Home WorldEurope Moderna Vaccine, E.U., Joe Biden: Your Tuesday Briefing

Moderna Vaccine, E.U., Joe Biden: Your Tuesday Briefing

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As the coronavirus has surged again in recent weeks, much of the U.S. has chosen to keep restaurants open and schools closed. Much of Europe has done the opposite.

The European approach seems to be working better: While both Europe and the U.S. have suffered surges in cases, over the past two weeks France, Germany, Spain and Britain have managed to reduce their growth rates.

What is Europe doing differently? It is cracking down on the kind of indoor gatherings that most commonly spread the virus. England closed pubs, restaurants, gyms and more on Nov. 5 and announced they would remain closed until at least Dec. 2. France, Germany’s regional governments and the Catalonia region of Spain have also shut restaurants, among other businesses.

Many Americans have resisted accepting that reality. Across much of the country, restaurants remain open for indoor dining. Last week, New York State announced a new policy that public health experts consider to be a bizarre middle ground: Businesses with a liquor license can stay open until 10 p.m.

The one indoor activity that appears to present less risk is school, especially elementary school. Why? Young children seem to spread the virus less often than adults do.

Closing schools and switching entirely to remote learning, on the other hand, has big social costs. Children are learning less, and many parents, mostly mothers, have dropped out of the labor force. The U.S. is suffering from both of these problems and from a raging pandemic.

That’s it for this briefing. See you tomorrow.

— Natasha

Thank you
Theodore Kim and Jahaan Singh provided the break from the news. You can reach the team at briefing@nytimes.com.

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