Tuesday, March 31
View our guide to local resources at TheReader.com
For weeks (although it might feel like months) the Covid-19 pandemic has simultaneously demanded the attention of every American while suspending any sense of normalcy.
The Reader is adapting. We have a print issue out this month (combined with our sister publication El Perico), and this weekly Reed Moore email is now daily on weekdays — helping you start your day with a roundup of top news, and other happenings, for now mostly virtual.
This email marks the launch of our membership program (NEED LINK). Omaha’s only locally-owned newsmedia remains free, but we need your support, please, to continue our work.
Check our ever growing Covid-19 guide for community resources that are here to help.
Here’s what you need to know for March 31.
– John Heaston, Editor
Your top local stories
Claims for state unemployment benefits skyrocketed following closures and shutdown due to Covid-19, according to statistics from the Nebraska Department of Labor.
- The total is four times that of the peak during the great recession. Nationally claims jumped from about 250,000 to 2.8 million.
- If you’re out of work and wondering what benefits you can access, check out our guide to unemployment benefits.
- Mayor Jean Stothert pleaded with Omahans on Sunday to do a better job social distancing and stay out of big-box retailers.
Across the State
- New data shows the virus’s peak in Nebraska could come on April 30, in line with estimates from a state official on Monday.
- The four-month projection from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also shows the United States peak could come on Easter, April 12, which is in line with what President Donald Trump said on Monday.
- Tomorrow Nebraskans will be able to pay for groceries online with benefits from the food assistance program SNAP. Amazon will be the first option for Omahans though more stores will follow, according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
What to do during quarantine?
As Covid-19 pushes Omahans indoors and away from each other, we asked our writers to come up with ideas to help us pass the time and stay engaged.Today we suggest:Go Outside and Take a Walk!
There’s plenty of room to keep social distancing while enjoying the Spring weather. A simple walk can play a major role in your overall mood as it helps to boost endorphins, or “feel‐good” chemicals in the brain.
Right now all of Omaha’s public parks, trails and golf courses remain open.
What’s happening in the United States?
- Last week, the U.S. became the global leader in coronavirus cases. As of Monday, it has over 150,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths. In New York City, the center of the U.S. outbreak, ad-hoc field hospitals are taking root in Central Park while a naval ship docked in Manhattan to boost the city’s bed count by 1,000.
- The extension contrasts against earlier statements when Trump hoped the country would be back to normal by Easter.
- He also cited numbers showing the U.S. death total could reach 200,000 even with aggressive containment.
- After passing a $2 trillion stimulus package last week, the largest in the country’s history, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of California, said more relief is in the works. “We have to have more resources for state and local government,” she said.
What’s happening across the world?
World leaders ask how South Korea made dramatic progress in halting the spread of Covid-19 and “flattening the curve.”
- At its peak about a month ago, the country of 50 million identified 909 cases in one day. Those have dropped and recently the country reported a low of 64. It’s also never had more than eight deaths a day.
Check out more coverage online at TheReader.com
The Omaha Reader