Return to Transcripts main page
Coronavirus Changes Food Supply; Coronavirus Updates from Around the World; Long-Lost Cousin Discovered During Pandemic; Answers to your Coronavirus Questions. Aired 8:30-9a ET
Aired April 28, 2020 - 08:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Said they're either going to have to close or change.
GALLAGHER (voice over): The food supply chain is shifting and, in most cases, it's hard to stomach. Farmers dumping crops, meat plants shutting down, all while long lines snake around food banks and restaurant dining rooms, empty. The coronavirus is changing how and where we eat.
MATT DEBUSSCHERE, CAFE MANAGER, SUN IN MY BELLY: It is a restaurant. That's what we do. That's what we did. And now, you know, everything's different.
GALLAGHER: Very different. On a spring day like this, Sun in My Belly, a popular restaurant in Atlanta's Kirkwood neighborhood, would typically be busy, even have a wait list going. But today --
DEBUSSCHERE: We are essentially a neighborhood market now.
GALLAGHER: Matt Debusschere, who has worked here for a dozen years now, says back on March 13th the restaurant owner decided that they would either have to close or change.
DEBUSSCHERE: And in one hour we changed the business model completely. We all got behind this vision and just started pulling everything out, all the produce out of the walk-in, all of the back stock of paper goods and we organized it as quickly as we could into a general store.
GALLAGHER: A toilet paper pyramid, extra wine and produce quickly evolved, products they had on hand to run their business became goods to sell. Instead of severing vendor and farm contracts, they're adding more. And now other local businesses are selling products and plants in what was once their dining area.
DEBUSSCHERE: It's a beautiful thing because we're staying in business, they're staying in business.
GALLAGHER: At Bread Furst, they're still baking, but --
SCOTT AUSLANDER, DIRECTOR OF SALES, BREAD FURST: Now we're selling -- we're selling almost as much flour as we're using.
GALLAGHER: Shortages on the shelves have created a new type of customer for this Washington, D.C., bakery.
AUSLANDER: People were calling. The phone ringing off the hook. People say, how do you -- how can we get some flour because the grocery stores were out. And we've only got it in 50 pound and 25 pound sacks. So we would bag it up for customer. And it just sort of snowballed. Sort of an ancient tradition, you know, that's been -- it's giving people sustenance for thousands of years and you can take a little bit of flour and a little bit of water and you can make, you know, a week's worth of sustenance and I think that's appealing to people right now.
GALLAGHER: The baking boom happening on social media hasn't just kept them in business, it's changing how they plan to go forward.
BEN ARNOLD, HEAD BAKER, BREAD FURST: I mean we've always had some grocery section here in the bakery, but now we're going to start having like a -- not really a bakery corner, but like, you know, flours, yeast, sugar, salt, you know, baking powder.
GALLAGHER: The use of online grocery companies, like Instacart, has skyrocketed. In New York, a Whole Food closed its doors to the public indefinitely, open only to shoppers filling orders made on Amazon.
But changing the business model comes with a downside. The United Commercial and Food Workers Union worries about what this will mean for the store workers who were currently risking their lives once this is all over.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are moving people around as rapidly as we possibly can so that we make job opportunities available for our membership.
GALLAGHER: Back in Atlanta, Sun in My Belly hopes that they can keep their store going when their restaurant comes back again.
GALLAGHER: And I want to be very clear, the situation here at Sun in My Belly, it is unique. It's the exception, not the rule. According to the National Restaurant Association, John, two out of every three employees at restaurants across the country have either been laid off or furloughed and 40 percent of the restaurants nationwide have had to close due to the pandemic.
BERMAN: Wow, those numbers are staggering. And the real question is, when will people feel comfortable going back to some of these establishments. Diane Gallagher, thanks so much for being with us.
More than 211,000 people have died from coronavirus around the world. There are now more than 3 million confirmed cases. CNN has reporters all around the world to bring you the latest developments.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Will Ripley in Tokyo, where the president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Yoshiro Mori, is telling Nikon (ph) sports that if the coronavirus pandemic is not under control by next summer, the Olympics won't be postponed again. He says they will be canceled. This is the strongest language yet from Mori, the president of the Olympics. It's been dialed back a bit by Tokyo 2020 organizers who say it's still too soon to know what the situation will be next year. But this does follow weeks of speculation from experts, including a prominent Japanese epidemiologist who said he's pessimistic it will be possible to hold such a large sporting event even a year from now given the coronavirus pandemic.
