On Friday, President Trump announced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that everyone in the country wear a simple, cloth face covering while out in public. The recommendation is meant to mainly prevent those who have the virus, including asymptomatic carriers, from spreading it to others. While medical masks should be reserved for health-care workers, people can sew their own face masks at home. Click here for a pattern from The Washington Post that you can download, print out and use to sew your own with a machine, or by hand.
Follow the latest coronavirus updates from The Post here. Or, if the news has you down, check out The Post’s Daily Break, which features one uplifting story a day for better times.
How sex work is changing in the pandemic
France’s plan to combat domestic violence
Simone Biles on the Olympics postponement
Today’s featured news
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France implements plan to combat increased domestic violence
The government plans to finance pop-up counseling centers in grocery stores and will give anti-domestic abuse organizations an additional $1.1 million to help them manage increased demand for their services.
—Macy Freeman, Washington Post multiplatform editor
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Sex workers face unique obstacles during the pandemic
More than 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March, and gig workersacross the country have been hit especially hard by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for the sex industry: As more people seek out intimacy online, sex workers who usually meet clients in-person are scrambling to adjust to the circumstances. They say new sex workers are flocking to online platforms such as OnlyFans, which employs a subscription model, and saturating a market that can be difficult to break into.
Idaho governor signs two anti-transgender bills
Last week, Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed two anti-transgender bills into law: One bans transgender girls and women from competing in women’s sports, and the other prohibits transgender people from changing the sex listed on their birth certificates. The latter ignores a 2018 federal court ruling that deemed barring transgender people from making birth certificate changes unconstitutional. More than 40 states have introduced anti-transgender legislation this year, but Idaho is the first to enact such laws.
As many Americans enter their third week of self-quarantine, they’re figuring out what exactly to wear during the workday. As Lily staff writer Caroline Kitchener writes, athleisure brands have begun marketing entire work-from-home wardrobes, and many women are on the quest for something that is comfortable but still somewhat elevated. Take Laura Decker, a 32-year-old product manager living in Denver, who was on the search for the perfect pair of pants: She wanted a pair between the holey pajama bottoms she wore to sleep and the dark jeans she wore to the office. Decker finally found them on Amazon. Read the full story here.
News by the numbers
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Research shows that women are stronger empathizers than men, which helps explain why they make up nearly 9 in 10 of the country’s registered nurses and 3 in 4 of its health-care workers overall, writes Lily contributor Alia Wong. But where can they turn when the emotional toll of the coronavirus pandemic begins weighing on them? According to interviews with nearly 20 female health-care workers, they’re feeling exasperated as they tend to the needs of both their loved ones and patients; it’s no surprise, then, that there’s been a rise in demand for virtual mental-health tools. Read the full story here.
Five need-to-know stories in 100 words or less
1. In an interview on the “Today” show Wednesday, Simone Biles spoke publicly for the first time about the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics. “I cried,” she said. “But ultimately it was the right decision. We need to make sure that everyone in the U.S. and around the world is healthy and safe.”
2. Under guidelines posted last month by White House officials and the White House Correspondents’ Association, access to the White House news briefing is restricted to about 15 reporters each day. But Chanel Rion, a correspondent for the conservative outlet One America News Network, showed up to the briefing on Tuesday and Wednesday— even though OANN was not slotted to attend either day. That prompted the correspondents’ association to vote to remove OANN from the rotation.
3.Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised address Sunday to the United Kingdom and Commonwealth and spoke about the coronavirus pandemic. “I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge,” she said. “Those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any.”
4.March 31 marked Equal Pay Day, which represents how far into 2020 U.S. women, on average, had to work to “catch up” to what white men made in 2019. On average, women make about 81.6 cents for every dollar that white men make, but that gap is much wider for women of color: Latinas are typically paid 54 cents for every dollar a white man makes. As various outlets pointed out, the coronavirus pandemic has escalated the urgency of the pay gap.
5. Soccer star Alex Morgan appeared on the cover of Glamour one month before her due date. Morgan, who had planned to play in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo three months after giving birth, spoke about the postponement of the Games, training while pregnant and more.
A single panel from Pepita Sandwich
Bella and Donna, two fictional characters created by comic artist Pepita Sandwich, are best friends trying to navigate adulthood. This week, they are taking on dating in the age of social distancing.
If you haven’t gotten into puzzling yet, get on it. I worked on this puzzle for four hours last weekend. It’s big, beautiful and just the right level of challenging. Alas, I will never finish it because I think my dog ate the last piece. But that doesn’t mean you can’t. —Aviva Loeb, Washington Post designer