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A local doctor perfoming a temperature check up for the locals in Kenya
A local doctor perfoming a temperature check up for the locals in Kenya

The insidious path of COVID-19 across the planet is a blunt reminder of how small the world has become. For the coming weeks, Worldcrunch will be delivering daily updates on this crisis from the best, most trusted international news sources — regardless of language or geography. To receive the daily Coronavirus global brief in your inbox, sign up here.

SPOTLIGHT: YOUR HEALTH DEPENDS ON HELPING POOR COUNTRIES

The unprecedented crisis of COVID-19 has simultaneously generated both global solidarity and new heights of navel gazing. You've probably stumbled across the the VIPs sharing their self-absorption on social media. But there are also millions of others who are rightly laser focused on the well-being of their families, the fate of their careers and the challenge of being locked inside their homes for weeks on end. And yet at the same time, many are doing their best to support neighbors and local healthcare workers — and try to imagine a better world for all.

While citizens of the world's richest countries — currently the worst affected by the virus — cheer on their own troops and look to one another for guidance, the path to returning their own home turfs to normality may ultimately require looking abroad, and more specifically at how the pandemic will be tackled in the developing world. As we've seen, this virus travels across borders at lightning speeds — and may indeed flare back up in a "second wave" even after it may appear defeated in any one country.

This means that medical and economic aid should be a global calculation, and inevitably poorer countries will need the most help. "It is clearer than ever that none of us will be safe until all of us are safe," reads a blog post from the World Economic Forum calling for immediate debt cancellation to nations in the developing world.

Quoted in Le Monde, UN Chief Antonio Gutteres puts it this way: "The virus will come back up from the South to the North. So it's in the interest of countries in the North to make a massive investment in Africa." Though coronavirus has pushed each of us deeper into our respective bubbles, the world has never been smaller.

Rozena Crossman​

THE SITUATION: 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW

  • Toll: More than one million cases have been registered around the world, Europe accounts for around half. The U.S. records world's highest daily toll with 1,169 deaths.

  • Democrats delay: US Democrats postpone Democratic National Convention to anointpresidential nominee until August.

  • U.S. masks: New York City urges residents to wear masks in public, as White House is expected to issue new face masks guidelines.

  • No exams: France cancels end-of-year national school exams.

  • Gender restrictions: Peru and Panama introduce restrictions of public movement by gender, alternating days out for men and women to slow virus spread.

  • That Mexican beer: Brewer of Coronahalts production of beer, after being declared non-essential business by government.

  • What!? Twins born in India during lockdown namedCorona and Covid.

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Russia

When Mom Believes Putin: A Russian Family Torn Apart Over Ukraine Invasion

Sisters Rante and Satu Vodich fled Russia because they could no longer bear to live under Putin — but their mother believes state propaganda about the war. Her daughters are building a new life for themselves in Georgia.

A mother and her daughter on a barricade in Kyiv

Steffi Unsleber

TBILISI — On a gloomy afternoon in May, Rante Vodich gets the keys to her new home. A week earlier, the 27-year-old found this wooden shed in Tbilisi, with a corrugated iron roof and ramshackle bathroom. The shed next door houses an old bed covered in dust. Vodich refers to the place as a “studio” and pays $300 per month in rent. She says finding the studio is the best thing that’s happened to her since she came to Georgia. It is her hope for the future.

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Her younger sister Satu Vodich is around 400 kilometers further west, in the city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast, surrounded by Russian tourists, Ukrainian flags, skyscrapers with sea views and the run-down homes of local residents.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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