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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
CNN Global Town Hall Coronavirus: Facts and Fears with Facebook and Instagram. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired March 23, 2020 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: There's also breaking news, Los Angeles County now joining San Francisco and ordering people to stay at home, 10 million people -- 10 million more people being told now to shelter in place.
Sanjay, that's obviously a very big move for Los Angeles.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and I think people really have to understand, though, what it means. You know, "shelter in place," Anderson, you and I have heard that term in many of the stories we've covered, you know, shootings and sometimes even storms.
But, you know, "shelter in place" means typically you stay where you are and yet it's unclear I think still to a lot of people exactly what they're still able to do. So I hope that gets clarified and defined a little bit more precisely.
COOPER: Is it OK to go out -- I mean, I think we talked about this a bit in the first hour, but, you know, to go out for a run --
COOPER: -- to go out for a walk as long as you remain distant. It's not -- you're not -- it's not the act of going outside that's the problem, it's being around other people, is that correct?
GUPTA: Correct, yes. And I think that that's an important point that you still can go outside. I think what I struggle with and I think I've heard a lot of other people, is "shelter in place" really the right terminology then for this, if it's some -- where you -- if you still can go outside, which you should be able to still go outside? But maybe there's a different term.
And, you know, look, we're all learning together. This is brand new thing that we're facing. So but I think, you know, how you define things and you name things is going to matter so that it really settles in for people.
COOPER: Yes. Again, more than half of all Californians now under, we'll call it "stay at home" orders for now. Let's check in with CNN's Dan Simon in San Francisco where the "stay in" orders first began.
So explain, Dan, how it works in the Bay Area. You know, what have people been told? And what are people actually doing?
DAN SIMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, hi, Anderson. First of all, we are along the shoreline in San Francisco. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge behind me. But what police are looking for is they want voluntary compliance. And I have to tell you, for the most part, they're getting it. When you drive around to go to some of these high volume areas, high volume shopping areas that you typically see, the streets are empty.
That said, as you've been talking about, there are plenty of exemptions. For instance, people can go to the grocery store, pick up a few things. They can go to the gas stations. And also they can come outside and get some fresh air and come to the beach and get a little exercise or toss the football around or just, you know, take in the sunset. So that is the situation here.
As you talked about it, this whole term, "shelter in place," it is a little bit of a misnomer because you think about hunkering down during an active shooter situation or you think about a tornado approaching, you know, a city. So in this case that word, that term really does not apply because you see so many people out really, you know, kind of taking in the sight this evening in San Francisco.
GUPTA: And I'm glad that, you know, people are obviously heeding this. Do they -- are they told a sense of how long this is going to last for them, Dan?
SIMON: Well, right now the order is in place until April 7th, but this afternoon you heard Governor Gavin Newsom saying that more than half of Californians could come down with the coronavirus in eight weeks, eight week. So, you know, when you look around, think about that for a second. More than, you know, half of the people that you see around here could get the virus.
So they're saying April 7th, but when you think about those numbers you have to think that they're going to extend that well beyond April 7th.
COOPER: Dan Simon. Dan, thanks very much.
Now, the opposite of just about everything you see in California being played out on the beaches across the Southeast as people put having a good time on spring break ahead of keeping us all a bit safer, themselves included. Earlier today the mayor of Miami, Florida, urged people to "shelter in place." And Florida's governor told people to stay off the beaches saying, quote, "spring break is done." However, he did not close those beaches.
CNN's Gary Tuchman is up the coast a bit on Georgia's St. Simons Island.
Gary, I mean, we reported a bit on this last night. The situation on the beaches, what does it look like now where you are and elsewhere?
GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, spring break is not done here in Georgia beach towns. We're on St. Simons Island, which an absolutely spectacular, beautiful place, a very popular spring break destination every year, including now in 2020 because the governor of the state has not mandated any closings of restaurants, bars, or beaches.
So the bars, the restaurants still open tonight. The major partying will take place after 10:00, 11:00 tonight, and the beaches, they are crowded. East Beach is a popular beach here in St. Simons Island. When you get to the parking lot today, completely full. You go on the beach, very crowded.
Now, some people are making a point to try to find empty areas of the beach and sit separate from each other. But they're in a minority. Most of the college students here -- and it's not just college students, there are also families, children, and I saw many people in their 70s and 80s are sitting close together, five, seven, nine, 11 people.
What some people told me when I was talking to the college students, a couple of them said the exact same things that President Trump recently said, that they felt that this would wash over, that they felt this was like the flu. A more common thing was what a lot of teenagers say if you were a teenager or you have a teenager, you know that you feel invincible.
