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Germany Eases Some Restrictions As Number Of Coronavirus Cases Falls; At Least 16 Dead In Canadian Shooting Rampage; UNESCO: Half Of World's Student Population Not In School. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired April 20, 2020 - 05:30   ET



ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR: A tip last week led police to 17 bodies in a morgue at a New Jersey facility. At least 36 people have died from the coronavirus there.

And New York data (ph) shows the virus has killed more than 1,100 nursing home residents.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK: Nursing homes are still our number one concern. The nursing home is the optimum feeding ground for this virus -- vulnerable people in a congregate facility in a congregate setting where it can just spread like fire through dry grass. We have had really disturbing situations in nursing homes and we're still most concerned about the nursing home.


CURNOW: Well, California is also struggling with a surge of infections in its nursing homes as well, as Paul Vercammen now reports -- Paul.


PAUL VERCAMMEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The mayor of Los Angeles delivering an evening address -- a State of the City address -- and saying that Los Angeles is grieving but not broken. It's grieving, in part, because of what has happened at nursing homes.

Brier Oak, East Hollywood, 80 residents have tested positive for coronavirus; 62 staff members. Throughout the state, more than 3,000 cases linked to nursing homes.

In central California, Redwood Springs has had 107 residents test positive, 10 have died. Fifty-four residents have tested positive, including one we spoke to over the phone.

She wanted to keep herself anonymous. She said she came down with COVID-19, passed it on to her daughter. She told tales of working with just a paper mask and said that nobody wants to do a job that requires people to be very close to those residents, including giving them baths.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nobody wants to sign up for it.

VERCAMMEN: Tough work?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it's backbreaking work. It's rewarding to see like, you know, your patients getting better at certain points, but it's -- we're putting our lives on the line as well.

VERCAMMEN (on camera): The Redwood Springs facility, in a statement, saying it did provide N-95 masks to the caregivers and also saying it was vigilant in trying to protect them.

California going through a surge in cases tied to nursing homes.

Reporting from Los Angeles, I'm Paul Vercammen. Now back to you.


CURNOW: Thanks, Paul, for that.

So while most world leaders are doing their best to lead their countries through this pandemic, Brazil's president, it seems, is just one of the crowd. Jair Bolsonaro joined a rally on Sunday calling for an end to quarantine measures. He was there without a mask, coughing at times while addressing a couple of hundred supporters.

Now, the president fired his health minister last week after weeks of disputes over the isolation measures which have been imposed by state government. Mr. Bolsonaro has insisted the economic fallout should not be worse than the virus itself. Well, Brazil has the most confirmed cases in Latin America with more than 38,000 reported.

And in another way of dealing with this, Germany is starting to relax some of the restrictions it imposed to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Starting today, the government is allowing smaller shops to reopen as long as they take precautions to slow the spread. It comes as the country recorded one of its lowest rates of new infections and deaths on Sunday. So, that's great news.

Fred Pleitgen joins us now from Germany. And, Fred, hi, good to see you. Just explain to us where you are because as we can see, normal life seems to be starting to go back to the way it used to be.

FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, to a certain extent, normal life, Robyn, is coming back.

The place that I'm actually at is an interesting one. We are the zoo in the northern town of Rostock because one of the businesses that's also allowed to reopen are some zoos in Germany. And certainly, the folks up here in the German north have taken advantage of that. Polar bears and sea lions, by the way, are the big exhibit here.

And we have been seeing some people who are coming back here to the zoo. Obviously, a lot of families with children who have been inside for a very long period of time or at least not been able to venture out very far are taking advantage of this and want to come and go back to places like, for instance, the zoos. Among the reasons why they are allowed to do that is, of course, inside a large park it is easier to social distance than in some smaller places.

Other than that, it's smaller businesses, smaller shops that are reopening. Car dealers and also bicycle dealers allowed to reopen as well.

We were talking to some smaller business owners over the course of the weekend and also earlier today. A lot of them, of course, very happy that they are finally able to go back and do their work and are able to have customers again. A lot of people, of course, have also been waiting to just be able to go back to these shops.

