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U.S. Marks Highest One-Day Death Toll from Coronavirus; U.K. Prime Minister Remains in Self-Isolation; CDC Advises Americans to Cover Faces in Public; Worldwide Cases Surpass 1.1M; China's Day of Mourning for COVID-19 Victims; Brazil Pandemic Far from Peaking; U.S. Ventilator Shortage; Wife Uses FaceTime to Say Goodbye to Dying Husband; Italy Devastated by COVID-19 Spread; Astronaut Scott Kelly on Living in Isolation. Aired 4-5a ET
Aired April 4, 2020 - 04:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): New guidelines for Americans to slow the spread of coronavirus but the U.S. president says he isn't going to comply.
Also this hour --
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You think about which patient would benefit the most and that is a horrifying place for anyone to be in and it would certainly be a damning indictment for our country.
ALLEN (voice-over): Life or death?
The heart-breaking decision that could be made about your loved one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN (voice-over): And life as we now know it may seem out of this world but hear from an astronaut who knows a thing or two about living in isolation.
Welcome to our viewers here in the United States, coming to you live from Atlanta, I'm Natalie Allen and NEWSROOM starts right now.
ALLEN: Hello, everyone. Thanks for joining us. We hope you and your family are safe and sound.
It is 4:00 am here on the East Coast and the United States has just endured its highest one-day death toll yet from the coronavirus. Well over 1,100 Americans died on Friday, many of them alone in a hospital bed, their families unable to say goodbye in person.
Now U.S. health officials are telling everyone to wear a face mask in public. But people looking to the U.S. president to set an example, well, Donald Trump says he won't be wearing one.
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DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, with the masks, it's going to be really a voluntary thing. You can do it. You don't have to do it. I'm choosing not to do it, but some people may want to do it, and that's OK. It may be good. Probably will. They're making a recommendation. It's only a recommendation. It's voluntary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: Meanwhile patients are pouring into hospitals by the thousands; places like New York are scrounging for life-saving ventilators and other equipment anywhere they can find them. We begin our coverage there in New York, which now has more than 100,000 people who have tested positive.
Many, many more are expected in the days and weeks ahead and officials there are begging for critical medical equipment. For more now, here is CNN's Nick Watt.
DR. UMESH GIDWANI, MT. SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM: One patient expired. It is very hard to lose a patient that you've been fighting for.
NICK WATT, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): And many more will be lost in New York, some perhaps needlessly. The city might run out of ventilators by early next week, so the governor will commandeer them from places that don't need them right now.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I'm not going to let people die because we didn't redistribute ventilators. The National Guard are going to be deployed to pick up these ventilators, which are all across the state and deploy them to places where we need them.
WATT (voice-over): The 1,000-bed USNS Comfort docked in New York Monday but still only 20 patients on board; some red tape, we're told.
CUOMO: The Navy's position is they don't want to put COVID people on the ship because it would be too hard to disinfect the ship afterwards. That is my rough interpretation of what they are saying.
WATT (voice-over): And those two cruise ships with sick and some dead on board, one of them finally allowed to dock in Florida. The sick will stay on board for treatment. The walking well, given masks and bused to the airport.
There are now more than 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University, and nearly a quarter of them are here in the U.S., where there is no national stay home order and some states still holding out.
DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: If you look at what is going on in this country, I just don't understand why we're not doing that. We really should be. WATT (voice-over): Twelve states also exempting religious services
from their stay at home orders.
GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): I don't think the government has the authority to close a church. I'm certainly not going to do that.
WATT (voice-over): And here is what can happen. Health officials tell CNN that 71 infections and one death are all connected to this one church in California.
GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): It is essential that we practice physical distancing everywhere, period.
WATT (voice-over): Over in London, the coronavirus positive prime minister still holed up at home, posting on Facebook.
BORIS JOHNSON, U.K. PRIME MINISTER: I still have a temperature and, so in accordance with government advice, I must continue my self- isolation.
WATT (voice-over): Here, the White House just announced that anybody coming in close contact with the president or vice president will now be tested first.
WATT: No one knows how long this will last but here in California, the closed stores are boarding up their windows for the long haul. The mayor of Washington, D.C., has said they don't expect to see a peak apex in infections until late June-early July.