And a lot of them said, it's a new virus, I've had viruses before, I'll be OK. But then we asked this question, we're not moral policemen, but we ask questions about morality. And we said, what if you get it and you go home and your parents, your grandparents, your great-grandparents are home and you get them sick? They're the ones who are more likely to die.
And then a lot of these teens who are there, a lot of these young people -- and some of them are yelling at us right now.
Please be quiet. Please be polite to us. Thank you. We're on TV right now.
A lot of these people told us they started thinking about it after we told them grandparents, parents that could get sick. And one young lady I was talking to said, I'm not worried about this, there are always viruses, she then told me, I live with my grandmother, and she started thinking about it, too.
But, Anderson, while we were on the beach, it was 80 degrees and sunny today. And it's easy -- with the waves coming and the sand beautiful, it was easy to forget about the coronavirus. But as we walked off and walked back in the parking lot, it was like wake up from a good dream. We thought about the coronavirus again when we were leaving.
COOPER: Well, it's a bad dream for all of us watching that. Gary Tuchman, thanks very much, appreciate it.
Joining us now is Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization's Health Emergencies Program. Dr. Ryan, first of all, when you see the report, people here in America not heeding the warnings about social distancing, hanging out on the beaches, going to bars there in Georgia, I'm sure it's not just happening here but other parts of the world.
DR. MIKE RYAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, WHO HEALTH EMERGENCIES PROGRAM: Yes. We've seen similar situations elsewhere. But I think as Tony and others have said earlier on this program, we really do need people to cooperate, to see beyond themselves, to see the others in society that are vulnerable and take responsible action.
We are one society. We are one people. It doesn't matter where we are in the world, we have to be responsible for the health of ourselves but more importantly for the health of others.
GUPTA: Dr. Ryan, a pleasure to speak to you. I'm sure you've been following some of the events here in the United States. At a White House presser earlier this week, President Trump said that the United States was not offered the test for coronavirus. And also said it was, quote, "a bad test." I wonder if you can clarify these points. Did the WHO ever offer a test to the United States?
RYAN: The WHO developed the test mainly to support countries with weaker health systems. The United States is a fabulous scientific system, a wonderful capacity to develop tests, and whilst developing those tests under the leadership of the CDC. So, no, we did not offer the tests to the U.S., which would be standard practice.
If we were asked, obviously, we would have responded. And in terms of the issue of the...
GUPTA: What about this issue of the --
RYAN: -- quality of the test --
GUPTA: Sorry, so what about this issue about how good the test is? I mean, the implication was that the WHO developed these tests but they had a high false positive rate. In fact, listen for a second, Dr. Ryan, to what Ambassador Birx said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: Quality testing for our American people is paramount to us. It doesn't help to put out a test where 50 percent or 47 percent are false positives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
GUPTA: I mean, that's kind of incredible. I mean, if you have a 50 percent false positive, Dr. Ryan, I mean, it's really -- it seems like it's no better than flipping a coin. How good is the test?
RYAN: I think the Debbie's comments at the time, and I followed that press conference, were taken out of context because she's also referring to the WHO test at that moment. They were talking about the U.S. tests and how careful the FDA had to be in ensuring that the tests going out to the U.S. population were high quality. It was only after that point that the points were made regarding the WHO test.
The WHO test has been validated in a number of (INAUDIBLE) centers, in independent reference (ph) labs, and we've seen that test perform extremely well in the field in multiple countries. We've distributed more than 1.5 million tests to 120 countries around the world. And that test is performing extremely well and has been validated, and continues to perform well in the field.
COOPER: For the first time today, China reported no new cases of the virus. How confident are you in those numbers and their data? And if it's true, how significant is that?
RYAN: Absolutely no reason to doubt the Chinese numbers. Clearly there has been a fall in trends over the last number of weeks. And we've seen that occur right across the country, and now in Wuhan and Hubei province themselves. The Chinese have put an amazing effort in. They've focused on public health measures aimed at containment. They focused on physical distance. They focused on community education. They focused in some cases on movement restriction.
These are strategies applied by everyone around the world right now. The Chinese obviously had the disease before anyone else did. And they've had more time to make those measures work.
But we have absolutely no reason to doubt those numbers. And in fact, most cases that are occurring in China now are as the result of importations from other countries, and that's what China faces now is the possibility of the disease re-seeding in China from outside China.
GUPTA: So that -- that is good news, obviously. I mean, a lot of people are looking to these other countries to figure out what's going to happen here. But at the same time, as you know, Dr. Ryan, sadly, Italy surpassed China's death toll now. China is a country of more than 1.3 billion. Italy is a country of around 60 million, much smaller. So how -- how concerning is that, what's happening in Italy?