The German government though, Robyn, has said that the gains that have been made so far that have allowed them to ease some of these restrictions that have been in place for such a very long time -- those gains are fragile. And, of course, those gains, they say, can be reversed at any point in time.

So you're seeing the German governments are looking at all of this not in a nervous way but really being very watchful about this to see what this is going to mean -- whether or not infections are going to go up and whether or not these easings of these restrictions are going to be able to remain.


There are some states here in Germany who are a little bit stricter than others. Like for instance, Bavaria has just announced that they will make people wear masks in public places. We are seeing some people who are doing it voluntarily here, but there are certain areas in Germany where that is not voluntary.

And, of course, the regular physical distancing measures are still very much in place. Folks who are not members of one family do have to stay apart at least 1.5 to two meters, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that. You can see a lot of kids there trying to get a good walk in there. Thanks so much, Fred Pleitgen -- appreciate it, from the zoo.

So, now an update on some other news.

Police say at least 16 people are dead after a shooting rampage in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. The shooting began late on Saturday night in a small town and the suspected gunman led the police on a chase that ended more than 90 kilometers away on Sunday morning.

Our Paula Newton has more from Ottawa.


PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): Canadian police really describe this as a reign of terror that went on for more than 12 hours. The 911 calls started to come in late Saturday night. Police say they went to one property and saw several people -- several victims both inside and outside the property.

But at the same time, they saw lots of fires in that area and in other areas, in some cases dozens of miles apart. They were trying to attend to all of these multiple crime scenes.

At the same time, there was a manhunt on for a local businessman. People say they had no indication that anybody would try and attempt this kind of a rampage in what is really a rural and very quiet community.

The manhunt continued throughout the night. People terrified already, already in lockdown, were told to really barricade themselves in the basement if they had one and to look out for this man. He was said to be perhaps wearing some type of an RCMP uniform -- a police uniform -- and perhaps in a police car.

Police point out that this means that these acts were in some way, shape or form premediated. They also say that in terms of the victims, that he may have known some of them but others, the acts really looked senseless and absolutely random.

They finally tracked the suspect down at a gas station. They won't say exactly how he died but do confirm that he is, in fact, deceased.

Now, the heartbreak will be coming in the next few days. But one personal story already. RCMP lost Constable Heidi Stevenson, a veteran of 23 years, a mother of two.

And this is in the middle of this pandemic where people cannot even properly mourn -- just trying to process all of this. Certainly, it will be one of Canada's worst mass killings in history and really, a national tragedy which will be so difficult for that community and for the entire country, really, to cope with given what so many are already dealing with.

Paula Newton, CNN, Ottawa.


CURNOW: Thanks, Paula, for that.

So, with countrywide closures of schools, students are being forced to adjust to learning from home if they're lucky. Now, that's something that's impacting their education and their emotional well-being. We'll delve into how to help kids cope with this new normal. That's next.



CURNOW: So, with Britain's care homes closed to visitors amid this pandemic, one home is opting for virtual visitors instead. It started an "Adopt A Grandparent" program where volunteers can spend time online with the home's residents.

As Anna Stewart now reports, the idea has really, really taken off. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)



ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER (voice-over): Seventy-four-year-old Sheila and 5-year-old Fran have been keeping each other company over video. They aren't related; they're part of a program called "Adopt A Grandparent" that puts virtual volunteers in touch with care home residents. These two hit it off immediately.

WARFIELD: Where's your picture. Oh, that's lovely. You are a clever girl.

STEWART (voice-over): For residents like Sheila, whose family can't visit her at the moment, this new little companion has become another member.

SHEILA: (INAUDIBLE) I thought oh, she's such a lovely little girl.

STEWART (voice-over): The program's organizers say interest has skyrocketed with over 70,000 volunteers signing up in the last four weeks.

SHALEEZA HASHAM, HEAD OF HOSPITALITY, COMMUNICATIONS, AND COMMISSIONING, CHD LIVING: It's been absolutely amazing and so heartwarming. We never expected anything like the numbers of volunteers we have received. And people from all over the world -- Australia, America, Greece, India, Africa.

STEWART (voice-over): And what better way to fight loneliness than with a bit of dressing up with new friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Where did your bunny hat go (ph)?

