3/27 Coronavirus Tracker: Fauci's formation, climate activists hit the screens

This article appears in the Coronavirus Tracker feature series. View the full series.

Welcome to NCR's Coronavirus Tracker, where you can find the latest news about the coronavirus pandemic as it relates to the Catholic Church and other institutions. We hope you find it useful in navigating these complex times and welcome your suggestions for how we might improve it. We're currently updating the Tracker twice a day, early in the morning and late in the afternoon. To receive the Coronavirus Tracker by email each weekday afternoon, sign up here. The Tracker was last updated at 5:00 pm EDT. 

Coronavirus Kindness

Every night, at 6 pm sharp, everyone in David Warren's neighborhood comes to the curb in front of their homes and waves at everyone else. 

Distraught, determined Little Sisters of the Poor cope with coronavirus

Global Sisters Report, March 27

The mother superior said the state has recommended additional staffing and the sisters are now asking for volunteers or donations.

Brooklyn priest dies of coronavirus

NY Daily News, March 28

The Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, 49, a beloved Mexico City-born priest, died Friday evening at Wyckoff Medical Center, the first U.S. Catholic cleric to die of the disease, according to Brooklyn Diocese officials. 

10 Test Positive for Coronavirus After Suburban Church Service, Pastor Says

NBC Chicago, March 27

At least 10 people from The Life Church of Glenview have tested positive for coronavirus since the church's last service on March 15.

'Nobody Signed Up for This.' College Professor Drastically Rethinks Syllabus to Prioritize Human Need Amid Coronavirus

TIME, March 27

The educator, Brandon Bayne, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, tells TIME that when UNC announced on March 11 that in-person classes would transition to online-only indefinitely, he realized he was going to have to drastically overhaul his approach to teaching his Religion in America course for the spring 2020 semester.

The Road to Coronavirus Hell Was Paved by Evangelicals

The New York Times, March 27

Trump's response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies. 

The coronavirus, the cross and our vocation

Global Sisters Report, March 27

"The cross, where Jesus hangs, that's who we are meant to look up to. The cross:a sign of human suffering, humanity, an expression of oneness, of human brokenness, of endurance, pain, submission, acceptance. Even Jesus Christ our savior and redeemer was susceptible to heartache, anguish, injustice, loss of life.

WhatsApp forums, social distancing: Nigerian sisters respond to the coronavirus pandemic

Global Sisters Report, March 27

In a closed WhatsApp forum created by the Nigerian sisters, health experts among them share the latest information about the global pandemic to help them make better decisions.

COVID-19 is not God's judgment, but a call to live differently, pope says

Catholic News Service, March 27

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic is not God's judgment on humanity, but God's call on people to judge what is most important to them and resolve to act accordingly from now on, Pope Francis said.

Pope thanks those who help, pray for vulnerable during pandemic

Catholic News Service, March 27

Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to the many men and women who have been inspired to help the poor and accompany the sick and the elderly during the coronavirus pandemic.

Catholic entities expect to receive aid under emergency relief bill

Catholic News Service, March 27

Catholic hospitals, parish schools and charitable agencies are among the entities hoping to receive partial relief under a massive $2.2 trillion emergency aid package unanimously approved by the Senate in response to the crippling new coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, dedicated to public service, formed at Jesuit high school

Peter Feuerherd (NCR), March 27 

He's America's tough-love grandpa at a moment when top political leaders are frequently more like irresponsible dads prone to happy talk nonsense. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has emerged for many as the voice of reason and integrity as the nation confronts the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Much of that he learned at Regis High School, a no-tuition Jesuit college-prep school on New York City's Upper East Side renowned as an academic haven for gifted boys.

Coronavirus compels climate activists to shift from streets to screen

Brian Roewe (EarthBeat), March 27 

Global measures to flatten the curve of the growing coronavirus crisis have led Catholic and other environmental groups to bend their own advocacy approach to avert another worldwide crisis brought by rising global temperatures.

Spirituality for a time of scarcity

Charles E. Bouchard (NCR), March 27 

Just recently, I was at the grocery store, and as I checked out, I thought about the workers there who were serving us. I thanked the clerk who had just rung up my purchases. Her broad smile indicated that not many people had acknowledged her sacrifice and commitment.