MELISSA BELL, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Melissa Bell in Paris, where the French prime minister is due to address lawmakers this afternoon with the details of how the country intends to lift the partial lockdown that was introduced six weeks ago. And while Philippe will be laying out the details of that deconfinement, as it's known here in France, which is due to begin on May 11th, what that will necessarily involve, a staggered lifting of those restrictions and that need to balance at once the scientific advice that requires that the lockdown last for a great deal longer to get to the end of this epidemic here in this country and the needs of a society and an economy desperate to get back to business as usual.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Fred Pleitgen in Berlin. And here in Germany, the reproduction of novel coronavirus cases has increased. The basic reproduction number now stands at one, meaning that, on average, every infected person is infecting one other person and Germany is no longer pushing the virus back. Angela Merkel has warned that Germany risks squandering the gains it's made in combatting Covid-19 if people don't strictly adhere to physical distancing measures.
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I'm Clarissa Ward in London, where the U.K. government is up against a big deadline on Thursday. That mark the end of April, when they should be able to test 100,000 people a day for coronavirus. This per their own promise. But as of just a couple of days ago, they've been testing roughly 30,000 people a day. So that is still a huge discrepancy. Not clear whether they will be able to make that target.
Meanwhile, across the country, this morning, people observed a minute of silence to commemorate the more than 80 health workers who have died on the front lines fighting corona.
BERMAN: Our thanks to our reporters from all around the world.
So, remarkable, unintended consequences from the stay at home orders. A California couple making an incredible discovery. How their neighbors turned out to be way more than just that, next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [08:40:36]
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: An incredible story now of connecting during this time of social distancing. Because of the stay at home orders, two neighbors in southern California discovered they are actually long lost cousins.
Joining us now are two couples, Erik and Jen Strom and Kjetil and Zoe Njoten.
Great to see both of you. And I look forward to you telling us how this unfolded.
So, Kjetil, let me just start with you because you describe these past two weeks of discovery as, quote, quite bonkers. So exactly what happened?
KJETIL NJOTEN, DISCOVERED NEIGHBOR IS A LONG-LOST RELATIVE: Well, it was truly bonkers. During the lockdown, we -- more of the neighborhood started walking, I guess, and we walked past and we saw Jen and Erik having a conversation with their neighbors coming across the road and we had a chat with them briefly. And then the following Saturday we all arranged, all three of us, all three couples to meet again on the front porch or the front lawn and all kind of standing about 10, 15 feet apart and just having like a little kind of impromptu get together.
And it was during that meeting we just started talking about family and then they mentioned that they came from -- they originally came from Norway. And we were like, that's amazing, because obviously we're from Norway. It then transpired that, you know, Jen came from a town called Salanga (ph), which is south of the coast from where I grew up. And then Erik mentioned he -- his ancestors came from this small island and they had never really been able to find it. They thought it was called Newton (ph).
CAMEROTA: Jen, this is where you came in. Two Norwegians, that's not that commonplace. And then the idea that the families were from a small island. So how did you start to put two and two together?
JEN STROM, DISCOVERED NEIGHBOR IS A LONG-LOST RELATIVE: Well, I didn't really put two and two together in the conversation. They said, well, wouldn't it be funny if it was not an island -- not an island, instead of Newton (ph). And Kjetil mentioned that if -- if that was the case, then our grandparents, great grandparents, that the island name would be the surname. And so then Erik made a phone call to his mom.
CAMEROTA: OK. So, Erik, what happened in that phone call with your mom?
ERIK STROM, DISCOVERED NEIGHBOR IS A LONG-LOST RELATIVE: Yes, I said, hey, do you still have the family history book that my grandmother, her mother, made, that traced her line back to like the 1700s. And she said, yes, I have it. I said, can you look up and see, you know, what the surname is, you know, going back to Njoten Island. And so she texted me a picture of the name of what would be my great grandfather -- or great, great grandfather. And then, sure enough, the last name was the same as Kjetil's last name. So that started the wheels rolling. So I forwarded that to Kjetil. And he had his mother get on the research and we were like, well, wouldn't this be funny if it ended up that it was the same place and wouldn't it even be crazier if we were actually related somehow.
