The coronavirus is changing how we live our daily lives. Taking a look at how the global pandemic has affected various aspects of life in the United States reveals the unique nature of this crisis.

In the latest installment of “New York Shuttered,” the photographer Todd Heisler was there for a tearful goodbye as horses used for therapeutic riding lessons were sent upstate.

Hoda Kotb, the co-anchor of “Today,” showed the same emotions many people at home are feeling in a brief on-air breakdown that resonated for many online.

In an adaptation to the coronavirus, black women are turning to online tutorials for advice on how to braid their own hair.

By The New York Times

“Love each other,” someone recently wrote in pink chalk on a Manhattan sidewalk.

It’s a simple command. But even the smallest gestures, like offering a hug or watching someone’s child, now carries health risks as communities struggle to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

But people are finding a way.

An army of sewers across the country has banded together to make desperately needed masks for hospital workers. In rural Oregon, bus drivers are delivering lunches in brown paper bags to children in need. Landlords are reducing rent. College students are fetching groceries for older neighbors or those with compromised immune systems — and wiping them down with bleach before depositing them on a doorstep. People are rescuing cats and dogs from shelters.

To make it through overwhelming and uncertain times, experts say it’s critical for people to remember there are glimmers of hope and goodness.

We would like to hear from you.

What acts of kindness have you witnessed or showed?

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How did that act change your overall feelings about your personal situation, or your community’s situation?

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By Corey Kilgannon

The coronavirus has warped life in New York City, which has 23,000 cases and at least 365 deaths, making it the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States. For some city dwellers, the necessary act of walking the dog has become a glimmer of solace during a dark time.

“We’re bombarded with gloom and doom every minute on the TV, but this is my piece of paradise,” said Roberta Strugger, who recently watched her Labradoodle, Harvey, romp in a dog run in the Bronx.

Professional dog walkers, however, are experiencing much more troubling consequences from this scenario, including loss of income and jobs.

By Elaina Plott

On Friday, for the first time in the 12 days since he was diagnosed with the coronavirus, Mark Frilot got to speak to his family.

For 12 days he had been hooked up to a ventilator in the intensive care unit of a Kenner, La., hospital, his wife, Heaven, and their son, Ethan, quarantined in their home nearby.

On Friday afternoon, doctors were at last able to remove the ventilator. “The nurse FaceTimed us and we talked to him!” Ms. Frilot shared in a text message. “He’s himself joking with us already. Words cannot express my joy!” (She added that Ethan made sure to tell his dad it was time to shave.)

Ms. Frilot said that a two-month recovery likely awaits as doctors continue to treat his pneumonia, a journey that will be followed by far more than just his family: Since first sharing her husband’s story, Ms. Frilot has become a light of sorts for her conservative community in Louisiana and beyond, in which many had written off the pandemic as partisan fear-mongering.

She’s spent the last several days responding to dozens of messages from strangers whose families are undergoing their own trials with the virus. For now, though, she just wants to relish in her husband’s improvement. “Right now I’m soaking in that my hubby is alive, awake and himself,” she said.

By Elizabeth Paton

In Shanghai, day-to-day life for many luxury retailers has started — slowly — returning to normal. In Europe, where millions of citizens have been living under national shutdowns for more than a week, stores in famous retail destinations have bolted their doors. In London, department stores like Harrods and Selfridges, and Bond Street boutiques like Burberry and Chopard, have cleared jewels and stock from plain sight.

But in New York, where the cobbled streets of SoHo have shuddered to a standstill as state measures to slow the spread of the virus have taken hold, a number of elegant luxury boutiques, including Fendi, Celine and Chanel, did not just shutter storefronts this week; they had them boarded up with vast sheets of plywood, as if in anticipation of riots and civil disobedience, similar to how they react to European protests. But some are cautioning against the practice.

“Boarding up your storefront makes it so that people on the street can’t see inside,” said Mark Dicus, the executive director of the SoHo Broadway Initiative business improvement district. “That might be more appealing to those looking for break in opportunities.”

By Stefanos Chen

In the first week since New York State announced a stay-at-home order to help fight coronavirus, real estate listings in Manhattan have plunged and the spring buying season has ground to a halt.

Since March 20, the day Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the executive order, just 66 homes were listed for sale in Manhattan, an 85 percent drop compared to the same period last year, when 428 listings came to market, according to UrbanDigs, a real-estate data company.

Real estate agents, who have been deemed nonessential workers, have been unable to schedule showings and in many cases are barred from co-ops and condos, where the buildings have adopted strict entry policies.

The virus is not only keeping new sellers on the sidelines, but leading many to pull their listings from public view altogether, said Noah Rosenblatt, the chief executive and founder of UrbanDigs.

With just a few days left to the month, 1,074 listings had been taken off the market in Manhattan, compared to just 417 in all of March 2019. There were 5,882 active listings for sale in Manhattan on March 26, down 12.8 percent from the same time last year.

“If you look at 2009, the market did the same exact thing,” Mr. Rosenblatt said, referring to the high number of sellers who simply gave up when the Great Recession took hold.