Because coronavirus has led to enough sacrifices, Catholic bishops say it's okay to eat meat on Fridays during Lent

The Washington Post, March 27

As the novel coronavirus has given new meaning to a season of self-sacrifice, some faith leaders are granting worshipers a pass from traditional Lenten rituals. 

Coronavirus social distancing leads to empty churches and a rise in apps

Vox, March 27

In response to the coronavirus, churches are playing catch-up to get themselves online. Some platforms are eager to help.

Our response to the coronavirus pandemic reveals who we truly are

America, March 26 

The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented health crisis, a growing economic disaster and a fundamental moral test. Our response demonstrates who we are, what we believe and what kind of society we are becoming. Terrible times reveal our true values, priorities and character as individuals and as a society.

God Doesn’t Want Us to Sacrifice the Old

The New York Times, March 26 

Christianity teaches that every single human life is valuable, even during a pandemic.

America’s civil religion is capitalism. Trump’s coronavirus response proves it.

The Washington Post, March 26 

The story recurs through nearly every mythological system: Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to guarantee good winds to sail to the battle of Troy; human sacrifice was an integral part of Aztec religious ritual; Christians hold that Jesus of Nazareth died for the sins of all mankind. In each case, we see the hallmarks of religious sacrifice: Give up the lives of a few select scapegoats to rebalance society.

Q&A with Dr. Fauci and Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, March 26

NBA superstar Stephen Curry discusses COVID-19 and how to stay safe with Dr. Fauci on Instagram Live.

Death rate soars in New Orleans coronavirus 'disaster' that could define city for generations

USA Today, March 26 

Throngs of revelers may have brought the coronavirus to New Orleans during Mardi Gras celebrations here.

But the city’s poverty rate, lack of healthcare and affordable housing, and high rates of residents with preexisting medical conditions may be driving its explosive growth and could make it the next U.S. epicenter of the outbreak.

'It’s a razor’s edge we’re walking': inside the race to develop a coronavirus vaccine

The Guardian, March 27 

Defeating Covid-19 will call for more than vaccines; it will involve quarantines, social distancing, antivirals and other drugs, and healthcare for the sick. But the idea of a vaccine – the quintessential silver bullet – has come to bear an almost unreasonable allure.

Designer brand Ralph Lauren to make masks and gowns

BBC, March 26 

Ralph Lauren is to start making medical masks and gowns - the latest designer brand to lend its support to the coronavirus fight. The fashioner designer announced the shift in production through its charitable arm on Thursday.

The Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation will start making 250,000 masks and 25,000 isolation gowns in the US.

Coronavirus measures could cause global food shortage, UN warns

The Guardian, March 26 

Protectionist measures by national governments during the coronavirus crisis could provoke food shortages around the world, the UN’s food body has warned.

South Africa has 1st coronavirus deaths as lockdown begins

The Washington Post, March 26 

A shaken South Africa on Friday announced its first two deaths from the coronavirus as the country’s cases rose above 1,000 and a three-week lockdown began.

Canada urges US not to put troops at border during pandemic

Associated Press, March 26 

Canada said Thursday it told the Trump administration that a proposal to put troops at the U.S.-Canada border amid the coronavirus pandemic was entirely unnecessary and would damage relations between the two longtime allies.

Nurses sent to London as capital faces ‘tsunami’ of virus patients

The Guardian, March 26 

Nurses will be transferred to London from other parts of England under NHS plans to help hospitals in the capital facing a “tsunami” of Covid-19 patients within days, the Guardian has learned.

Lockdown: The eye of the storm in Italy

Vanity Fair, March 26 

In March, as the coronavirus continued to spread across Italy, authorities announced they would place the entire country in lockdown. At the time, Italian-born photographer Alex Majoli was doing an artist residency near Codogno, one of the epicenters of the pandemic. He decided to head south, where he has a home, intending to chronicle the impact of the virus on the people of Sicily.

Spain extends coronavirus lockdown, in 'war' to buy medical supplies

Reuters, March 26 

Spain extended its coronavirus lockdown on Thursday and said it was fighting a “real war” over medical supplies to contain the world’s second-highest virus death toll, turning to China for many critical products, where officials reported fraud and massive price increases.

Enter your email address to receive free newsletters from NCR.

Join the Conversation

Send your thoughts and reactions to Letters to the Editor. Learn more here