RYAN: I think it is very concerning. Obviously, again, Italy is further down the track than other countries. They were taken by surprise by what happened, as has been the case in a number of countries. They also have a -- an older population profile. And they've got to -- they -- they have to deal with an escalating epidemic, particularly in the north of Italy. And clearly, the health system there has come under tremendous pressure.
But we have to commend the front-line doctors and nurses and the communities who are standing fast, showing the solidarity that's needed to work together to push this virus back.
But I think other countries really, really need to step up and learn the lessons that are being learned in Italy right now. We have to push this virus back. It's not just enough to do social distancing. It's good to have that; it's great to separate people, but we have to be able to go after the virus. We have to be able to suppress the virus, not just see it pass over in a large way and stress our health systems all over the world.
COOPER: So when you -- when you say that it's not just social distancing, what more needs to be done? In the United States, for instance, what more needs to be done?
Are you talking about contact tracing, or --
RYAN: Yes, it's -- it's -- each country has its own set of challenges. You have the finest public health system and the finest public health servants in the world in the U.S. Tony was talking earlier about the Ebola treatments. They would never have been possible without NIH. We've got people like Bob Redfield and (INAUDIBLE) at CDC.
I mean, most of the world has based its public health architecture on that that has been developed in the U.S. You've got a tremendously strong system. The issue now for -- for -- for looking at the United States, you've got 50 states. You've got a different situation in each of those states. And you need to tailor the responses in each of those states. And where you get a chance, you need to go after the virus.
And contract tracing and isolation of cases and quarantining of contacts is still a strategy that can be used. And I know that that strategy is being used in the U.S. It's -- it's a mixture of strategies. It's a daily process of adapting those strategies. And the U.S. is a strong nation with very sound leadership and it has the capacity to fight.
COOPER: One of the differences with -- problems with contact tracing here in the U.S., though, is, because of our -- because of the hold- ups, whatever you want to call it, with the tests, the lack of tests that still is out there, if you don't test people, you don't know they're positive. Therefore, they may be positive and you don't have time to contact trace them because you don't know they have it. So you're missing that opportunity.
RYAN: Yes, and I think, again, Tony mentioned earlier how the U.S. has scaled up the capacity to test, and that's really important we identify all confirmed cases. We need to test suspect cases. We need those cases to be isolated. And -- and it is difficult -- in very intense environments, it's difficult to do the kind of detailed contact tracing.
But in Congo, in Ebola, at the peak of the outbreak, we were tracing 25,000 contacts a day in the middle of a war zone. It is possible to do contact tracing even under the most difficult circumstances. But it does require a real scale-up in public health capacity. And where that can be done and the virus can be pushed back, we can save lives.
COOPER: Doctor, our Will Ripley, a correspondent for CNN -- Will Ripley is in Tokyo. I know he has a question for you.
Will, go ahead.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hey, thanks, Anderson.
Dr. Ryan, in less than an hour, the Olympic torch is going to be arriving here in Japan. And officials continue to insist that they're moving forward with plans to host the Olympics on schedule at the end of July. They point to the relatively low number of confirmed infections here. It's around 900 for country of 125 million people.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not enacted emergency law, despite having the ability to do so, pointing to that low infection rate. But the thing is, here in Japan, they're testing a tiny fraction of what they're testing in other countries. The latest numbers that we got from the health ministry on Tuesday indicated that Japan had tested around 15,000 people. South Korea is testing 15,000 people a day.
So how can the world feel confident that Japan has the coronavirus situation under control -- can the world feel confident, given, you know, that we're seeing such limited testing here?
COOPER: Dr. Ryan?
RYAN: Yes, I mean, your numbers are correct. Remember, again, when you look up that test per million population, that 13,000 tests, if you look at testing per million around the world, the U.K. has tested 450 per million, whereas that's 10 times that in Korea, and Japan I know sits somewhere in between.
And so from that perspective -- and then we spoke with our Japanese colleagues today online, and they really have worked very hard on identifying clusters of disease and really working hard on contact tracing and isolating those contacts and quarantining those contacts.
So I have no reason to believe that they're not making progress in Japan. And the -- the Olympics is a major global event, as are other events around the world. And I think Japan still has hope that the Olympics may go ahead. But that is going to be based on a risk management decision. And we're -- and -- and obviously the government of Japan and the IOC (INAUDIBLE) will not make a decision to go ahead if there is danger to athletes, dangers to -- danger to spectators. And a lot of that will depend on how the disease evolves in the coming few weeks.
COOPER: Yes. Dr. Ryan, I want to thank you very much for joining us. I know how busy you are. And I want to thank Will Ripley as well.