And more than 10 states in the U.S. have now closed the schools for the rest of the school year. So kids won't be going back until August at the earliest -- Nick Watt, CNN, Los Angeles.
ALLEN: And as we mentioned, new guidelines from the Trump administration advise people to wear cloth masks when they are in public. They are voluntary and even though Mr. Trump said he wouldn't be wearing one, there are reasons that health experts recommend them. Our Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: If you've been a little confused about the whole mask thing, you are not alone here because the recommendations have been changing.
And I got to say, this whole situation is obviously evolving. So let me tell you what the current guidelines are and give you a bit of an explanation as to why.
First of all, now the CDC says if you have to go out this public, for some essential reason, then you should wear a cloth mask of some sort. Something that looks something like this; this is something that my daughter actually made for me. But the point is, you should not wear a medical mask. You need to save those for health care workers.
Now you may ask, why do I have to wear a mask?
Here's the thinking, it is the sort of idea that, even if you don't have any symptoms, if you are asymptomatic, as you have heard this term now, you are not coughing, you are not sneezing, you could still harbor the virus in your nose and mouth and you could still spread the virus that way. That is what asymptomatic spread is.
So by wearing even a cloth mask like this, you are decreasing the amount of virus you are putting out into the environment. So when you wear a mask in public, that is to protect other people, not to protect yourself necessarily. So that is an important point that I want to make sure people understand.
The other thing again, it goes without saying, that the first recommendation is that you stay home. I mean, this is still about social distancing and a mask should not give you some sort of -- make you feel like you have any sense of comfort about going out.
You don't want to have that false sense of security from the mask, nor do you want to lose your discipline about staying home as much as possible. I will say, it is still a controversial recommendation. The World Health Organization doesn't necessarily recommend this. This is unusual in the United States.
I mean obviously culturally around the world there are countries where people are more likely to wear masks and I'm sure that was a big part of the debate as to whether or not to recommend it voluntarily in this country.
But here we are. This is a changing time for everybody everywhere in the world. So the current recommendations, again recommendations, if you have to go out for some essential reason, wear a cloth mask, not a medical mask, the reason being to protect others from you possibly spreading the virus to them. Hope that helps.
ALLEN: Let's get perspective from someone who studies viruses, Muhammad Munir is a virologist at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. He joins me now live.
Good morning to you. And thank you for talking with us.
MUHAMMAD MUNIR, LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: Good morning.
ALLEN: First, your reaction to the CDC now recommending the American public wear masks to prevent the spread.
What do you make of this change?
MUNIR: Matter of the fact is really that the same term cannot be applied for all devices. When we say the drug or the vaccine developed for one virus cannot be used for other viruses, that means that everyone has to be considered individually.
And given the situation of this virus, when it is spreading through droplets, which can go as far as 18 feet, depending on how vigorously one can sneeze, and can stay in the air for quite a while, so therefore I think that the decision to wear the mask is absolutely crucial to limit the spread because that is what we're doing it for, to limit the spread and intervene with the transmission.
But one of the thing that is leading to a lot of confusion in the population is really that different regulatory authorities offer different recommendation. For CDC, if it is a recommendation for wearing the mask and WHO has not passed on any recommendation yet, so this leads to a certain level of confusion.
MUNIR: So it's asking people rather to follow this traffic light when grabbing (ph) or not. That is a lot more dated (ph) than not having any advice. So I personally think that wearing masks does have impact for contagious infection like coronavirus.
ALLEN: And what about the fact that, first, when Americans were told don't wear masks and, if you do, don't wear it again because you might have gotten a droplet on your mask and now we're told wear a mask, can you wear the same mask?
Do you need to continuously get rid of whatever mask you're fashioning from your home and wear a new one?
MUNIR: Precisely. I think once it becomes clear that wearing masks has some benefit for controlling the infection, the next challenge lies in the education. So it would be very important to make sure that everyone knows how to wear the mask and also how to make it safe.
For example, we do know that we have on an average like every 2.5 minutes we touch our face. So masks also protect them for touching the face frequently.
