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Travel Advisory For New York, New Jersey And Connecticut; Navy Hospital Ships Won't Treat Coronavirus; COVID-19 Claims More Than 10K In Italy; French Prime Minister: Next Two Weeks Will Be The Toughest; U.K. Expanding Medical Capacity; Spanish Official Says Country Approaching Peak; Australia Limits Gatherings To Two People; Irish Survivor Describes Illness; Infection Threat Changes U.S. Daily Life. Aired 5-6a ET

Aired March 29, 2020 - 05:00   ET




ANNA COREN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): President Trump threatens and then backs away from quarantining citizens as the U.S. death toll doubles in just the last couple of days. New York remains the epicenter but new hot spots are emerging in America. Cases surging in these three cities as hospitals are overrun with patients.

Plus the, the U.K. scrambling for hospital beds and Spanish authorities issuing new lockdown measures. We're live in Madrid and London.

Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Anna Coren, live in Hong Kong. CNN NEWSROOM starts right now.


COREN: It's 5:00 am on the U.S. East Coast and the hours ahead will see residents of three states, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, waking up to a two-week travel advisory. The region has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

So the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling people living there not to travel anywhere unless absolutely necessary. It's a big step back from the quarantine that U.S. president Donald Trump had suggested on Saturday, an idea rejected by one state governor.

It's not clear the travel advisory actually changes anything. Stay-at- home orders are already in place in those states and many others. Other people with critical jobs, such as health care providers and delivery drivers, are exempt.

Still, the CDC's latest advisory shows the Trump administration is grasping for ways to slow the pandemic in the U.S. The number of reported infections has spiraled upward to more than 121,000, far more than any other place in the world. Nurses at one Bronx hospital echoing the fears and frustrations of health workers nationwide. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KELLEY CABRERA, NURSE, JACOBI HOSPITAL: We need these to keep our staff safe, our patients safe. If we get sick, our patients will get sick. This is for our entire community. We're all -- I mean, everybody knows that this is a pandemic. It's affecting all of us and we want to keep everybody safe in the best way possible.


COREN: The U.S. death toll has doubled over the past two days to more than 2,000. Globally Johns Hopkins University counts well over 660,000 cases and more than 30,000 fatalities and rising.

Our team is fanned out across the globe, covering the pandemic like only CNN can. We're live in the U.K., where the top doctor has a mortality figure that should worry us all. Plus, an urgent plea from Latin America, where one city needs help removing the dead from their homes.

And we're monitoring growing hot spots in the U.S., from Detroit to Chicago, to New Orleans. We begin our coverage in New York with CNN's Evan McMorris-Santoro.

EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: New York state remains the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. And despite the focus of the governor at the beginning of the day on trying to combat the potential apex in the next 14-21 days, adding hospital capacity, medical equipment and personnel, the day evolved into a conversation about what was going on outside his state's borders.

First, the president of the United States threatened to do a lockdown type of quarantine here in New York and on the tri-state area, preventing people from traveling outside of it, a threat that ended up withering into a travel advisory to be run by governors later in the day.

And then the governor of Rhode Island continued a policy, preventing New Yorkers from entering her state without first being warned they had to go through a 14-day quarantine.

Both of those things led to strong condemnations from the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and led to threatened lawsuits. By the end of the day, the focus was back on New York, where the hospital ship from the United States Navy is expected to dock on Monday, creating another thousand beds to help deal with the ongoing pandemic here.


MCMORRIS-SANTORO: Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


COREN: The pandemic hot spots are increasing and spreading out. Health officials, including the U.S. surgeon general, point to at least three high-population places where infections are rising sharply: Detroit, where Saturday President Trump approved the state of Michigan's disaster declaration request; Chicago, where the mayor says the city could see more than 40,000 new infections in the coming week; and New Orleans, already with a desperate shortage of ventilators and other much needed equipment.