Sanjay, this a question that was sent into -- into Facebook via -- via Facebook. And I want to read this. It says how long does the virus stay in the system? A study stated up to 37 days a patient can still shed the virus. Is that accurate?
I think that was like, kind of, like more of an outlier. But explain.
GUPTA: Yes, I mean, look, you know, we are still collecting data, as you know. We -- we interviewed -- I think it was Karl (ph), last week, at the town hall, and I don't remember how many days total he was getting tested every other day. What you hear from most people, and Dr. Fauci just, sort of, repeated this earlier, was up to, you know, 14 days the quarantine, sort of, time period is based on the fact where they think most people will no longer be shedding virus at that point.
But clearly -- and, by the way, the typical amount is around five days. But clearly there are some outliers, and that's going to affect, I think, how we think about quarantines and how we think about contact tracing, which you were bringing up earlier, Anderson.
COOPER: It is -- you know, I talked to Dr. Fauci about this, and I don't want to, kind of, re-litigate the past, but just the failure of testing in this --
COOPER: -- is extraordinary. I mean, this is --
COOPER: You hear -- you hear Dr. Ryan talking about, you know, America has the greatest health -- you know, health care, public health system, and yet, you know, they're still talking about, well, you know, they're efforting those tests, and "efforting" is not a verb, you know.
GUPTA: No, I know. And I think -- I think Will was obviously giving some really important data about Japan as an example as well.
And, look, I'm not quite sure, you know, how to think about this, but I think the idea that, obviously, again, there's this balance between wanting to do the public health sort of job here but also not wanting to alarm people.
So, you know, would you under-test, for example, in Japan, because you really don't want to jeopardize the Olympics; you don't want to, sort of, alarm people?
It's not the right answer, obviously, Anderson, to do that. But these are countries that can test. They've obviously had examples of other countries around the world that are testing. So you do have to ask, you know, what happened here and what happened in Japan?
Was it just failures, or -- or is there under-testing for some particular reason?
You know, it's going to be interesting to see when we look back on this even, you know, in the next several days or weeks.
COOPER: Yes. Coming up, you know, I talked to Bill de Blasio last night. He said he'd like to see the U.S. military play a role in New York responding to this, building hospitals, building field hospitals. The governor of New York, Mario Cuomo, has talked -- excuse me, Andrew Cuomo -- has talked about the Army Corps of Engineers. We're going to talk with someone who has seen the military's work up
close, actor Sean Penn, who worked with the military in Haiti, running one of the largest displaced person camps in Port-au-Prince. We'll talk to Sean coming up.
COOPER: With the Pentagon preparing to deploy another Navy hospital ship and two active-duty Army mobile hospital units, the military is clearly contributing to the relief effort and may, in fact, contribute more.
New York City's Mayor Bill de Blasio says he wants the military to deploy hospitals in New York City, and a hospital ship is preparing to leave.
What more, though, can we expect? One answer might be to look back at the U.S. military role in trying to help another crisis, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
As part of his relief effort, Sean Penn worked with the U.S. military in Haiti, helping coordinate getting thousands, tens of thousands of people food, medical care, ultimately back into their homes in some cases.
Sean ran one of the largest, or if not the largest, displaced person camp in Port-au-Prince, worked closely with the military, where he got an up-close look at how they operate.
And I'm glad he could be here for tonight's town hall.
Sean, it's good to see you.
I'm wondering, given your experience on the ground in Haiti, you worked closely with the military -- I think you both were to respect each other. I know you kept in touch with the military officials that you worked with closely there.
What kinds of things does the military do really well in these kind of situations?
SEAN PENN, FOUNDER, CORE: Well, in the -- in the instance of the Haiti earthquake, the command-and-control was out of Southern Command, Southcom in Florida.
We had direct coordination with them, they, of course, with the Pentagon, and with the State Department, of course, ultimately with the White House.
And the actions that were taken, we had 22,000 troops deployed immediately into Haiti. There were the Army Corps of Engineer. We had extremely ordinary amount of help from them, deploying doctors all over the country from the military and the 82nd Airborne in particular, bringing it with helicopter -- access to helicopters and the rest of their horsepower, the ability to secure locations for food distributions, to create safe zones for that to happen, and also to create safe corridors for doctors when there were -- when there were social disruptions in the street and emergencies for the doctors to be deployed to.
And what I have been feeling out of that experience for the last month is that this was a certain time, with the command-and-control probably or most logically out of Northern Command in Colorado Springs, that if that was the center of control, where they have a direct coordination with FEMA, with the CDC, and with the governors of the state, and then what the states' own emergency coordination offices, many of which are already activated, but that without the United States military's force intervention, the -- we have been left to this kind of chaos.
