Would you like, this summer, to swim with Covid-19? Knowing that more than 2 billion disposable masks have been ordered, soon there will be more masks than jellyfish in the waters of the Mediterranean.
That’s French environmentalist Laurent Lombard warning of the looming environmental disaster unleashed by the pandemic. The French government alone has ordered 2 billion face masks—which contain plastics such as polypropylene. As one French politician explained: “With a lifespan of 450 years, these masks are an ecological timebomb given their lasting environmental consequences for our planet.” Illustration: Parth Savla
the big story
The state of the world: A pandemic report
The TLDR: It has been three months since the WHO officially declared a global pandemic on March 11. We look at where the different nations are now, and what a new report predicts for their economic future. Short answer for India: it’s bleak, especially if we experience a second wave. Also not looking pretty: The UK’s future.
Winners and losers, right now
Axios put together a detailed analysis of the virus outbreak in different parts of the world. Here’s a quick recap.
Looking good: New Zealand is virus-free. And a number of European countries—Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia and Slovenia—have reported zero new cases. Also looking rosy: Carribean nations.
One overlooked success: Vietnam—which has 96 million people, and recorded only 300 cases and a single death.
Living in denial: A number of nations have decided to just ignore reality and nearly no testing. And therefore have zero cases. Examples: North Korea, Libya, Tanzania—which has defeated it through prayer—and Burundi, whose President may have died of Covid.
Getting worse, quickly: The United States, of course. As for India, we reported 9,985 cases yesterday—and are now #3 in terms of the highest number of daily cases, right after the US and Brazil. We have the fifth-highest number of cases.
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