The National Guard has been called in to help New Orleans deal with the influx of patients. Across the state of Louisiana, there are now more than 3,000 confirmed cases and more than 130 deaths. The state of Michigan is reporting more than 4,600 cases of the virus and more than 100 patients there have died.

In Detroit, the police chief and 39 police officers have tested positive for the virus and hundreds more police officers are under quarantine. The city has launched a plan, which includes temperature checks and additional protective equipment to protect its officers.

In Chicago, an infant who tested positive for the virus has died. The baby wasn't even a year old and an investigation is under way for the cause of death. Ryan Young has more from Chicago.


RYAN YOUNG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In the state of Illinois, they're bracing themselves to see what happens next. Chicago has been picked as a place that could be a potential hot spot in the future.

Just today, state officials have confirmed that there are over 3,000 cases in the state, over 400 new cases in the last 24 hours. But something that's very concerning that stands out, there has been a child under the age of 1 that tested positive for the coronavirus that has passed away.

They're going to do a full investigation to figure out exactly why this child died. But it's obviously something that health care officials will be paying attention to. We also talked to a doctor who worked in an ICU here in the Chicago area.

The doctor tells us, as of right now, his ICU is making sure that patients are comfortable and being taken care of but he's looking at preparations for what could happen next.


DR. OMAR LATEEF, RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER: Regardless of where we are today, the reality is, there's an opportunity and a very real potential of running out of ventilators. And that has to do with the net number of patients.

There's a fixed amount of resources in Chicago. While today there are ICU beds that are available and ventilators that are available, that does not mean tomorrow there will be. If there is exponential growth just like other cities in the world, we will run out of those resources.

(END VIDEO CLIP) YOUNG: Health care officials are also concerned about clusters. In fact, one group at a church, a group of them have all gotten sick from the coronavirus. There was cases at a local jail, the Cook County jail, where the sheriff has taken the extraordinary step of moving some of those inmates outside of the jail facility to make sure that the coronavirus doesn't spread.

Health care officials are watching that because they want to make sure that it doesn't overwhelm the health care systems around the area if several people were to get sick at the same time.

The other part they're stressing, social distancing and people staying home. It will be interesting to see if the streets stay as clear as they've been for the last few hours -- reporting in Chicago, Ryan Young, CNN.


COREN: Let's bring in Sterghios Moschos via Skype, an associate professor at Northumbria University with a specialty in virology.

Great to have you with us.

Tell me, the measures being taken in the United States at the moment, are they enough to slow the spread of coronavirus?

STERGHIOS MOSCHOS, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY: I think we all need to be listening to the WHO on looking at the experience of countries that have managed to tame this outbreak.

Specifically we need to implement lockdown as soon as possible, identify the individuals who have been infected as quickly as possible; we need to trace the close contacts, make sure we identify the ones that are infected as well and ask these individuals to stay home and make sure they do not transmit anymore.

The longer we allow this to occur, the longer the damage will be to every economy in the world, including the United States economy, not to mention loss of life.

COREN: Tell me; Donald Trump's suggestion then to quarantine New York, which as we know is the epicenter of this virus in the United States, is that something that should be happening?

MOSCHOS: At this point in time, I'm not interested in politics. I'm interested in what the data shows us. And the data shows us that countries that have cases in exponential phase should be locked down, contact tracing, testing and making sure that the people who are infected are cared for.


MOSCHOS: I don't think quarantining one state or another is going to make a huge difference. Every state needs to go into lockdown.

COREN: You're talking about what China did in Hubei province, in which it just shut down the entire place.

MOSCHOS: That's correct.

COREN: You're saying that those sorts of drastic draconian measures need to be taken to get on top of coronavirus?

MOSCHOS: There are some countries that have implemented exceedingly broad diagnostic efforts to try and curb this disease. And I'm specifically talking about Korea and Singapore.

Unless the United States is prepared to follow the examples of Korea and Singapore and implement what are hundreds of thousands of tests to identify the individuals who are affected, lockdown will be necessary.