But the way it is put on, the way it will be taken out before and after washing your hands and making it really sterile is extremely important to avoid this contamination. Otherwise masks itself could lead to very serious transmission of the infection from one surface to another surface if not properly worn and precautionary measures would not be taken into consideration.
ALLEN: Well, thank you for helping us with that one. I want to talk with you and get you to respond to something Dr. Fauci said recently, that there is still much about COVID-19 that is perplexing, it is a mystery why some people react more severely than others. And we're talking about people of all ages.
Some older people recover; younger people have died and we even hear people on the frontlines in New York, saying that people are more sick that are in the hospitals this week than last week. There is just so much we don't know about this virus.
What is particularly perplexing for you?
MUNIR: Well, this virus has offered so many surprises to the scientific community. For example, if we look at this 3.5-month-old virus has taken the whole world by storm and over 1 million people have already been infected. The contagiousness, asymptomatic nature of this virus is making it very special.
And I think that there is a lot more needs to be studied and understood the way it is causing the infection in different age groups and different organs and the way that it replicates inside the body, which requires, of course, a bit of time.
But until we don't understand that, we won't be able to categorize which group is vulnerable in terms of age and what are the underlying causes that are really, really making this virus lethal.
And another aspect that is coming up nowadays is not only people that are frail or elderly or older ages, there are a fair proportion of people from 20 to 40 which are already infected. So really a lot needs to be learned in the near future.
ALLEN: And one of our anchors, Chris Cuomo, has the virus. He has gone on CNN to talk about it. His brother is the governor of New York. But he talked about the effect it has had on him, he is still at home isolating, about being lethargic, the sweats, the fever, the inability to focus, he's lost a lot of weight. It's just uncontrollable.
Hearing people describe what they are going through that are home is quite frightening.
At what point does someone seek medical help outside of isolating themselves?
MUNIR: Well, that is really important because now it seems like every country in the world is not in the position to tackle the scale of this infection. Even here in the U.K., recommendations are unless you are really, really in need, contact NHS, otherwise self-isolate and take the (INAUDIBLE) and take the rest.
So I think that the major challenge really lies onto the health care system and its capabilities. And that is really down to the preparedness, like two months have been wasted really, not only in the Americas but also here in Europe.
Preparations were not really made at the scale there, the ramping up of the facility in the health care system, is such that every person who needs it really are entertain (ph) so really challenge lies to the capacity to entertain everyone who needs it.
ALLEN: That's right. And we know about what is going on in New York.
ALLEN: And it will get worse, of course, in the next few days. We really appreciate your time to answer our questions. Muhammad Munir for us, thanks a lot.
Well, another story we're following for you, a development on Friday. U.S. president Trump firing the intelligence community's inspector general. Late Friday night, he sent a letter informing Congress; that letter was obtained by CNN.
Michael Atkinson is a nonpartisan career official. Last year he informed Congress about the anonymous whistleblower complaint that led to the president's impeachment. Atkinson will be placed on administrative leave. Here is more from Evan Perez.
EVAN PEREZ, CNN JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community, is out of a job. The president informed the Intelligence Committees in the House and Senate that he has lost confidence in Atkinson.
Atkinson is the one who forwarded to the intelligence communities the whistleblower complaint that said that the president was trying to pressure the Ukrainian government into announcing investigations into Joe Biden and his son.
We have been waiting, for some time, that Atkinson may be out of a job and it appears that in the middle of the coronavirus emergency, the president has decided that now is the time to get rid of the inspector general for the intelligence community -- Evan Perez, CNN, Washington.
ALLEN: And throughout the next two hours, we'll continue to look at all the areas of the world where this virus is taking place. The number of cases has surged in Brazil, for example, making it the worst hit country in South America so far. Next here, how the most vulnerable communities are coming together.
ALLEN: A national day of mourning in China, where COVID-19 first began.
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ALLEN (voice-over): Across the country, activity came to a standstill Saturday as three minutes of silence were observed to honor the dead. Flags flew at half-staff, sirens blared. Johns Hopkins University here in the U.S. reports more than 82,000 cases of coronavirus in China and over 3,000 deaths reported. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ALLEN: China appears to be cautiously opening back up while more scrutiny is being placed on the wet markets, where the virus is believed to have originated. CNN's Will Ripley has been monitoring developments from Tokyo.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I think it is important to differentiate between the wet markets that are so common and so necessary for tens of millions of Chinese who rely on them as the only affordable source of fresh produce, meat and seafood and these wildlife markets, which are currently illegal and yet still very difficult to control because of the fact that China does have an appetite for exotic meat.