CAMEROTA: And, in fact, you are and your great grandfathers were brothers.
NJOTEN: Yes, that's correct. I mean we -- actually, we share the same great, great grandfather. So he was -- he's one in the same. So Erik's great grandfather is my great great grandfather.
NJOTEN: And not only that, but the exciting thing is he lived in the same house on Njoten where I grew up in 100 years later. So, yes, it's a crazy coincidence.
CAMEROTA: So you live on the same street and you are cousins, basically.
And, Zoe, I know that you say that the moment that you all figured this out, and it crystallized was like Christmas. And so tell me about the excitement.
ZOE LEIGH-NJOTEN, DISCOVERED NEIGHBOR IS A LONG-LOST RELATIVE: We literally just looked at each other and obviously we looked at each other from socially distanced apart standing, you know, really far. Like me and Jen were just squealing and jumping around. And all of us were just beaming with smiles and desperate to hug but can't and just incredulous to be honest. It's just such an amazing, serendipitous kind of outcome.
CAMEROTA: So, Jen, what's the plan? Once the social distancing guidelines are dropped, what's the plan for this new family reunion?
J. STROM: Oh, huge family meal. Big party.
CAMEROTA: Just some sort of Norwegian delicacy that you guys are all going to whip up in the backyard there?
J. STROM: We're practicing. I've been practicing.
CAMEROTA: That is awesome.
And, I mean, Erik and Kjetil, I'll start with you, Erik, it must be your -- your mothers, right? I don't know how far up your ancestors are still alive, but I can imagine that the closer the generation must be super excited about this discovery.
E. STROM: My grandmother kept the family pretty close and initiated a lot of reunions. In fact, one of them was in Norway and Kjetil was there in 1996. We came to find out that later. And so, yes, the cousins are really excited. There's people from all
over the country who are related to us who are interested in coming out and meeting and just participating in the story. It's very exciting.
CAMEROTA: You wouldn't probably have had the time to sit and chat with each other in this way had you not been under these lockdown orders because, you know, obviously we all just go about our regular business and we're normally busy, but right now we are spending more time with neighbors.
NJOTEN: Yes, absolutely.
CAMEROTA: It's really great to hear your story.
All right, well, Kjetil, Zoe, Erik and Jen, we look forward to hearing about the big Norwegian backyard barbecue once this is all over and we really appreciate you sharing your personal story of discovering each other with us.
NJOTEN: All right.
LEIGH-NJOTEN: Thank you.
CAMEROTA: And Dr. Sanjay Gupta is back to answer your coronavirus questions, next.
BERMAN: So we have been asking you to send us your questions about coronavirus and then we bring in CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta to answer those questions.
Sanjay, we might add, is also related to the two Norwegian couples we had on during the last segment.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Can't you tell?
BERMAN: And, Sanjay, the first question is from Susie, and it reads, I don't wear a mask when I walk outside for exercise. Are we supposed to? And why do people wear them when they're driving by themselves with the windows up?
Let's be honest, you see cars zoom by you with a lot of drivers wearing masks.
GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, it's interesting, and I'm still sort of reveling at that poll -- polling data you showed earlier. People are taking this very seriously, what's going on here. And I think that the -- that's overall a good thing.
But there's certain things that are probably, you know, you don't -- you don't need to do. If you're in a car, and the windows are closed, you don't need to be wearing your mask then. The running thing, you know, it's interesting, I don't wear a mask
when I go outside and run. I just keep my distance from people and I keep moving. And I think you said you do as well, John. I think that's probably the most important thing. There are people who wear masks when they run. I think it's -- it's more challenging to do that. It might give an indication to other people that, you know, you're wearing a mask, people should, you know, give some way so it's more of a signal maybe than anything else. But I think the most important thing in that environment, I think, first of all, being outside is fine. I think it's good, actually. It's good for your physical health, probably good for mental health, just keep the physical distancing, keep moving I think is most important.
