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Third Wave Coming: How We’re Getting Smarter About COVID-19

PARIS — With much of the world trying to minimize the impact of a COVID-19 second wave, governments are again forced to make impossible choices between relaxing restrictions to avoid total economic implosion or staying shut down to limit death tolls. Even countries typically mentioned as pandemic role models, like South Korea, are seeing a resurgence of cases.

But perhaps the grimmest news of the second wave is that many experts say we're bound for a third wave.

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What The Animal Kingdom Teaches Us About Social Distancing

Monkeys, lobsters and even guppies ... They all have an innate understanding that there's only one truly effective way to contain an epidemic.

PARIS — The pandemic is deep into its second wave. Like a nightmare déjà vu from last spring, hospitals are in danger of overflowing, the health situation forces the politicians to act and the economy risks imploding. Humans of course have experienced this all before over the centuries. But it also looks a lot like what has been conditioning the animal realm forever. Let's look back in time, and elsewhere in nature, to see where we are going.

Like in March, in France as elsewhere, exceptional measures have been put in place that hinder our freedom. The spring lockdown was followed by an autumn curfew and then, starting Oct. 30, another, albeit somewhat lighter, lockdown. The moves have sparked criticisms from their first victims: restaurant owners, gym owners, the entertainment and nightlife world. But inaction was not an option. The government would have faced even more backlash had it done nothing.

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New Zealand To Niger: 8 *Other World Elections That Matter

*Other than Donald Trump's jaw-dropping push for a second term, we will also see Maduro's Venezuela and Myanmar (also) testing the limits of democracy in the coming weeks.

This year's U.S. presidential election is sucking up even more global attention than previous runs for the White House. America's global influence is undeniable, as is the current president's knack for making noise. There is no doubt Worldcrunch and other international media will continue to follow the U.S. campaign until Nov. 3 — but from New Zealand to Ivory Coast to Venezuela, the stakes are equally high at ballot boxes around the world in the coming weeks and months. Here's a rapid-fire glance at eight key global elections that shouldn't be ignored:


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Pathogens In The Permafrost: A New Climate Change Health Risk

French researchers have recovered a pair of viruses that were long frozen below the Siberian tundra. In this case, the microorganisms are harmless, but others may not be.

Deadly pathogens, frozen for tens of thousands of years in the soil of the Arctic circle, suddenly freed and reactivated because of global warming. It sounds like science fiction , and indeed, U.S. author Christy Esmahan imagined a similar scenario as the premise for her 2015 thriller The Laptev Virus.

In it, Esmahan imagines an oil company that, while drilling in the far north , accidentally releases a "megavirus' that's been dormant in the frozen tundra for 30,000 years. Death and mayhem ensue.

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The View From Wuhan, Where China 'Won The War' On COVID-19

Eight months after cutting itself off from the world, the Chinese megalopolis is coronavirus-free and back to business as usual, albeit with a healthy dose of propaganda.

WUHAN — Cheng isn't really into hip-hop, but when a friend suggests they go see the Bad Guys in concert, she didn't hesitate. "We were so bored during lockdown," the 20-year-old woman, her hair dyed electric blue and her ears adorned with piercings, explains.

Next to her are dozens of young people wearing massive sneakers and oversize hoodies, quietly flocking in front of the stage of the Vox, an independent concert hall in Wuhan. Eight months after the central Chinese city of 11 million inhabitants was sealed off, its young people are craving some party-time .

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COVID-19 And Gender: More Women Face Long-Term Symptoms

A new study in Spain found that middle-aged women are by far the most likely demographic to be suffering long-term effects of coronavirus.

"I have to come up with 50 different ways of saying that I am not better..."

Anna Kemp, 50, is one of many "long-haulers," those people across the world who have survived COVID-19 but are still suffering from its symptoms, months later. But the art festival director is also noteworthy because she fits the profile of those most likely to struggle with overcoming the effects of the virus . According to a new Spanish study, middle-aged women are particularly vulnerable to be long-haulers.

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In China, The Post-COVID Boom Has Begun

How is the Chinese economy doing these days? Start by asking Louis Vuitton, whose flagship Beijing boutique boasted record sales in August.


PARIS Meanwhile, in China… As Europe struggles to sort out what stage of the epidemic it is currently experiencing (Is this a kind of detour of the first wave? The start of the second?), the Middle Kingdom gives the impression that the virus is already history.

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A Momentous And Wary Back-To-School Around The World

It's just one of many images of schoolchildren circulating around the world this week, but it comes with extra symbolism: 1.4 million students returned to their classes today in Wuhan, the central Chinese city where COVID-19 originated last last year. Eventually, nearly one billion children around the world — and their parents — faced months out of school, some adjusting to online classes, others simply shut out from learning.

Now, with this very special back-to-school season fully underway in many parts of the world, it's a moment of truth for many countries, as managing schools has become one of the biggest indicators of how well governments are handling the epidemic.

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