COREN: Even the country that you're in, in England, a top health official has come out and said if there are 200,000 deaths, then we will have done a good job. That figure is staggering.

So do you feel satisfied with what is taking place in the U.K. at this very moment?

MOSCHOS: So just to correct you, the figure quoted is 20,000 deaths, not 200,000.


MOSCHOS: As far as I'm concerned, 2,000 deaths is far too many of something that is a preventable situation. So I have my reservations with respect to some of the lockdown measures.

For example, the health care workers are still sending children to school. Health care professionals will contract the disease because of the lack of personal protective equipment. They will pass it on to the children, the children will pass it on to the key worker children and it will go out to the key workers.

As a result of that, we're going to have problems with the supply chain across the nation. It will be far easier to send all of these kids to a summer camp so the teachers keep them there for as long as necessary and looked after. It doesn't seem to have been thought through.

I think there's more that needs to be done in the U.K. and testing people who are symptomatic is a key element to that. The government is putting a lot of emphasis in the testing of people that have gone through the disease and there may be immune and restarting the economy.

None of that testing solved Ebola in countries who don't have the resources for that. None of that worked in China, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Korea. What worked was testing the people who are symptomatic. Please, let's get on with it and stop the politics.

COREN: Very good advice. I hope authorities are listening. Many thanks. Coming up, the latest grim milestone from Italy, the epicenter of the

COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, the latest numbers and how a sports team is pitching in to help vulnerable fans.

And the virus is claiming more and more lives in the U.K. We'll tell you the disturbing prediction a top health official there is making.





COREN: An Italian football team is helping protect its most vulnerable supporters from COVID-19. AS Roma are delivering care packages to every season ticketholder over the age of 75. They contain masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, pasta, biscuits and a bottle of beer.

Last week the team announced it will buy three ventilators and eight intensive care beds for a hospital in Rome.

Italy has reported more deaths from COVID-19 than any other nation. Officials now say more than 10,000 people there have died, a higher number of fatalities than in China and thousands more infections as well.

Italian civil authorities say there currently are more than 70,000 active cases across the country. The prime minister says schools will stay closed past April 3rd. Officials are allocating almost $5 billion to help people impacted by the crisis.

The French prime minister has a warning about the outbreak in his country. The next two weeks will be the toughest yet. His government is racing to add intensive care beds and get hold of protective gear, all while extending the lockdown.

The health minister says France has ordered 1 billion face masks from China. The country is reporting more than 38,000 cases so far and more than 2,300 deaths.

The British government is preparing for a surge of many more cases. Workers are converting London's Excel Center into an emergency hospital. More than 1,000 British patients have now died.

The medical director of the National Health Service says, if the total death toll can be kept below 20,000, then Britain will have done very well in the epidemic.

Prime minister Boris Johnson has been self-isolating after testing positive for the infection. He's writing letters to some 30 million households, urging people to stay home.

He writes, "We know things will get worse before they get better but we are making the right preparations. And the more we all follow the rules, the fewer lives that will be lost and the sooner life can return to normal."

Salma Abdelaziz joins us from London. And that number, that must have been extremely alarming when people heard that.

SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN PRODUCER: It's an absolutely shocking number.


ABDELAZIZ: Of course very concerning for everyone here. Here in the U.K., as we are everywhere else, it's being described as a war, as a battle against a pandemic and the front line fighters are the medical workers.

Here, doctors and nurses who will be facing this head on and, yes, while we're hearing that there are shortages of PPE, masks, gloves, shortages of respirators, it's also the simple things. Workers are overwhelmed. NHS staff don't even have time to grab a bite to eat. And one couple here in London is trying to do something about it. Take a look.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Amid a paralyzing pandemic, husband and wife Neal Barrett and Janneke Diemel have found a purpose: feed as many NHS staff as they possibly can. Their days have become a flurry of activity, loading up meals from home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You got something for us, sir?