CAMEROTA: OK, this next comes from Tammy Medlock, who says, I'm nervous about going to a hair salon so soon after stay at home orders are lifted. Would it be safe if a stylist made house calls and cut hair outside with both parties wearing gloves and masks?
GUPTA: So this is a good question. And, you know, it comes up a lot. And, you know, there's no -- there's no hard and fast rules here. And I don't want to be the overly dogmatic guy on this. It is a better solution. You're controlling your environment more. You remember, keep in mind, it's obviously the physical distancing, but also it is surfaces. If it's your own place, you can control the surfaces, disinfect. You wear a mask, you wear gloves, that's obviously beneficial.
You know, masks are not perfect in this case because you are going to have a lot of face to face contact as well. So unless they're the true N95 masks, which can be -- you know, people oftentimes don't have those, those are for healthcare workers, you're still going to be increasing the risk a bit.
But, I get it, I mean people want this. And, John Berman, I point out -- I should point out, maybe, is Tammy Medlock because I actually got a chance to see John's hair in a way that I had not seen before in a recent photo. If we can --
CAMEROTA: Oh, my God.
GUPTA: I mean people have seen this picture. This is -- this is -- this is a bit -- John, your hair is typically so perfect. I love to -- this is my favorite picture of the week.
GUPTA: That's why I wanted to show it. And then I'm just reading the side and you're talking about a hobsian (ph) choice here regarding your running --
GUPTA: Which I -- which I thought that really interesting. You just started running. You -- was it a hobbesian (ph) choice or a hobstin (ph) choice. A different conversation one day.
BERMAN: Well, I was -- I was saying it was nasty and brutish but not short, because I kind of got lost and ended up running about three more miles than I wanted to, which created the volume in the hair which is -- I'm embracing. I'm just going full flow in the hair.
CAMEROTA: I can see that.
GUPTA: It looks good. I like it.
CAMEROTA: But what's wrong with your face, John. I mean the hair is one thing, but what's happening with your face there?
BERMAN: It was just the shock of still being alive after running so far.
CAMEROTA: I see fever.
CAMEROTA: I don't know about Sanjay. Somebody's feverish in that shot.
GUPTA: He should be tested.
BERMAN: I'm going to ask -- I'm going to ask another question here for self-protection.
Sanjay, is social -- if social distancing is six feet in a grocery store, how far should it be on a windy beach in Florida or say California or in Connecticut?
GUPTA: Yes. Well, you know, there is some concern. You know, again, I think being outside is fine. You know, on a windy beach, you know, if the -- you're actually blowing these respiratory droplets further away, perhaps, making it less likely to get infected, perhaps that's an advantage as well.
My concern with the beach shots, which we've shown over and over again, is -- is more than it has to do with the prolonged contact with people there. People just sitting and you're -- you're -- you know, you're maybe far enough away, but it's that prolonged contact, even -- even at six feet that I get a little worried about. I mean this is all about trying it decrease, you know, your exposure to someone else's viral load. And, you know, in this case, keeping moving, not having that prolonged contact, not touching the same surfaces, which probably also happens at a beach because, you know, you're all coming in through certain entryways, maybe there's not that many restrooms, whatever it might be, those are all concerns as well.
So, yes, six feet is a great sort of rule of thumb to keep in the back of the mind. But the goal that we've always been talking about is to protect you. So if you think about how this virus behaves and how people might contract it, one person to the other, reduce your risk by keeping moving, not touching those same surfaces.
CAMEROTA: So keep moving, don't stop for a selfie, like this viewer right here.
BERMAN: That was at home. I was home. I was home at that point and I was still, you know, conscious after running too far.
CAMEROTA: I see someone in shock. I mean, I -- you know, again, not a medical doctor, but I -- something's wrong in that picture.
BERMAN: I'm also proud of the hair. Let's be honest. There's a lot to be proud of.
GUPTA: I love it.
BERMAN: Thank you, Sanjay. You're on my side, always.
GUPTA: You got it.
CAMEROTA: Oh, that's awesome. Sanjay, thank you.
GUPTA: You got it.
CAMEROTA: Wow, John, wow.
All right, CNN's coronavirus coverage continues, next.