“Everything came to a screeching halt last week,” said Barbara Fox, the president of Fox Residential, a New York brokerage. While measures have been taken by the state to ensure that closings can proceed — for instance, allowing virtual alternatives for typically in-person requirements, like appraisals and notarization — there are still several steps in the sales process without simple solutions.

“I just can’t imagine people are going to be buying apartments from a video,” Ms. Fox said, referring to virtual house tours via FaceTime and other apps.

Agents say the extent of the damage to the real estate industry will depend largely on how long the stay-at-home protocol is enforced, but added that the timing is terrible.

The real estate market, especially the high-end, has been softening since prices peaked around 2016. The first quarter of the year showed signs of improvement, before the virus arrived, said Jonathan Miller, a New York real estate appraiser. Many agents expect the second quarter, typically a bright spot for sellers, to erase those gains.

“It’s like a retail store losing Christmas,” said Mr. Miller. “That’s really what this is.”

By C. J. Chivers

Many fishing ports across the United States, long imperiled and struggling under strict regulations and the declines of valuable fish and shellfish stocks, have fallen even quieter during the pandemic.

For Rhode Island’s quahoggers, as the harvesters of wild hard-shelled clams are known, the circumstances have gone past difficult to bizarre. While their neighbors struggled to buy food during surges of panic shopping that emptied grocery store shelves, quahoggers found the market for fresh clams — a food rich in protein and minerals — abruptly shut down.

In Rhode Island, where state regulations forbid quahoggers from selling clams directly to consumers, the result is that the fleet has all but stopped working — even though catches were high and people, wary of going into crowded and picked-over grocery stores, are eager for healthy meals.

Andrade’s Catch in Bristol has managed to support quahog sales, at least at a small scale. While the shop does a robust wholesale business, it also runs a retail shop out front. By shifting operations almost entirely to retail, it has kept a few boats on the water.

“I’ve got about six guys I am buying from,” Mr. Andrade said, and he rotates their days. “We want to keep the guys going.”

By Hilarie M. Sheets

Looking to create beauty and build community in the time of social distancing, the artist Liza Lou is inviting other artists along with the general public to join her in a communal art project called “Apartogether.” She introduced the concept on her Instagram page last week, cuing people to begin gathering old clothes and materials around the house from which to piece together a quilt or what she’s calling a “comfort blanket.” (Ms. Lou showed herself hugging her own baby blanket.)

“The idea that an object can protect is, of course, a childlike idea,” she said in her posted video. “I think that making is a form of protection.” Known for her monumental sculptures and wall pieces encrusted with mosaics of individually applied beads, the 50-year-old artist has long explored the meaning found in process and labor traditionally associated with craft and performed by women.

Ms. Lou is rolling out more details of “Apartogether” in a virtual studio visit on Friday at 12:00 EST on Instagram Live, where viewers can comment and ask questions. From this hub, using the handle @liza_lou_studio, she will post regular prompts and live videos over the coming weeks. She is encouraging people to share their progress by tagging it @apartogether_art so that it can be seen and archived on the website She hopes that groups will gather on Zoom to talk and work on their projects in real time.

By Jodi Kantor

In the Dilemmas series, Jodi Kantor is helping answer questions from readers about how to deal with the changes to our life as a result of the coronavirus.

Barri Motola, a reader from New York City, wrote:

I’m 77 years old and I want/need to walk. The two buildings in my complex have a basketball court between them. I have previously taken the freight elevator down 36 stories at 5:30 a.m., meeting no one but armed anyway with mask, gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer. I walked for 35 minutes and went back upstairs, again meeting nobody. Should I force myself to continue? I am simply afraid to go outside.

Ms. Motola’s world has mostly shrunk to one room. She lives by herself in a studio apartment high above Manhattan, with a piano, books and a narrowing set of routines. Her longtime habit of swimming laps is on pause. So are her dates with her children and grandchildren.

“The walking was truly helping me keep it together,” she said on the telephone. But she stopped a week ago and hasn’t left her building since. “As this ramped up, I kept weighing anything and everything I was thinking about doing outside, and saying: ‘Is it worth getting sick for? Is it worth dying for?’”

She’s not the only one asking. The outdoors is now contested ground. Parks and trails from Los Angeles to the Great Smokies are being closed. (Too many people were socially distancing in the same places, and therefore not at all.) Authorities are patrolling others, warning people to disperse. This week, India’s prime minister told 1.3 billion people not to set foot outside their homes. “Stay Home Save Lives” has become a rallying cry and a pressure point on social media.

By David Yaffe-Bellany and Jaclyn Peiser

They hoped to secure jobs on political campaigns, at fashion brands and law offices, and in sales and finance. Instead, they’ve had internships canceled and interviews postponed, wandered through empty job fairs and seen recruiters ignore their anxious emails.

When the coronavirus pandemic forced college students across the country to leave campus in early March, the abrupt departure was especially painful for seniors. It meant rushed goodbyes, canceled graduation ceremonies — an overwhelming sense of loss.

Now, many of those seniors are home with their families, contemplating an even worse prospect: a job market more grim than any in recent history. Last week, according to the Labor Department, nearly 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits, more than quadruple the previous record.