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Then driving by local restaurants, like this Italian cafe, eager to donate hot meals or selling bulk to make a little profit at a time when business is at a standstill.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For all my friends.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you so much.


ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Rushing from place to place, the couple tells us it all started just over a week ago, when a friend and nurse asked the couple to drop off some snacks.

JANNEKE DIEMEL, @CRITICALNHS: Started off with 20 pizzas, which we brought and now we're delivering over 300 meals a day. So it's been a bit crazy.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Inspired by their response, the couple set up a crowdfunding account and nine days later they'd raised almost $45,000 U.S. for their group called @CriticalNHS. And now they deliver hundreds of meals twice a day and more volunteers have joined.

Antoine Truteo admits there are risks but they're necessary.

ANTOINE TRUTEO, VOLUNTEER: Someone has to provide front line services just like the NHS itself are providing. I think this is key that one of us or some of us contribute in some way until we're unable to.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): The meals go to the staff at St. George Hospital, as one of only four trauma centers in London, it's preparing for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases.

ABDELAZIZ: So we're not being allowed to film on hospital grounds because restrictions are changing by the hour. What's key is to keep NHS workers from getting exposed. As the hospitals become overwhelmed, they have one message to the public: stay home, save lives.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): Outside the main entrance, Amerjit Chohan, CEO of St. George Hospital Charity, tells us many nurses don't have the time to buy food.

AMERJIT CHOHAN, ST. GEORGE HOSPITAL CHARITY: Obviously the hospital is busy. Staff are busy. It's a difficult time for the country. But everyone's doing their best. We're lucky to have an amazing NHS. St. George is an amazing hospital and we're appreciative of all the support.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): We also run into first year medical student Millie Clemens (ph), who's come by to drop off some sandwiches.

MILLIE CLEMENS (PH), VOLUNTEER: It is scary to think that had I been four years older than I would be part of the doctors tackling this now. I want to help in any way that I can.

ABDELAZIZ (voice-over): For many here that means supporting the country's front line medical staff as they brace for a battle sure to challenge even the most prepared.


ABDELAZIZ: You see the sense of urgency around the hospitals, around the medical workers and the U.K. government announcing more testing for medical staff. That's to make sure they aren't carrying the virus themselves, passing it onto patients.

One amusement park parking lot has been turned into a testing center for NHS workers so really a big focus here on making sure that the health care staff around this who are going to be battling this virus don't contract this illness and don't face the same fate we've seen in other countries across Europe, where thousands of medical workers have gotten sick. A few dozens even have lost their lives.

The key here is to keep those people who are going to be battling the pandemic safe and healthy.

COREN: That's right. The people on the front line need everybody's support. Salma Abdelaziz, great to have you with us.

Spain's government is imposing new restrictions on movement as the number of COVID-19 fatalities soars. Officials reported 832 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday. All nonessential workers must stay home for two weeks. The restrictions begin March 30th and run through April 9th. Workers

will be paid but can make up the missed hours later. Al Goodman joins us from Madrid with the latest.

That spike in the number of deaths, staggering.

AL GOODMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It is. And although officials are cautiously optimistic that the percentage increases in deaths in people entering the intensive care wards and the new infections, while they're rising, they're not rising as fast as they have been.


GOODMAN: That's giving them hope that they may be reaching the peak and being able to flatten the curve. But the absolute numbers that you just mentioned for the deaths reported on Saturday, we're expecting new figures in a few minutes, in just the past few days, about 30 percent of all the deaths in this whole crisis have come in the last couple of days.

That's why the prime minister is imposing these new restrictions. We're halfway through the lockdown order that takes a month. We're halfway through that and people could go to work under the initial order.

Now they're saying nonessential workers cannot. Construction workers and other categories who are about to hear that, when the cabinet meeting finishes, will have to stay home, get paid as you mentioned.

The government also saying that employers cannot use coronavirus as an excuse to fire workers, which union support; not all businesses clearly support that. But the numbers are still troubling, especially the 9,400 medical workers, at least that number, more than in Italy, here in Spain, are infected with the coronavirus.