WARFIELD: Oh, my bunny is like yours.

STEWART (voice-over): Anna Stewart, CNN, London.


CURNOW: Sweethearts. Thanks so much to Anna for that story.

We'll be right back with more news. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.



CURNOW: And it's morning Monday -- another day -- which means the start of another week of homeschooling.

According to UNESCO, this is impacting over 91 percent of the world's student population. Some, of course, are at a huge disadvantage. Kids from low-income households might not have proper Internet connections to continue their learning effectively online. Others might suffer some social isolation.

So let's take a listen to how studying at home is impacting ordinary students around the world.


ELSA PENA, 16-YEAR-OLD STUDENT: It's so different than what I'm used to. I mean, it's definitely opened my eyes to like stuff that I do every single day, I'm suddenly missing. A lot of kids -- a lot of my friends, we don't realize how awesome school is until we lose it.

HARPER MOORE, 6-YEAR-OLD STUDENT: Social distancing for me has been really hard because I miss my friends from school and I want to see them again.

AUBRY CARPENTER, 5-YEAR-OLD STUDENT: We are trying our best to learn and trying to give our teachers respect for help -- for helping us learn from home.


CURNOW: Pretty impressive kids.

Now, if there's anyone who understands the struggles of this new normal it's teachers. So let's bring in Meredyth Cole, the head of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. Meredyth, good to see you this morning.

And I just want to talk about -- it's not just about the reading and the writing and the arithmetic, as we heard from those kids. It's also about their well-being, isn't it?

MEREDYTH COLE, HEAD OF LOVETT SCHOOL, ATLANTA: It is, Robyn. We -- I think learning continuity is incredibly important, obviously, to our children but frankly, their social and emotional wellness is a priority.

For many kids, this is the first significant experience they've had with grief. They have lost life as they knew it -- their rhythms, their patterns, they're isolated. This is a big change in their lives.

CURNOW: So you're basically saying that in many ways, they're mourning because this is a loss of something that is upended their whole life so far, in many ways.

COLE: Absolutely. For once in the life of our 21st-century children, they're not overscheduled. They're actually experiencing boredom.

CURNOW: Which is not necessarily a bad thing. But at the same time, a lot of these kids have lost that sense of structure, which I think you've spoken about a lot before. And that is what school is about, isn't it? Milestones, sports games, reports, proms, dances, graduations. All of that just now gone. COLE: It is -- it is, particularly at the end of the school year here in the United States as kids are coming across those significant important milestones in their developmental process.

CURNOW: So what to do about that? What kind of advice are you giving students and what kind of advice are you giving, particularly, to those teenagers who feel like their whole sense of purpose -- their whole day has just been ripped away from them.

COLE: Right. So we're getting a lot of feedback from the older students that they're losing motivation. That they're feeling -- edging on a sense of hopelessness, which we don't want them to feel at all.

So really, looking at their controllables. Thinking about time and space so that they are creating rhythms and patterns in their lives at home. They're getting up with an alarm, they're taking a shower, then they're going online to do class.


They're not doing class in their bedroom. They're going to school at the dining room table or at a desk. And then they look at homework as something separate from schoolwork because right now, it's just work -- and to do homework when they might have done homework previously in a separate place.

So creating those traditional rhythms that they're used to in this new environment I think is going to be really important to them --

CURNOW: Yes, and --

COLE: -- and finding ways to stay connected.

CURNOW: Find a way to stay connected. I mean, that's the one benefit, I suppose, about giving kids cell phones.

Out of the students that you've connected with, and particularly as a teacher, who are the students that are managing and who aren't? Because I know with one of my children, she's loving this. She gets to read a lot, she's by herself. She's an introvert. But what the extroverts?

COLE: So it does seem like this is -- this is really -- there's a sharp line here between how introverts are experiencing this and how extroverts are experiencing this.

Introverts are happy as clams. One of my children is an introvert and this is just his speed. They're able to self-regulate. They don't need to be reenergized by being around lots of people.

Now, this is really hard for the extroverted student who needs to create new ways of staying connected and getting online with their teachers when they offer office hours and finding ways to connect virtually with friends. And what we're finding is that the virtual connection really is a fulfilling connection even though it's through a screen.