There's -- I have said it many times. There is no greater humanitarian force on the planet than the United States military. They have logistical skills, their commitment to service, their care for the people.
Of course, there, it was a non-fighting mission, as it would be here, with the exception to the virus that we're all fighting as one species against it.
And I think that it's -- there's -- any little activity that's happened has happened far too late. But it's really time to give the military the full breadth, command-and-control, of this operation.
GUPTA: Yes, and, Sean, along those lines, one of the big differences, I guess, obviously with the coronavirus compared to Haiti is that we know it's coming, I mean, unlike an earthquake.
I mean, that happens, obviously, without any kind of warning. So, when you add that in to the equation, what kinds of things should be happening right now, before things get even worse?
PENN: Well, we're seeing things dribble out, things like the Defense Production Act being employed.
This is something that most certainly should -- we -- I could talk quite a bit about what should have been done. Now the lives lost that have been lost, the amount of people that are sick, clearly, what we have to do, and what the military does so well in terms of coordination, coordinating with health professionals, coordinating with hospitals, building hospitals -- they can build a hospital in 25 minutes.
And I'm talking, when you have the USS Comfort deployed -- we evacuated many people to the USS Comfort when it was there in Haiti. It's -- in this case, it's a showpiece, all but for the 1,000 people that will be a fraction of what's necessary overall.
There in Haiti, it was an essential trauma center. But that, in itself, is really not what we're talking about. We are talking about a full deployment, where then, of course, governors of the states will and can elect to put their National Guard in support of those -- of that command-and-control in Northern Com.
COOPER: It does seem, Sean, that there's -- deploying the military inside the United States is obviously something that is very rare, is a very rare thing.
National Guard would normally be the first -- the first ones to be deployed. We have seen some of it, certainly here in New York, in New Rochelle.
Is the National Guard, are their capabilities that much different than what the military would be able to bring to bear right away? I assume it is.
Look, there are very experienced soldiers and serious officers who have either previously been in the military or who did their careers in the National Guard. And I don't want to dismiss anything.
I think they would be the first to say that the kind of perishable skill aspect to it, that which has to do with maintaining a calm, focused mission focus, which we saw so important in Haiti, where there was so much desperation and so much berating of forces, because people become extremely desperate and frightened in these circumstances.
Also, they're in great pain, suffering losses and -- or sickness in their families, or separation from their families in this case.
PENN: So, I think, when you have a massive logistical force with that kind of training, with those kind of resources available, which far exceed the National Guard, we have to understand -- you know, I know that it would also be of some concern to people that the -- that the administration might exploit the use of the military in some ways.
It's not even -- this is not a question for me. I don't think that there's anything but that this -- you know, it should be our job, your job as journalists, our job as citizens to watch for that and to hold the feet to the fire of the policy within which the military is used.
But there can be no argument about, oh, it's going to become a police state and so on and so forth. These people understand America and what it's about, most of these soldiers that I worked with in Haiti. And they would be -- I wouldn't blink before I would have put the command and control in their hands a month ago, certainly today.
GUPTA: You know, Sean, I also know that you founded this disaster relief group fund called CORE. And I wonder, you know, what are you and your organization doing in regards to coronavirus? Do you have plans specifically with this going forward?
PENN: Well, yes, of course. In terms of California, I've been in touch with Governor Newsom. And I expect that we will coordinate. And North Carolina, Savannah, Georgia, we have an ongoing program with the Lumbee Tribe there. And so we're managing some food distributions and so on, and in particular to the elderly in that area.
In Haiti there so far not a test positive, so our staff there in the schools is educating the kids and setting up wash stations and preventative measures. In the Bahamas one of the issues that -- the greatest issue that's hitting the Bahamas right now is the economic ones. Of course, tourism is at a standstill. And so it remains to be seen whether we're going to have a problem there.
And then in Nashville, Tennessee, after the storms there, there were roofs lost and we were repairing upwards of 1,000 roofs, which has been a bit hindered of course by the outbreak.
COOPER: Yes. Well, Sean, it's good to talk to you. Difficult times, and I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the military and the National Guard. We'll talk to you again. Thanks so much.
PENN: Thanks very much, both of you. Thank you.
COOPER: Coming up just ahead, more of your questions on how to manage the fear and stress of worrying about your health and the ones you love. We'll be right back.
COOPER: Welcome back to tonight's CNN/FACEBOOK TOWN HALL. We want to take a motion to discuss the psychological impact of a virus that has made close contact and the comfort it can bring out of the question.
GUPTA: You know, coping with the stress of a disease or even the threat of it, that's an important part how one fights illness itself. The question, though, how to do that, especially with children. So joining us is psychologist and author Dr. Gretchen Schmelzer.