They've been complaining that they didn't have enough equipment, protective equipment for themselves and for the patients at the outset. The government trying to play make up and get those supplies into the country -- Anna.

COREN: Al Goodman, many thanks for your reporting.

Some say warmer weather could make the virus disappear, something President Trump has brought up.


TRUMP: Looks like by April, when it gets a little warmer, it goes away, we hope that's true.


COREN: We'll dig deeper to see if there's any truth to that claim.

Plus gruesome reports out of Ecuador could be a sign of things to come. Coming up, why Latin America may not be ready for COVID-19. (MUSIC PLAYING)




COREN: Welcome back to our viewers in the United States and around the world. You are watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren. The headlines this hour.


COREN: Whether it's climate change or sheer luck, it's feeling like summer in the southeast of the U.S.

The question is, will this help or hurt the fight against the coronavirus?

Dozens of high-temperature records have been broken these past few days from Texas to Florida. Some think this might slow the spread of the virus. But Dr. Anthony Fauci says not so fast.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: We are hoping, though it may not happen, that we will see that impact of warmer weather on bringing the infection rate down. But you can't guarantee it.


COREN: Many of us are wondering whether the weather will have an impact on slowing the spread of the virus.


COREN: This news just into CNN: Australia taking new measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The prime minister announced that gatherings will be limited to just two people starting Monday. That's down from 10.

He expressed anger over images like these, crowds, thousands of people, gathering at Australia's famed Bondo Beach. He says all public outdoor areas, including playgrounds and skate parks, will be closed. Residents must stay home except for necessities, like going to a doctor or shopping for groceries.


COREN: He announced a six-month moratorium on evictions.

So far, Latin America hasn't seen the kind of infection numbers that Europe, the U.S. and Asia have. But there are fears that could soon change. CNN's Matt Rivers has more from Mexico City. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In Latin America, coronavirus cases are spiking, well over 13,000 and counting. That's about 10 times higher than it was 12 days ago, as more and more people keep dying.

In Ecuador, government workers were seen fumigating streets as its case total climbs. In one coastal city, government officials removed 100 corpses from different homes in three days, according to Reuters, some who died experiencing symptoms of the virus. Curfews in place made it difficult for families to get their deceased to funeral homes.

Similar preventative measures have sprung up elsewhere. In Argentina, for example, thousands been arrested for violating a nationwide curfew. And in Panama, a ban on foreigners entering the country had stranded a cruise ship off of its coast.

Four people have died on the Holland American ship Zaandam from unknown causes though it's now allowed to transit the Panama Canal on its way to Florida. Two people aboard have tested positive for the virus and, as of Friday, 138 more are experiencing flulike symptoms.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty well confirmed along with the news that, yes, we were in a very dire situation. We're hoping that that's the end of death but there's certainly no guarantee of that.

RIVERS (voice-over): One of Latin America's most dire situations is in Brazil, its thousands of cases and dozens of deaths are the most in the region. But even as individual cities like Rio de Janeiro have enforced stay at home measures emptying its famous beaches, social media accounts that support President Jair Bolsonaro have pushed a video campaign, titled "Brazil Can't Stop."

The president argues preventative measures that could hurt the economy shouldn't be used.

"I'm sorry. Some people will die, they will die. That's life," he says. "You can't stop a car factory because of traffic deaths."

In Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had played down the threat for weeks, regularly seen mingling with crowds until a few days ago. Though his government has taken more action recently, closing businesses and schools and encouraging people to stay home, it's clear some aren't listening.

Restaurants are allowed to be open and the streets are much emptier than usual but finding people out and about isn't hard to do. Meanwhile, the number of cases in Mexico has about tripled in the last week.

We've seen this virus devastate China, then Europe and now the United States. In Latin America, there are growing fears this region could be next -- Matt Rivers, CNN, Mexico City.