CURNOW: And teachers -- what are the teachers having to experience through this? Because, you know, we're nearly a month into this. Many other places are further in or just about to start in terms of this. For teachers around the world, what is this -- what is the advice you can give and what has this been like?

COLE: So what we're hearing from teachers, first and foremost, is that this is the greatest form of professional development they've ever experienced. They have had to turn on a dime how they -- what they're delivering, the content they're delivering, and how they're delivering it.

They are -- one of the things they miss the most is the emotional reaction of children in a classroom. That silent feedback that they get by watching a facial expression or body language. They miss their kids a lot. They are working really hard and they're exhausted.

CURNOW: And, I mean, how have different teachers managed this? I suppose if you're younger and you're more Internet savvy that's cool. But if you're an older teacher used to nurturing children one-on-one or explaining things in person, how difficult has that been? And not all -- not all teachers are the same.

COLE: No, it's really hard. It's very hard for somebody who has done it the same way for a long time. And frankly, teachers tend to be a fairly risk-averse bunch and this

is really forcing them to try new things.

They're counting a lot on one another. So those who are more comfortable with technology platforms, who have more experience with them and may have experienced them in college and in graduate school, are helping their colleagues who have less experience with them.

We are very lucky at our school to have lots of resources and educational technologists who have committed their careers to developing these platforms for teachers and for students.

CURNOW: Yes. And so, if you don't have the resources of, say, the Lovett School, what is the advice you can give to teachers and even to students who seem to feel like they've lost their mooring here?

COLE: I think to remain patient. To keep in mind that this is not going to last forever.

And to, in some ways, going back to the basics -- reading, writing. Teachers are using many more project-based exercises and giving kids. So they're introducing a project that may have multiple disciplines wrapped into it.

But honestly, I think the reading and the writing is one of the best things kids can be doing right now. Kids are losing -- they're not reading as much as they used to. They also can use writing to develop their own communication skills but also to process emotions right now through a journal.

CURNOW: And that brings us back to sort of talking about your emotional health. Sometimes journaling can help with that.

Meredyth Cole from the Lovett School, appreciate you joining us early this morning here in Atlanta.

COLE: Thank you, Robyn.

CURNOW: Thanks for your advice.

COLE: Thank you.

CURNOW: So take a look at this. I want to show you a little creativity to kick the quarantine blues. This is also one way to deal with things -- do a little bit of exercise -- not to mention this involves a lot of skill.

These two talented young girls in Italy turned their rooftops into a tennis court -- this is extraordinary -- lofting shots over the guardrails and the street below. Talk about a rally.


Reacting to the video, former number-one Tracy Austin tweeted "This is next level. I don't think this can be topped." And I pretty much agree with her. They're still going.

But here's the man, Roger Federer. Maybe you can help with his challenge. That'll give you something to do. You need a racket, a ball, and a wall. It's a solo drill.

He says you can do this at home. Bounce it off the wall and don't let it fall. It will certainly give you something to do.

Serena Williams also has accepted this challenge. She's doing it there. She's sharing her own video, joking that she's done the drill about a billion times. That is so good, isn't it?

Well, thanks for your company. Great having you here today with us. Let's help our medical workers by staying at home and staying safe.

I'm Robyn Curnow. "NEW DAY" is next.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Testing remains a problem today. It is one of the key hurdles which will reopen the economy.

GOV. RALPH NORTHAM (D), VIRGINIA: We have been fighting every day for PPE. We've been fighting for testing.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The governors want to have us, the federal government, do the testing. The testing is local. You can't have it both ways.

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER (R), MASSACHUSETTS: Everything associated with testing ultimately has to be approved by the CDC and the FDA, as it should be. The states shouldn't be making their own decisions about that stuff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He did not, in my view, understand this disease in the beginning. We are not going to be able to get back on our feet and restart if we don't get help from Washington.


ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Alisyn Camerota and John Berman.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and all around the world. This is NEW DAY. It is Monday, April 20th, 6:00 here in New York.

The death toll in the United States is now nearly 41,000 people.