COOPER: Dr. Schmelzer, you --
DR. GRETCHEN SCHMELZER, PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR: Hi.
COOPER: You and I spoke last week after I read a piece that you wrote, a blog post that you did, and it was really -- it talks so much about how at times like these the need for selflessness is so important. And so many of the things you say really resonated with me. And we talked about citizenship and the importance of community.
Can you just talk a little bit about what you wrote and what you want people to think about?
SCHMELZER: Yes. I wrote that piece to help people understand that you can have a heroic action that doesn't look heroic. That by staying home, by not going to the store -- last week people were still moving around a lot, that it was really important for people to take their individual behavior and see it as an act of citizenship, to see the larger collective, to see the we. COOPER: To see the we in all of this.
SCHMELZER: Yes. And to actually see the bigger picture.
GUPTA: I really -- you know, Anderson, you and I have talked about that a lot. I mean, we are all in this together. How I behave affects you, how you behave affects me. And it is a larger purpose.
You know, I have a question, Doctor, about this. We're getting further into this crisis obviously in the United States. I have, you know, three kids at home. People have been home now for a number of days. They're social physical distancing. They're starting to -- it's starting to settle in that, you know, we're in this for a while. This isn't a snow day, it's a season of this.
What should we be looking for in terms of mental health in our family and in our friends?
SCHMELZER: That's a great question. You know, I think the first thing to take into account is that each kid -- you know, the ages of kids means they need different things, right? The group I'm more worried about are teenagers right now. Teenagers are supposed to be leaving their homes and engaging with their peers, and they're supposed to be trying out new things. And they're going to get less of that right now. And so they need to find ways to feel their impact and to stay connected to the groups that are important to them.
The middle-aged kids, the 7- to 13-year-olds, they're used to doing things where they are really learning and mastering things. Those are your soccer players and flute players, and they've lost of that right now. So they really need a chance to settle in and find ways to keep learning, to keep mastering things. And maybe all those things are brand new for this period of time.
And the younger kids is actually are the group I'm less worried about. They're actually getting more time with their parents than they usually get.
COOPER: Dr. Schmelzer, we've got a couple of questions from our audience. Jackie Stephens sent us this video from Idaho Falls, Idaho. It's a little bit fuzzy but I think it's powerful. Let's take a look.
JACKIE STEPHENS, GRANDMOTHER: How do I explain to my timid, easily frightened 3-year-old grandson that he cannot touch, hug, hold or be kept by his beloved grandmother right now.
QUESTION: My grandson recently had another grandparent pass away, and it affected him deeply. How do we explain this to him?
I am 65 with underlying health problems, and my husband is 82.
COOPER: Doctor, what do you -- what's your advice? SCHMELZER: My advice is to explain that, for right now, Grandma needs a special bubble. And it doesn't mean they can't stay connected, that they can't talk, that they can't read to each other online.
I don't know what the physical distance is, but young children can understand that there's a way to stay connected even if they can't be held. I think it's hard for both parties, so I think, also, it's important for the grandparent to give permission to the young children and help them see that they're still -- they can feel the love coming back, that they have special waves, that they have special winks, that they draw each other pictures. There's different ways of staying connected.
GUPTA: You know, I think another thing, Doctor, that's so unique about this, this is not a single traumatic event like a tornado or a hurricane or a fire or something like that.
GUPTA: I mean, you're dealing with things that are going to be changes that are big changes for a period of time -- I mean, maybe a long period of time.
So -- so how do you, again, assess and manage your own mental health?
I mean, it's a different time frame of things that we're now looking at.
SCHMELZER: Well, I think, actually, I would encourage people to find coping strategies that help them feel less stressful. Some of those coping strategies might not be something they want to keep for the rest of their lives but will help them through this period of time -- being more optimistic or being able to separate themselves from the feelings sometimes, the way surgeons do.
They -- it's important that people allow themselves to cope the way they need to. And this is a repeat -- essentially a repeated trauma. This is going to go on for a while. And so people are going to adjust their behaviors, and they're going to have unlearn some things when we come out of this.
COOPER: You -- you've also compared what this country is going through and what a lot of people are going through to -- to grief, in a way.
COOPER: In what -- in what way?
SCHMELZER: Well, first of all, I think people -- I've watched it over this last week. People are going through the stages of grief. You know, there was the week of like, "Oh, no, it's not a big problem," to, "Well, I can do this, but I can't do that," to, I really saw earlier this week, acceptance, that people almost were crying; they were depressed. They had taken in the gravity of this situation.
