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The idea of returning to normal is difficult enough for many people. But one of the biggest obstacles to dining in a restaurant, going to a doctor’s appointment or heading back to the office is the prospect of having to use a public restroom — a tight, intimate and potentially germ-infested space. Here’s why public bathrooms are a turning into a stumbling block for reopening, and what business owners are doing to allay the fear. <>

The international market for protective equipment like masks is riddled with fraud. Up and down the supply chain, opportunists are benefiting from the chaotic market as prices have quintupled. Meanwhile, medical workers across the United States are rationing masks, recycling them and treating infected patients without them. Read about the underground market for protective gear that health experts say is putting lives at risk. <>

President Trump said he has been taking the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine <>  as protection against the novel coronavirus, despite the lack of evidence that it works and warnings from physicians that it can have deadly side effects <>

The reaction ranged from concern for the president’s health to criticism for his disregard of the warnings. “He’s our president, and I would rather he not be taking something that has not been approved by the scientists,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in an interview on CNN <>, “especially in his age group, and in his, shall we say, weight group: ‘Morbidly obese,’ they say.”

Trump and his senior advisers now predict swift economic recovery in the second half of the year <> . The White House’s rosy view of the economy’s trajectory clashes with the dire predictions of many mainstream economists, as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell, who has urged lawmakers to pass an additional stimulus measure to avoid a prolonged downturn.

Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testified to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday. Mnuchin defended the administration’s pandemic response as senators asked pointed questions about how many workers would be expected to lose their lives to save the economy. Read about the hearing and the officials’ testimony <>, which comes as lawmakers are divided on how to address the economic fallout.

Trump threatened to permanently halt U.S. funding to the World Health Organization <> if it doesn’t “commit to major substantive improvements.”  <>In a letter, the president continued to attack the organization and its director general, accusing them of being too soft on China. The Chinese government said the U.S. was using China as an excuse to shirk its financial obligations to the group.

Two churches in Georgia and Texas, states that have been at the forefront of reopening, have now closed their doors again. <>  Catoosa Baptist Tabernacle in Ringgold, Ga., resumed in-person services and later decided to suspend them after several families became infected despite the church’s social-distancing and cleaning precautions. Houston-based Holy Ghost Parish has canceled services indefinitely after one of its priests died and five other members tested positive for the virus.

Global carbon dioxide emissions have plunged an unprecedented 17 percent <> during the coronavirus pandemic.

As coronavirus kept everyone inside, crime dropped in many U.S. cities, but not all <>.

Fact Checker: Trump’s flimsy attack on a vaccine official’s warning about hydroxychloroquine. <>

What’s driving the shutdown protests? <> It’s not economic pain.

New polling data show that 49 of 50 governors have significantly higher approval ratings for their coronavirus responses than Trump <>.

The governors of California, New York and Texas have expressed support for the return of pro sports <>.

Just how open is the nation?

As nearly every state begins to reopen, we’re tracking the restrictions in each one, along with the rate of new confirmed covid-19 cases. What’s happening in your area? Dive in to explore. <>

Live updates and more
Track deaths and confirmed cases in the U.S.  <> and across the world.  <>

Post reporters across the world are publishing live dispatches 24 hours a day. <>

Read the latest about the what’s happening in the D.C. area. <>

Submit a question <>  and The Post may answer it in a future story, live chat or newsletter.

Your questions, answered
“Have scientists discovered if people who’ve had a moderate to severe case of SARS or MERS in the past few years have resistance to covid-19?” —Melissa in Oregon

This is a good question that gets at some cutting-edge research on coronavirus treatments. The answer is a cautious yes — there is some evidence that the antibodies produced from a SARS infection could help fight the current coronavirus that causes covid-19.

SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) are also members of the coronavirus family. Scientists are studying the blood from people who recovered from them to determine if they might also have an immune response to SARS-CoV-2 (the technical name for the novel coronavirus that causes covid-19).

In research published Monday, scientists found <> that antibodies in the blood of a person who recovered from SARS 17 years ago appeared to attack the current coronavirus. The SARS antibody from that person was good at binding and disabling the “spike protein” on the virus, which is the mechanism by which it attaches to a human cell and injects its genetic material.

The caveat is that the research was conducted in a lab dish, and it has not yet been shown to work in the human body. A different study from 2007 showed that the SARS antibody response only lasted an average of two years <>.

“We still need to show that this antibody is protective in living systems, which has not yet been done,” said David Veesler, assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Washington School of Medicine, in a news release <>.

Want to take a closer look? Here’s a picture that illustrates the spikes on the coronavirus <>, and a video of Veesler talking about how researchers have seen the antibody attach to one of those spikes <>.

Today’s top reads
Find more stories, analysis and op-eds about the outbreak on our coronavirus page <> , including:
Navigating pandemic-era air travel: Here’s what it’s like to fly internationally right now   The NFL is testing face masks that contain surgical or N95 material   Sales soar at Walmart and Home Depot during pandemic as other retailers suffer


Masks are changing the way we look at each other, and ourselves <>
By Maura Judkis ●  Read more » <>

Trump says he’s on a miracle covid-19 drug. People who take his advice may die.  <>
Perspective ●  By Karen M. Masterson ●  Read more » <>


This nurse cared for the lives of black mothers and their babies. Covid-19 took hers.  <>
By Lateshia Beachum ●  Read more » <>

Do you trust your partner to cut your hair? It’s the ultimate coronavirus relationship test.  <>
By Caroline Kitchener ●  Read more » <>

‘He gave his life for that hospital’: A doctor put off retirement to fight covid-19, only to die of the virus <>
By Meagan Flynn ●  Read more » <>


The surprising intimacy of online therapy sessions during the pandemic <>
Opinion ●  By Lori Gottlieb ●  Read more » <>

Multi-tasking anchor mom

Correction: Yesterday’s cultured penguins <>  wandering an art museum weren’t from Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. They were from the Kansas City Zoo.


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