So it is not uncommon to see dogs, cats and snakes and endangered animals like pangolins for sale. In the Wuhan seafood market, where wild animals were for sale and are believed to have transmitted the novel coronavirus to humans, that is why you have Dr. Anthony Fauci, key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force basically condemning this and saying that countries like China and others in Asia that have this sort of practice need to shut these markets down.
But it is not quite so simple and we have to be careful because sometimes people use these wet markets and the kinds of meats that are very unusual for people in the West but very common here in Asia, they use them to launch these kind of racist attacks.
Like senator Lindsey Graham ranting on FOX News about Chinese people eating bats. Just because people are eating meat that's what's different from people in the West are accustomed to, it is not necessarily the meat that is the problem, it is the unsanitary, dangerous conditions that are in some of these illegal and unregulated markets.
ALLEN: And that is what started it all. Our own reporter was there to show that the problem was the way they house these animals, the way they are kept in close proximity, these animals are under duress, things like that.
RIPLEY: Literally they're crammed into cages right next to each other. And for animal rights activists, it really is a heartbreaking situation. And China has been encouraging consumers to shop at supermarkets.
But a lot resist that because again supermarkets are overpriced, overprocessed foods that are less healthy than these fresh items at legitimate wet markets, where people can talk with the vendors. I would compare it to a farmer's market in the U.S.
But there is this dark underbelly of markets continuing to operate, despite the strict ban and potentially putting lives in danger. Even though the regulations in China are far less strict for domestic consumption, we live in a world where people normally travel very easily country to country. And so Dr. Fauci and others are warning that these illegal wildlife markets are a Petri dish for the next pandemic.
ALLEN: And nonprofits, NGOs that support conservation of animals have strictly called for these to shut down. We appreciate it, Will Ripley, thank you.
And the coronavirus is spreading through Brazil so fast officials say it is far from being under control. As Shasta Darlington reports from Sao Paulo, they are bracing for the worst.
SHASTA DARLINGTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil are growing by more than 1,000 daily. The news has Brazilians and their leaders concerned, with total confirmed cases now topping 9,000.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Brazil also has the highest number of reported cases. Brazilian authorities saying the pandemic is far from peaking. The death toll is more than 350 and climbing.
Sao Paulo's largest cemetery shows a grim scene of what is to come, rows upon rows of graves freshly dug, many of which will be filled by those who died because of the virus, according to cemetery workers.
And a discouraging announcement by the Brazilian health minister, hospitals in the state of Amazonas might collapse in just days. As authorities work on controlling the crisis, they are met with another challenge: the lack of key supplies.
A multimillion-dollar purchase of medical supplies that included masks and protective equipment fell through, according to the health minister. He said they were redirected to the U.S.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): The same thing had happened with respirators, Mandetta also said. We had bought them. They delivered the first part. The second, even with a contract, everything signed, with the money ready to pay, they said they no longer had them, we can't make that delivery.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DARLINGTON (voice-over): Authorities now are scrambling to make up for the loss. Meanwhile those living in the most vulnerable areas, favelas, Brazil's notorious slums, are often left to manage the COVID- 19 crisis on their own.
More than 40 neighbors in one of Brazil's sprawling favelas worry that the coronavirus pandemic could be disastrous for their community. They have come together to organize what they have been able to get through donations.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We get detergent, hand soap, sponges.
DARLINGTON (voice-over): In hopes of stopping this virus in its tracks -- Shasta Darlington, CNN, Sao Paulo.
ALLEN: States across the United States are fighting to get more life- saving ventilators. Just ahead, what is at stake if they don't get them.
Also, death in the era of coronavirus, a young mother and wife shares her heartache over losing her husband and not being able to be with him at the end.
ALLEN: Welcome back to our viewers here in the United States and all around the world. I'm Natalie Allen. Here are our top stories for you.