And -- and now people are trying to figure out how they're going to live in this new normal for a while. And I think we really need to help people understand they have the resources to do it. They haven't had to do it before, but people -- everybody's got a lot of strengths. And spouses and partners need to talk to each other about what strengths can they bring to each other during this time.
COOPER: Dr. Gretchen Schmelzer, I appreciate your time, as always. Thank you so much.
GUPTA: Anderson, you know, it's so interesting to, sort of, think about the fact that we really -- you know, we've had some advanced warning in this, but not a lot of people have had time to prepare.
I mean, I think about my own household. We're still, every day, sort of, thinking how is next week going to be different than this week? I mean, we don't even have the luxury, I think, of, sort of, thinking two, three, four weeks in advance anymore. It's just a totally different way of looking at the world.
COOPER: Yes. It's interesting, in New York City, you know, I think about it as, kind of, the days after 9/11, which were, you know, obviously the worst days for this city. But there was this extraordinary kind of coming together of people -- not necessarily physically but just, you know, people on the streets saying hello to each other, talking to strangers.
And I sense some of that -- it's, you know, different because of the physical distancing. But I -- I was walking to -- I was coming to work today by myself, walking alone on the street, social distancing from anyone around me. And yet people would say hello and -- and chat and, sort of, check in to each other. It wasn't just people saying hello to me because they recognized me. It -- and it's a nice thing. It's nice to feel that sense of, you know, what -- we are all in this together.
GUPTA: Yes, and I do -- you know, I think that part of it's going to get stronger. I hesitate -- I don't know about you, but I hesitate sometimes to describe anything that's Pollyanna-ish at all about this because I think there are so many people who are really, I mean, struggling with this.
COOPER: It's going to -- it's decimating to people. I mean, there's no doubt about it.
GUPTA: Yes, I mean, I say, you know, stay home as much as possible, and I get messages saying, "Well, that may be easy for you or for other people, but, you know, I -- I don't have a job then; I don't have my money, you know."
So it's very real, in terms of different things affecting people differently. But I agree with you. I think sometimes a -- a common threat galvanizes a population, a world, unlike anything else.
So, again, I'm very careful about -- not to spin this into something Pollyanna-ish, because it's obviously terrible what's happening. But there can be some good things that come out of it. COOPER: But I also think there's a lot of businesses and government and local government officials that haven't caught up with the reality for an awful lot of people, small-business owners, people who are working paycheck to paycheck, tip to tip. And, you know, they're talking about, "Oh, yes, the check will be in the mail, as opposed to, you know what, your rent is -- you know, you have no rent -- there's no more rent for you for the next month or two months or however long, or, you know, there's -- there's credit card -- you don't have to pay your credit cards right now," whatever it may be. There's a lag on that, that needs to get going.
We're going to talk more about all of this in a second. Before we got to break, there's breaking news out of California. The governor, Gavin Newsom, just moments ago, announced that the entire state is now under stay-at-home orders. All 40 million Californians are to stay at home as much as possible. We'll be right back.
COOPER: The breaking news: Just minutes ago, all 40 million residents of the state of California now under orders from the governor to stay at home, including our next guest.
He endured quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, then quarantine in a hospital in Nebraska, where he was being treated, unable to go outside or even open a window, having tested positive for the virus. He is back with us again tonight.
Joining us is Carl Goldman.
Carl, are you now back in California?
CARL GOLDMAN, RECOVERED FROM CORONAVIRUS: I am.
I came back in Monday night. And as I just heard and you heard, we're now quarantined in our entire state.
COOPER: First of all, let me ask, how are you feeling in general, before we get to how are you feeling about now being quarantined again?
But how are you feeling in general?
GOLDMAN: I am feeling great. I am totally rid of the virus. It really only hit me for about a day with a high fever.
If I wasn't contagious, I would have been back at work 48 hours later. It ended up being 29 days for me to finally test negative a bunch of times to be able to get out. So it took me a long time to rid the virus.
But, really, I didn't have any symptoms after a few days, other than a dry cough that lingered with me. GUPTA: And, Carl, I mean, look, you were in isolation for weeks and
weeks at that hospital. And now you're hearing this breaking news that's basically saying, you're ordered to stay home, right?
I mean, how are you feeling about that?
GOLDMAN: Well, I had decided, based on the reaction to me back here in Santa Clarita weeks and weeks ago, my wife and I made a decision that I was going to stay quarantined for at least a few weeks here.
So I feel for the entire state right now. We're going into a different mode of operation starting tonight. But I'm just glad to be home. And if I have to stay in my house and go in the backyard and get to (AUDIO GAP) dogs, as I kidded, I now actually miss cleaning up the dog poop.
So now I get to do that.
