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Yeast, baking powder and spiral hams were big hits in America's shopping carts last week.

As the country settles in — possibly for the long haul — under stay-at-home orders, baking projects appear to be a common distraction, while panic purchasing of some products seems to be subsiding.

Sales are still up significantly compared to a normal week. And shelf-stable foods, meats, produce and snacks are all flying off shelves at unusual rates.

But for many products, the remarkable sales spikes from early March have started to subside.

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

President Trump said Friday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear cloth or fabric face coverings, which can be made at home, when entering public spaces such as grocery stores and public transit stations. It is mainly to prevent those people who have the virus — and might not know it — from spreading the infection to others.

Nearly a dozen Russian military planes filled with medical supplies landed in Serbia on Friday — the latest in a series of controversial Kremlin humanitarian aid missions carried out amid the global spread of the coronavirus.

"Now we have everything to fight the virus," said Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in a statement released by Russia's Defense Ministry. "I want to say a big thank you to the Russian people."

Widespread cancellations of commercial flights are creating problems for meteorologists around the world. That's because weather forecasting models rely on temperature and wind data gathered by thousands of planes flying overhead.

The National Weather Service uses more than 250 million measurements from aircraft every year, which are fed into complex weather computer models. As of the end of March, meteorological data provided by U.S. aircraft had dropped by half.

In Clark County, Nev., the nation's fifth-largest school district, a school food service worker has reportedly died of COVID-19. That death is one of around 40 recorded in the state of Nevada as of Friday afternoon.

A day after U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier was abruptly removed from his post as commanding officer of the coronavirus-infected aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Navy official confirms to NPR that acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly intends for Crozier to be reassigned rather than dismissed from the Navy.

Our Daily Breather is a series where we ask writers and artists to recommend one thing that's helping them get through the days of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Roberta Flack

Where: New York, N.Y.

Recommendation: Reading Ranier Maria Rilke

Nothing in the world is more serious right now than social distancing.

Updated at 6:57 p.m. ET

Just days after the White House coronavirus task force warned Americans to brace for sobering death tolls, the administration is vowing to reimburse hospitals for treating uninsured patients infected with the coronavirus.

In the Philippines, doctors who have treated patients with COVID-19 are dying in alarming numbers. Fourteen physicians who died tested positive for the virus and four more are suspected of succumbing to it, according to the Philippine Medical Association.

As the pandemic sweeps through the Philippines, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising by the hundreds each day. On Friday, 385 new cases were reported, and 29 deaths, the highest for a single day. Total confirmed cases have crossed the 3,000 mark, with 136 total deaths.

The coronavirus pandemic is heightening interest in raising young chickens for a reliable supply of eggs, with hatcheries saying they're seeing a flood of new customers.

"We are swamped with orders," says Nancy Smith, owner of the Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Mo. "We can't answer all the phone calls, and we are booked out several weeks on most breeds."

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

When researcher Josh Santarpia stands at the foot of a bed, taking measurements with a device that can detect tiny, invisible particles of mucus or saliva that come out of someone's mouth and move through the air, he can tell whether the bedridden person is speaking or not just by looking at the read-out on his instrument.

Jason Hargrove was behind the wheel of a bus in Detroit when he said a passenger began to cough. The middle-aged woman let loose four or five times without covering her mouth, he said, and watching her do this — at the same time Michigan was under a state of emergency for the coronavirus — got him so upset, he felt compelled to vent his frustrations in a video afterward.

Updated at 3:48 p.m. ET

White House doctors have started giving rapid coronavirus tests to people who are "in close proximity" to President Trump or Vice President Pence.

With cases of COVID-19 surging and medical supplies rapidly dwindling, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is calling on federal officials to scale up aid efforts for the state, saying, "It feels like we entered this war, and it is a war, with less ammunition than we needed."

One of the nation's most important medical testing companies has acknowledged that it has a backlog of at least 115,000 coronavirus tests, which helps explain why so many desperate doctors and patients haven't been able to get tested.

Quest Diagnostics of Secaucus, N.J., says the backlog occurred because a company lab in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., where the company's coronavirus testing started, got overwhelmed when testing started to ramp up.

Love Is A Four-Letter Word

4 hours ago

Stay F. Homekins hosts Paul F. Tompkins and Janie Haddad Tompkins join Jonathan Coulton for a music parody where the word "love" in song titles is replaced with another four-letter word beginning with "L."

Heard on Debra Messing & Paul F Tompkins: Show Yourself Some Grace.

Debra Messing: Show Yourself Some Grace

4 hours ago

Actor and activist Debra Messing was already a recognizable performer by the time Will & Grace premiered. She starred as Stacey Colbert in the Fox comedy Ned & Stacey for two seasons and had the lead role in the short-lived ABC drama, Prey.

The Ask Me Another Hotline

4 hours ago

Listeners call in to tell us how their behavior has changed since social distancing began.

Heard on Debra Messing & Paul F Tompkins: Show Yourself Some Grace.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Comedian Dana Jay Bein never thought a little ditty that popped into his head after a cough and a throat tickle would catch on.

Bein, a native of western Massachusetts and longtime stand-up comedy instructor at ImprovBoston, says he was sitting on his sofa when he thought up the lyrics to what became "Coronavirus Rhapsody," a riff off the Queen hit, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Spain said early Friday that 117,710 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in the country, briefly surpassing Italy's count to become the highest in Europe, until the Italian authorities announced a bigger case tally later in the day.

Spain's Health Ministry also reported 10,935 deaths from COVID-19. The country's daily death toll has gone over 800 for seven consecutive days, reaching a record 950 in 24 hours on Thursday.

In recent days, top U.S. government officials have moved to assure Americans that they won't lack for food, despite the coronavirus.

As he toured a Walmart distribution center, Vice President Pence announced that "America's food supply is strong." The Food and Drug Administration's deputy commissioner for food, Frank Yiannas (a former Walmart executive) told reporters during a teleconference that "there are no widespread or nationwide shortages of food, despite local reports of outages."

"There is no need to hoard," Yiannas said.

Restaurants across the country are closed to customers who want to dine in. But many are eager for hungry customers to order takeout or delivery to support their businesses.

People are obliging: Food delivery has doubled since the coronavirus outbreak, according to data from Yelp.

This May marks 50 years since an anti-war protest in Kent, Ohio turned deadly. The Kent State shooting left four students dead and nine injured.

Here & Now‘s Lisa Mullins speaks with Robert Giles, the editor of the Akron Beacon Journal during the protest. He’s the former curator of the Neiman Foundation.

His new book, “When Truth Mattered: The Kent State Shootings 50 Years Later,” is out this week.

As Detroit struggles to deal with more than 8,000 coronavirus cases in its metro region, the city has received the first 15-minute testing kits for the virus.

Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson checks in with Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek (@sarahcwiek).

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Economist Mohamed El-Erian says “no one knows” how long the current economic crisis will last.

But one thing is for sure: Restarting the economy is a lot more than just “flicking on a switch,” says the chief economic advisor at Allianz and president-elect of Queens College.

Even then, the post-coronavirus economy will look very different. For one, businesses are going to start prioritizing resilience over efficiency.

Bill Withers, the sweet-voiced baritone behind such classic songs as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me" and "Use Me" has died. Withers was 81 years old. According to a family statement given to the Associated Press, he died Monday in Los Angeles due to heart complications.

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