While cases of coronavirus keep rising in the U.S., medical workers are frustrated, of course, by the lack of ventilators, which breathe oxygen into the lungs of patients. And soon health professionals may have to decide who gets the devices. CNN's Drew Griffin looked into that.
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SENIOR INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The horrifying pictures from inside New York hospitals show patients hooked up to the only machines keeping them alive. When the virus takes over the lungs, ventilators take over the breathing. Without them, immediately when needed, the prognosis is dim.
MEGAN SCHLANSER, METRO DETROIT NURSE: It's bad. You can watch a patient go from breathing room air to, 72 hours later, needing to be intubated.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): So far, hospitals have kept pace, but barely. The situation's so bleak. The U.S. government put out a video on treating two patients with one ventilator.
CHARLENE IRVIN BABCOCK, ASCENSION ST. JOHN HOSPITAL: You obviously wouldn't do it unless you're in dire circumstances.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): But the dire circumstances are here. States and the federal government are in a bidding war for ventilators made in China.
GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): We can't get any more ventilators.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): And it is time now to prepare for what may be the inevitable. This article in the New England Journal of Medicine was written to prepare doctors in the event they must choose who gets a life-saving ventilator and who does not. Robert Truog is one of the authors.
DR. ROBERT TRUOG, DIRECTOR, HARVARD CENTER FOR BIOETHICS: I worked all weekend on - on helping on a number of them. And hospitals now, many hospitals have these in place. So, I think that it's going to be extremely difficult. GRIFFIN (on camera): Unbelievably difficult for those physicians who have to make the call.
TRUOG: That's right and, of course, the families and patients as well. These are life-and-death decisions. And it's going to cause a tremendous amount of suffering if we get there.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): The decision, who lives, who dies, would come down to a point system.
The elderly, patients diagnosed with cancer, COPD, diabetes, any chronic lung or terminal illness, would be eligible for care, but score lower than those who are otherwise healthy with a potential longer life to live.
The points would determine what's in the best interest of society, not just the individual.
TRUOG: Everybody is eligible. But beyond that point, then it does come down to giving it to those people where we're either going to save the most number of lives, or the most number of life years. And yes, it does mean that people with other severe illnesses will receive a lower priority score.
GRIFFIN (voice-over): In New Orleans, where the virus is predicted to get even worse, there are enough ventilators now. But within days, they could be out.
DR. JOSEPH KANTER, ASSISTANT STATE HEALTH OFFICER, LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: And then, after that, you begin having very challenging conversations about how you allocate the vents and you think about which patient would benefit the most. And that's a horrifying place for anyone to be in and that would certainly be a damning indictment of our country.
GRIFFIN: And CNN has found 10 different government reports from 2003 to 2015, which all predicted if we were to have a pandemic like this, the United States would run out of ventilators. And here we are -- Drew Griffin, CNN, Atlanta.
ALLEN: Stay at home orders and social distancing are tough enough. But for families whose loved ones are dying in a hospital of coronavirus, the separation is unbearable.
Joe Lewinger was a healthy father and husband and assistant high school principal in New York and coach of his school's basketball team. At first, his symptoms were mild. But in mid-March his fever spiked. Last weekend the hospital informed his wife that he was not going to make it.
Maura Lewinger spoke with CNN's Erin Burnett about the agony of saying goodbye from afar.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MAURA LEWINGER, JOE'S WIDOW: His words were we have thrown the kitchen sink at him and afraid he doesn't have anymore time. And I said then I need to be thanked him. I thanked him for being the most amazing husband, to making me feel cherished and loved every single day.
Every single day my husband wrote me beautiful love letters for my lunch box. Just beautiful letters about what I meant to him and our plans for the weekend maybe if it was Friday or just about, you know, -- he always took care of me, always got me my coffee and just wanted to help me in every way. And so I thanked him, I thanked him.
And then I prayed. And then the doctor phoned and he said I'm sorry but there is no more pulse. And then I played our wedding song for him. And then that was it.
So I was with him when he passed. But I don't want anybody else to experience this. This morning I woke up to a notification on my phone that 43 in Nassau County overnight died. Because people are just not being careful, people are just being so invincible feeling, they think that it can't happen to them. And maybe it won't happen to them.