(END VIDEOTAPE) COREN: COVID-19 is a global pandemic unlike anything in a hundred years. We'll take you to Ireland where a survivor will describe his fight with the illness that he wasn't sure he would survive.

The other front-line fighters in this crisis. The grocery store workers who are keeping us fed.

I had some hand soap I was stocking and I couldn't get it off of our cart and onto the shelf people were ripping into boxes.

I'm going to help out in any capacity that need be. You got to do that to put these stores back together again.

It's not like the point where people are rioting or anything or we have to have armed guards. It doesn't seem like that's too far out of the realm of possibility at this point.

I can say thank you for coming out, thank you for all that you've been doing.

I've had quite a few customers thank me for being here and working.

And a lot of them understand what's going on right now. We have a good relationship with most of the customers and they understand.

That makes you feel good about it at the end of the day that people really appreciate what you're doing.





COREN: The coronavirus pandemic has struck more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Ireland is one of them. It's trying to keep the contagion from spiraling out of control with a stay-at-home order until April 12th. Johns Hopkins University says the country has 36 deaths, including 14 fatalities on Saturday. This person is recovering from COVID-19. He says there were many moments when he didn't think he would make it.

The first 10 days, I didn't -- I didn't sleep at all. Same day over and over again. High temperatures, a cough. I kept thinking I was going to die. I came close to ICU. I had a blood transfusion. The last few days I have pulled through.

He joins us now from Dublin to tell us more about what it's like to live through this horrific illness. Stephen, great to have you with us and thank you for joining us. Tell us why didn't you think you were going to make it.

It was the same day over and over again. I had about 10 days of 102, 104-degree temperatures, just day after day. And at some stage, your brain is saying, you can't keep doing this and you're waiting for a heart attack or something. You feel you can't keep doing this over and over again. It was so, so difficult.

What was the worst moment for you?

Don't want to be too graphic, the worst moment was about 12 days in. I got a project isle vomiting and diarrhea and 104 degree temperature. At that stage, I thought I was dying.

Tell me if we can go back, about you contracting the virus, tell us about that when the alarm bells went off.

I was the fittest guy I knew.


STEPHEN MCDONALD, RECOVERING COVID-19 PATIENT: I was training for a half marathon. I was training for it eight times a week. And I developed a little -- just a little cough. Just a tiny little cough. And after about four days, that turned into fevers and chills and a more severe hacking cough. And then I started getting really bad night sweats. I put myself into self-isolation. I rang the health service and they didn't deem me fit to be tested.

Why is that?

They -- at the time they had said because I hadn't evidence of being in contact with somebody who was contaminated, they didn't deem I needed to be tested, even though I had 104-degree temperature. I rang my GP. My GP got me to an ER. And within an hour, I was in isolation. Within three hours, they had x-rayed me and told me I had viral pneumonia and within 24 hours they told me I had COVID-19 and viral pneumonia and I was in isolation for 16 days.

16 days.

Yes, pretty tough. Pretty tough. Mentally, it was very, very difficult. I do have to -- I made that little video purely because I wanted to call out the nursing staff in the hospital. I've never been in the hospital before. I've never been ill. And when you're -- when you're a middle-aged man crying on the bed thinking you're going to die and you have these nurses around you holding your shoulders, telling you everything is going to be OK, doing everything they can for you, I had to put a video together just to say thank you for that. They were truly, truly incredible.

These people are extraordinary. They're sacrificing their lives, putting themselves at risk to save people like you. Stephen, what would be your advice to somebody who is currently dealing with COVID- 19?

What's your advice to them?

I suppose -- in talking to the nurses in the hospital as well as -- is that it will pass. As long as you don't have an underlying condition that's going to cause the complications but it will pass. And it seems that what happened to me, 10 to 12 days of the repetitive high temperatures and lack of sleep seems to be quite common. Not to lose hope or not to lose faith. You will get through it. Again, once you broke the -- once you broke the 12-day barrier, since then I've been getting better. I'm feeling very weak, tired, I'm starting to breathe a lot still. But once you get through the 12-day barrier, it seems to be OK after that.