COOPER: Again, just for viewers who are just joining us now, I mean, this is a remarkable move by the governor of California for the entire state. It was in San Francisco previously. Earlier this evening, it was announced also for Los Angeles, now for the entire state of California.
People are being ordered to stay at home as much as possible.
And, Carl, what does that actually mean, I mean, for you? We have seen, in San Francisco, obviously, people, they say you can go out running. You can go out for walks. It's not a question of not being outside. It's a question of keeping social distancing and keeping trips outside to the absolute minimum.
GOLDMAN: Exactly. And it's making lemonade out of lemons. My wife looks back at the quarantine and sees it as a gift.
I'm only been -- I have only been home a little over 48 hours, so it's not quite a gift yet to me. But I know I will see the positive side of it. We have a lot of family pictures that have been sitting upstairs. And now my wife can put that scrapbook together.
I can certainly find things to do. We still will be operating our radio station, although we're doing a lot of that remotely. And I will continue to write my journal. And we will post that on hometownstation.com. I have been doing that daily since day two of the Diamond Princess.
So it -- we will get through this. All of us will get through this. We just have to figure out new ways to operate over the next few weeks or maybe a month.
GOLDMAN: And, then, hopefully, we will go back to normal.
Well, Carl Goldman, we wish you the best. And I'm glad you're -- glad you're home and back with your wife, who has been picking up the dog poop, I know, in your absence.
COOPER: So I'm glad she's -- I'm sure she's glad you're back too.
Welcome to our new normal, which, thankfully, includes news like Carl's recovery and great and selfless work of people who've been giving their all to help people like Carl, people in labs and hospitals on the front lines around the country and the world, nurses and doctors.
And I want to play more of that moment from Barcelona, in Spain, as all across that country, all across the entire country, at 8:00 each night, people confined to their homes go to their windows and their balconies, and they do this every night, I'm told, applauding, banging pots, shouting, "Viva los medicos," "Long live doctors," something that now happens every night at 8:00.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Those were people thanking doctors and nurses and medical technicians.
And those are also people saying, we are here, we are together in all of this. It's a sign, one of many, that, in a race between fear and hope, hope is making itself felt and sprouting with a season.
It's taking root in Spain and China, and in the awakening, unconquerable place within us all, where fear only lasts so long, but hope never dies.
Brother Richard Hendrick, a Franciscan priest in Ireland, has written a poem about that place.
It's titled "Lockdown."
Here's some of the portions of it.
"Yes, there is fear. Yes, there is isolation. Yes, there is panic buying. Yes, there is sickness. Yes, there is even death. But they say that, in Wuhan, after so many years of noise, you can hear the birds again. They say that, after just a few weeks of quiet, the sky is no longer thick with fumes, but blue and gray and clear.
"They say that, in the streets of Assisi, people are singing to each other across the empty squares, keeping their windows open, so that those who are alone may hear the sounds of family around them. They say that a hotel in the west of Ireland is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound. Today, a young woman I know is busy spreading fliers with her number through the neighborhood, so that the elders may have someone to call on."
The poem continues: "So, we pray and we remember that, yes, there is fear, but there does not have to be hate. Yes, there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness. Yes, there is panic buying, but there does not have to be meanness. Yes, there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul. Yes, there is even death, but there can always be a rebirth of love.
"Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now. Today, breathe. Listen. Behind the factory noises of your panic, the birds are singing again, the sky is clearing, Spring is coming, and we are always encompassed by love. Open the windows of your soul. And though you may not be able to touch across the empty square, sing."
GUPTA: That's beautiful, Anderson.
I'm glad people get to --
COOPER: I wish I wrote it.
GUPTA: I know. But it's beautiful.
And I'm glad that people can get to hear this message tonight, in the midst of all the numbers and data that we have been giving you. That's really beautiful.
And I just want to add another personal note,if I might as well, Anderson.
I want to talk for a second about the doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, the people who've been a part of this health care system for so many years, the people who, for them, this part of the story really hits home.
Even this week, the hospital where I work had its first patient pass away from the coronavirus.
Everything we are doing right now is to help our health care workers. It really is.
And I wanted to share with you a message that has been going around on social media, pictures of doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists, everyone battling this on the front lines.
They are sending this message. I don't know if you can read that, but it says: "I stayed at work for you, so you should stay at home for us."
Remember that. Remember that in these coming weeks, and think about your actions, and think about what the people who are taking care of you are sacrificing for us. And, also, remember that you too can be a part of the solution. You
can help find out how to help by just going to CNN.com/impact. You can find a lot of good sources there and ways that you can be a part of solutions.
COOPER: Yes. Well, we are really all in this together.
Sanjay, thanks very much.
The news continues here on CNN.