But maybe they are carrying it and they don't know it. And from my cousin today, I heard that their 11-year-old daughter had to yell at her 11-year-old friends for inviting her to the park.
Why are you inviting me?
You're supposed to be home.
Parents, you have to mean, you have to not care if your kids hate you right now. hey will hate you no matter what because everything about it is awful. But you cannot be with people that are not in your house. As sad and lonely and everything that is, you must, must stay with only on the people in your house.
ALLEN: So many stories like hers as well. Maura Lewinger says her husband's death still hasn't hit her because she couldn't be there when it happened. It is a tragic circumstance becoming all too familiar. And Joe was just 42 years old.
If you want to find out how you can help protect health professionals and refugees and support service workers trying to save lives during this pandemic, you can always go to our website cnn.com/impact.
ALLEN: In Europe, as many know, the coronavirus has devastated Italy. Johns Hopkins University is reporting more than 14,000 deaths in this country, among those almost 100 doctors and nurses. But despite the personal risk, thousands continue to volunteer to reinforce the front lines. Ben Wedeman shares their stories.
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The hospitals of northern Italy are overwhelmed, intensive care units overrun with coronavirus patients, doctors and nurses pushed to the limits of endurance.
The Italian government recently called for 300 volunteer doctors to help their beleaguered colleagues; nearly 7,000 responded. Among them was a young doctor, now working in a hospital in a badly hit northern town.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There were several times this week where I felt that I should cry or I should scream. The situation made us living in a sort of illusion, a bad dream, a nightmare actually.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): And a nightmare for his parents, knowing where he is and what he's doing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I can see, when I call my parents for example, that they are scared of course.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): At a military airport outside Rome, a group of doctors prepares to fly north.
WEDEMAN: More doctors and nurses are desperately needed in the effort to stop the spread of coronavirus. At this point, dozens of doctors have died from the disease. More than 10,000 medical personnel have tested positive.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): The youngest doctor on the flight, 29-year-old Julia D'Angelo (ph), didn't hesitate to volunteer.
"As a doctor," she said, "I felt I had to help out and not think about me and my concerns but rather to be useful to others."
31-year-old Dr. Julianna (INAUDIBLE) recalls that her parents were alarmed when she told them she had signed up.
"They didn't react well," she says. "They were worried. They tried to dissuade me. But they saw I was motivated and determined, so they accepted it and supported me."
Friends and family are worried. Yet this cardiologist Angelo Arrestia (ph) is stoic about the risks.
WEDEMAN (voice-over): "It is our work," he says.
"If not now, when?"
And now is when the need is greatest -- Ben Wedeman, CNN, Rome.
ALLEN: Such a heartening story there.
We want to get a view on the ground in Italy, where the country continues to be under lockdown. Thea Duncan is joining us from Milan, where she has a tour company there.
Thea, good morning.
How are you holding up in all of this?
THEA DUNCAN, TOUR COMPANY OWNER: Good morning. I have to say I'm doing very well. My immediate family is well. I'm well. I feel to be in lockdown like I'm doing my part and I think that is the only thing or the best thing that we can be doing right now.
ALLEN: And people in the United States are learning that a little bit too late.
How long have you been like this, how long have you been in your place?
DUNCAN: Well, let's see. I was actually in the U.S. when all of this started happening. I was there for work. So I came back to Italy and I think I've been here about three weeks, maybe four weeks now. My husband has been here on lockdown from, I guess, the very beginning, obviously.
ALLEN: But you know what the U.S. is going through now, an unbelievable epidemic here.
What would you say to people in the United States that might not still be adhering to safety measures and understanding what they could go through or what could happen to them?
We've certainly seen how Italy has been devastated.
DUNCAN: In fact, I think interestingly enough, even though I live here in Italy, the majority of the people that I do know who have been infected by the virus are in the United States. My uncle passed away a few days ago and he was in the U.S. He was not
well, he was in an assisted living facility, so, of course, he was a very high-risk patient. I think what comes to mind to say is that we have to all do our part. I think what is going on in the world right now is a classic example that we're all interconnected and that we have the for power to move the world for good and for bad. And so as an individual, I feel that I can do my part by staying at home and staying positive and reaching out to family and friends. And my message I guess to the people in the United States is that we can do what we can do, whether you're working in a hospital, whether just staying at home to take care of ourselves and to take care of others.