It is fantastic to have you with us. We wish you the very best and a full recovery. Thanks so much.

Thank you.

Life across the U.S. is changing in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. When we return, we'll find out how Americans are reworking their daily routines to cope with the new reality.





COREN: The coronavirus crisis is changing the lives of people all across the United States.


COREN (voice-over): Take a look at the normally packed streets of Las Vegas. It's practically a ghost town. It's a scene playing out all across the country and forcing Americans to come to grips with an isolated new reality. CNN's Martin Savidge takes a closer look at how Americans are coping.



MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Across America, coronavirus is changing lives. Instead of studying, 22-year- old college student Asia Judge (ph) is getting a hard lesson in life. Her mom sent us video and pictures of Asia (ph) cleaning out her dorm at now closed Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina, her entire senior year in question.

With her high school closed, senior Kristin Lee of Hendersonville, Tennessee stands to lose life-long memories, dreams of softball, prom, maybe even graduation.

KRISTIN LEE, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR: I heard about it and I started crying. I was really upset about it because this year was my -- it's already seniors year.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Coronavirus changed everything at Zace Brand in Fredericktown, Ohio until recently, one of the last denim producers in the country. But the news of medical shortages haunted owner Zach Myers.

ZACH MYERS, OWNER, ZACE BRAND: It really just started to kind of build up inside to the point to where I realized we needed to take action.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): So he bought army surplus material, read up on CDC guidelines and with his son and three employees, makes hospital masks, selling for five bucks a piece.

MYERS: This isn't a for-profit effort. What we like to have is just enough to cover our material and our labor.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He is hoping the masks help others, while helping him stay in business. John Henderson checked in from Texas, saying he is crazy busy.

JOHN HENDERSON, PRESIDENT AND CEO, TEXAS ORGANIZATION OF RURAL AND COMMUNITY HOSPITALS: I'm driving down the highway with a load sticking out of my sunroof of my wife's 4Runner. I've got 60,000 surgical masks in boxes in my car.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He and his team from Texas rural community hospitals are going nonstop delivering personal protective equipment to 157 rural health care facilities all over the Lone Star State.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Two boxes are going to go to the hospital in Dalhart --


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- for a total of 3,000 masks.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): He says his family is healthy, the kids have started learning online and they all appreciate life more.



ADRIAN: I've been with Amazon for about 10 years.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Adrian checked in with us while on the job in an Amazon fulfillment center in Connecticut.

ADRIAN: The children are at home, doing their lesson plans with mom, with help from teachers and distance learning. We're practicing social distancing.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Online services like Amazon have become more vital to people as they isolate. Adrian knows it and is proud to play a part.

ADRIAN: I remember growing up that Mr. Rogers said, when there were scary things on the news, I'd always look for the helpers. And for me, that's been the best part about being an Amazonian.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Stanton Moore could really use some helpers or just plain help.

STANTON MOORE, DRUMMER, GALACTIC BAND: We have had to close the club. We have had to cancel our tour.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): Moore is the drummer in the band Galactic. The group own the famous Tipitina's in Uptown New Orleans. But coronavirus has devastated the music scene.

MOORE: It's kind of an eerie feeling to be in this iconic venue and have it be empty.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): There is no money to pay musicians, bartenders or roadies. To try the get some income, Stanton teaches drums online.

MOORE: I've been doing Skype lessons right here with my computer set up right over here.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): You can also go online and buy a virtual drink at Tipitina's as a donation.

MOORE: This has been daunting for us and we don't know when all of this is going to end and we don't know what the future holds.

SAVIDGE (voice-over): That is just as true in New Orleans as it is everywhere else -- Martin Savidge, CNN, Atlanta.


COREN: Thanks so much for watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Anna Coren. "NEW DAY" is up just after this break. You're watching CNN.