By Dan Bilefsky and Ceylan Yeginsu

In a matter of weeks, the global coronavirus epidemic has transformed relationships, dating and sex. Weddings have been postponed, while divorce rates have reportedly soared in China as the crisis has eased. Lovers and family members are suffering aching separations as borders have closed. Prosaic choices, like whether to send a child on a play date, or whether to meet a potential suitor, have become matters of life and death.

The internet has emerged as a lifeline to millions of single people stuck indoors, enabling them to go on virtual yoga dates, attend digital drag queen karaoke parties or blow out candles at WhatsApp birthday get-togethers.

Some glimpses of how people are handling the crisis around the world shows just how universal this situation is.

By Christina Caron and Katie Van Syckle

The two women showed no signs of infection when they arrived last week at a top New York City hospital to deliver their babies.

But soon after the babies were born, the mothers’ conditions “deteriorated very quickly,” and they were admitted to the intensive care unit, said Dr. Mary D’Alton, the chief obstetrician and gynecologist at the NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan.

The women had undetected Covid-19, and more than 30 health care workers were exposed to the coronavirus before the women were diagnosed — prompting the NewYork-Presbyterian hospital network to bar partners and other support people from labor and delivery rooms, a policy that was implemented on Monday for all its maternity patients.

The babies do not seem to have contracted the virus so far. One of the mothers was discharged four days after delivering, but the other mother remains hospitalized.

“That was an excruciating decision for us,” Dr. D’Alton said of the no-support person policy. “It was not taken lightly, it was not taken by one person. It was taken by a team of us involved in multidisciplinary levels across the institution.” She said the hospital must assume there are many people who have been infected with the virus, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

The members of the team who were exposed to the virus — doctors, residents and nurses — are self-monitoring for any signs of the disease, she said.

By Sandra E. Garcia

Niani Barracks usually tends to clients at a salon in Detroit, but now that she must stay indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic, she has been running her fingers through the hair of a mannequin head affixed to a stand in her home, as a dozen other black women, who paid $5 each, watch her on Facebook Live.

In one video, Ms. Barracks gently cradles three strands of hair between her fingers as she explains how to start a braid.

The skill is essential for many black women trying to keep their hair healthy while they practice social distancing. Braids are the foundation of many protective hairstyles, like wigs and hair extensions.

With nonessential businesses closing and nearly two dozen states urging at least 212 million Americans to stay home, Facebook has experienced a sharp increase in the use of its Live feature, which lets users broadcast videos. Most of the students in Ms. Barracks’s class are black women hoping to learn how to braid while salons and barbershops have shuttered to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

After she started staying home with her son when his school closed, Ms. Barracks got the idea to start the class.

“There were some moments of anxiety when I realized I don’t have another job and that I won’t be making any money,” Ms. Barracks said. “Everything started shutting down except the bills.”

By Benjamin Hoffman

In a moment that was instantly relatable for people who are struggling emotionally with the coronavirus pandemic, Hoda Kotb, one of the co-anchors of “Today,” broke down in tears on Friday, shortly after interviewing Drew Brees, the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, who was appearing on the show to discuss his charitable work.

Ms. Kotb discussed with Mr. Brees that he and his wife, Brittany, had donated $5 million to the state of Louisiana to help with the outbreak that has been particularly severe in New Orleans. But shortly after she told Mr. Brees, “We love ya,” she was briefly unable to continue. Her co-anchor, Savannah Guthrie, quickly jumped in to tell Ms. Kotb to take a moment, and a video of the interaction was tweeted out by “Today” and drew an intense reaction online.

Part of Ms. Kotb’s reaction likely was a result of her connection to New Orleans, where she worked for a number of years. As The Times reported on Thursday, the city has been inundated by coronavirus cases, with the issue likely exacerbated by recent Mardi Gras celebrations.

By Kate Conger and Erin Griffith

As life has increasingly moved online during the pandemic, an older generation that grew up in an analog era is facing a digital divide. Often unfamiliar or uncomfortable with apps, gadgets and the internet, many are struggling to keep up with friends and family through digital tools when some of them are craving those connections the most.

While teenagers are celebrating birthdays over Zoom with one another, children are chatting with friends over online games and young adults are ordering food via delivery apps, some older people are intimidated by such technology. According to a 2017 Pew Research study, three-quarters of those older than 65 said they needed someone else to set up their electronic devices. A third also said they were only a little or not at all confident in their ability to use electronics and to navigate the web.

That is problematic now when many people 65 and older, who are regarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as most at risk of severe illness related to the coronavirus, are shutting themselves in. Many nursing homes have closed off to visitors entirely. Yet people are seeking human interaction and communication through the web or their devices to stave off loneliness and to stay positive.

By Jennifer Miller

The Covid-19 pandemic is gutting the global economy and forcing entire nations into quarantine. While reporting on devastation that is incomprehensibly big, our reporters have been accumulating in their notebooks some moments that are compelling because they are small.

On Monday night, three police cars sat outside a CVS in northwest Washington, lights flashing, while officers stood in the doorway of the drugstore, watching the unboxing of a delivery of Cottonelle.

[Read More…]