled. Schools have been shuttered, universities have migrated to online classes, and group gatherings larger than a couple hundred people are being postponed. Major league...

Trump 'offers large sums' for exclusive access to coronavirus vaccine

German government tries to fight off aggressive takeover bid by US, say reportsCoronavirus – live coverageSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Trump administration has offered a German medical company “large sums of money” for exclusive access to a Covid-19 vaccine, German media have reported.The German government is trying to fight off what it sees as an aggressive takeover bid by the US,...

I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire | William Hanage

Vulnerable people should not be exposed to Covid-19 right now in the service of a hypothetical future• See all our coronavirus coverageYour house is on fire, and the people whom you have trusted with your care are not trying to put it out. Even though they knew it was coming, and could see what happened to the neighbours as they were overwhelmed with terrifying speed, the UK government has...

Coronavirus: governor tells Trump to 'get shit together' amid airport chaos

JB Pritzker slams federal government in tweetsTravelers face long waits for mandatory screeningsTrump’s testing failures pave way to disaster, experts sayCoronavirus outbreak – live updatesThe Trump administration needs to “get its shit together” in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the governor of Illinois said on Saturday, as travelers returning to the US at Chicago’s O’Hare...

Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should I see a doctor?

What is Covid-19, how does it spread, what are the symptoms, and at what point should you call a doctor?Coronavirus - live news updatesFind all our coronavirus coverage hereHow to protect yourself from infectionIt is caused by a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals. Continue...

Parts of central US to face pummeling from blizzard conditions as spring arrives

Meteorologists expect a potent storm to track across the center of the country later this week, bringing a return to wintry conditions -- just as the start of spring arrives.The far-reaching storm system has already been responsible for much-needed snowfall across the Sierra Nevada and will next travel through the Intermountain West on Wednesday.All the while, the Plains and Midwest will ride a...

Experience of Sars a key factor in countries’ response to coronavirus

Plans of action to combat the Covid-19 outbreak around the world show huge differences• Coronavirus – latest updates• See all our coronavirus coverageThere has been a huge difference in how the coronavirus pandemic has evolved in different countries. Some have gone nearly two months with just a few dozen cases; others have seen an outbreak explode in weeks.The statistics about the early...

This coronavirus crisis has forced the retirement of pantomime Johnson | Andrew Rawnsley

The government’s strategy comes with risks, but so do all the alternativesA pandemic is testing global leadership and its capacity to rise to the challenge of “the worst public health crisis for a generation”. To some surprise, the man who said that is addressing the emergency in a more mature fashion than many anticipated when it first began to unfold. Boris Johnson has abandoned the...

Like a moth to a flame, we’re drawn to metaphors to explain ourselves | Kenan Malik

We think we’re learning more about the brain, but are we just replacing one story with another?The selfish gene. The Big Bang. The greenhouse effect. Metaphors are at the heart of scientific thinking. They provide the means for both scientists and non-scientists to understand, think through and talk about abstract ideas in terms of more familiar objects or phenomena.But if metaphors can...

One doctor’s story: ‘We don’t have the masks, goggles – or the staff’

A senior consultant at a leading hospital for respiratory conditions such as pneumonia and cystic fibrosis talks to the Observer• Coronavirus – latest updates• See all our coronavirus coverageNHS staff are asking the same questions as everyone else about coronavirus. How deadly is it? How do we protect ourselves? Are the government’s tactics right? And how will the health service cope when...

Coronavirus has emptied flights. It could end up changing flying for ever

Major airlines are now battling for survival – and those staying at home may start to question their need to travelAs coronavirus grew from a Chinese outbreak to a global pandemic, the aviation industry was at the leading edge of the accompanying financial crisis. Since the extraordinary intercontinental travel ban imposed by President Trump last week, the disastrous potential extent of the...