ALLEN: And you have a wonderful attitude. I'm so sorry about your loss. You own a tour company.
DUNCAN: And it is called Doing Italy.
ALLEN: Well, we hope everyone will be doing Italy after all is said and done for sure. Thea, tell us about your business.
And what are your hopes?
How are you going to bring it black?
DUNCAN: Well, I think that it is obvious that the tour industry was one of the first industries to be affected by all of this. I have a book that I wrote called "Discover Milan," and it is available for free for everybody that just wants to download it for inspiration of what we can do when things are better.
If they decide to purchase the book on Amazon, all the proceeds will go to the Red Cross. So I'm like the back level, just doing what I can. So when all of this is over, my business will be up and running and able to assist people.
ALLEN: And what is the name of the book?
DUNCAN: Called "Discover Milan. Where to eat -- actually, I'm all confused and a little nervous. It is called "Discover Milan," what do and eat in Milan.
ALLEN: And again, this came on so quickly there, in a place that you obviously love, it has to be very difficult to see what has happened to this city.
DUNCAN: I think the general feeling is obviously a little surprise, a little shock. I know me, personally in the beginning, it was a little hard. After the weeks have gone on, it has become easier. That is how I'm feeling.
I feel like this is a small price to pay to be on lockdown for the better good of the world. I mean, that is just how it is right now. So while I'm home, I have food, I have shelter, my immediate family is OK.
[04:50:00] DUNCAN: Like I said, my uncle passed away. But if me staying indoors is going to save lives, I feel that is not such a big price to pay. That is like nothing.
ALLEN: Well, we wish you all the best. And we hope that your book sells and your businesses gets back up and running because that is a wonderful country.
DUNCAN: It is a gorgeous country and I think the world knows that. So we're just looking forward to when all this is over and life is good again.
ALLEN: All right. I enjoyed talking with you. Thank you for your time, Thea.
DUNCAN: Thank you.
ALLEN: Well, of course, people around the world have been living under lockdown for weeks, some months. After the break, we'll hear a message of hope from a man who understands isolation like few others.
ALLEN: A consequence of this pandemic is the struggle for many of living in isolation. But there is still a way to thrive. Just ask retired astronaut Scott Kelly.
ALLEN: He spent nearly a year on the International Space Station from 2015 to 2016, separated from friends and family, the Earth in view but untouchable. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta invited him on his podcast to get Kelly's unique perspective. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MARK KELLY, ASTRONAUT: When you look at this Earth from space, it doesn't look all that big. You don't see political borders. It makes you think we are all part of the same team.
And now, you know, with this pandemic, you realize, you know, we are all interconnected for better -- or for worse in this case. And our species is capable of doing amazing things.
We can put people on the moon, people living in space for a year. Everything we have done in the last 100 years, we can beat this, absolutely. I am convinced. But it's going to take an effort on all of our part, working together as a team.
(END VIDEO CLIP) ALLEN: In the midst of the grim headlines from the pandemic, there are bright spots. You've seen a lot of social media; thank goodness for those, including, here's one, a chance to reuse that Halloween costume. CNN's Anna Stewart shows us the good stuff.
ANNA STEWART, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Another round of applause, the health workers in the U.K. The British Navy joined in as did police up and down the country.
Emergency services on the other side of the Atlantic showed their appreciation for health workers, too. This in New York.
In Australia, taking out the bins has become a weekly highlight, an opportunity for a performance and a special outfit, be it Hawaiian dancer, Iron Man or even a dinosaur.
The movement was inspired by this bin isolation Facebook group, which says the bin goes out more than us. So let's dress up for the occasion.
DOLLY PARTON, SINGER AND ACTOR: Hello. I'm Dolly Parton.
STEWART (voice-over): And for those parents working 9:00 to 5:00, Dolly Parton has got you covered. .
PARTON: Are you ready?
STEWART: Each week she will be reading a bedtime story online.
PARTON: Good night.
ALLEN: All right. We're going to bring you the good stuff any chance we get. I'm Natalie Allen. I'll be right back with another hour of our top stories right after this.