Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
The Ferry family, from Chantilly, Va., who were in the middle of taking a family photograph, are surprised by a second fly over by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, in a "salute to frontline COVID-19 responders," as seen near the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial that depicts a flag raising over Iwo Jima, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Gorgeous spring weather across the United States and Europe on Saturday drew people cooped up inside for weeks outside to soak in the sun, even as additional coronavirus hot spots in Russia and Pakistan emerged.

Though grateful to be outdoors, people were still wary—masks were worn everywhere, even on southern U.S. beaches and by some joggers in Spain. A New York City farmer's market enforced the familiar 6 feet (2 meters) of space between people waiting to buy spring flowers. Mothers in Central Park reminded their kids to give people space. And small groups of picnickers kept their safe distances, while joggers moved past each other without a glance.

Retired New York attorney Stan Neustadter pulled down his mask to say it's been important to his spirit to get out. "Why live like a rabbit? Plus I'm approaching 78, I've had a great run," Neustadter said.

Police and park officials were spread out across New York City, which sent out 1,000 officers to enforce social distancing on the warmest day since mid-March. But they were more likely to break up large groups, leaving the nuisances of social distancing and hanging out safely outside to New Yorkers themselves.

"Go for a walk, but respect the social distancing and wear a mask," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
People walk and exercise in a seafront promenade during sunset in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, May 2, 2020. Spaniards have filled the streets of the country to do exercise for the first time after seven weeks of confinement in their homes to fight the coronavirus pandemic. People ran, walked, or rode bicycles under a brilliant sunny sky in Barcelona on Saturday, where many flocked to the maritime promenade to get as close as possible to the still off-limits beach. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

With gigs drying up at clubs and concert halls, German native Julia Banholzer, a saxophonist, said she has taken to playing al fresco in Central Park for whoever happens by. On Saturday that was a steady stream of folks, most wearing masks, who left tips for her trio as they worked their way through a set of jazz standards.

"It's great to have an audience after all these weeks." she said. "All my dates have been canceled through September, and I don't know if any will come back this year. New York is a tough place, but this is just another tough period we need to get through."

Meanwhile, fighter jets from the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds drew people outside as they flew over Atlanta, Baltimore and Washington in honor of health care workers. In Atlanta, motorists stopped on a major highway while other people found open places to look to the sky on rooftops or a cemetery.

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
People sit on the grass at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., Saturday, May 2, 2020. Gov. Phil Murphy said early reports of behavior at New Jersey's just-reopened parks and golf courses were "so far so good" as far as people adhering to social distancing. Murphy earlier said state troopers and park police would closely watch parks and golf courses as they reopened during especially fine weather over the weekend. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New Jersey reopened state parks Saturday. Limited to 50% capacity in their parking areas, several had to turn away additional arrivals by the afternoon. But nearly everyone followed the rules on social distancing and Gov. Phil Murphy said "so far, so good" at his daily briefing.

Margie Roebuck and her husband were among the first people on the sand at Island Beach State Park. "Forty-six days in the house was enough," she said.

Elsewhere in the world, the pandemic's danger was still evident. Russia and Pakistan reported their biggest one-day spikes in new infections.

Overall, Russia has reported around 125,000 cases and more than 1,200 deaths. True numbers are believed to be much higher because not everyone is tested. In the far northeast, 3,000 of 10,000 workers at a vast natural gas field tested positive, Russian news agencies reported.

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
A man exercises along Trocadero Square, close to the Eiffel Tower, Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Paris. France continues to be under an extended stay-at-home order until May 11 in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Rafael Yahgobzadeh)

Moscow's mayor said this week that officials are considering establishing temporary hospitals at sports complexes and shopping malls to deal with the influx of patients. Infection cases have reached the highest levels of government, with both the and the construction minister contracting the virus.

Pakistan appears to be joining Russia with rapidly increasing case counts. On Saturday, Pakistan announced nearly 1,300 new cases, raising the total in the country of 220 million people to about 18,000.

Newspaper photos showed large numbers of the faithful at Pakistani mosques and only some practicing social distancing. Prime Minister Imran Khan's government said it might ease controls, but doctors have pleaded for stricter lockdowns, warning an explosion of infections would overwhelm hospitals with only 3,000 intensive care beds nationwide.

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
A bicycle sets in the sand as people enjoy the spring weather during the coronavirus pandemic in Belmar, N.J., Saturday, May 2, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The virus has killed more than 238,000 people worldwide, including more than 65,000 in the United States and more than 24,000 each in Italy, Britain, France and Spain, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health experts warn a second wave of infections could hit unless testing is expanded dramatically.

For most people, the causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially and those with health problems, it can cause severe illness such as pneumonia, or death.

There are economic factors to consider as well. In some areas of the United States, reopening is being urged to ease the shutdown of businesses that plunged the global economy into its deepest slump since the 1930s and wiped out millions of jobs.

It has created a patchwork of rules across the 50 states. In South Carolina, where about 20% of the state's revenue comes from tourism, beach hotels were allowed to reopen Friday. Webcams showed dozens of people on the beach Saturday, but pools still closed. South Carolina also hasn't reopened dine-in restaurants, unlike neighboring Georgia. Some U.S. states have yet to start start the reopening process.

Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
Adolfo Rojas carries a tray of food for dine-in customers at El Tiempo Cantina Friday, May 1, 2020, in Houston. The restaurant reopened their dining room for table service, with limited capacity, Friday. Texas' stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic have expired and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has eased restrictions on many businesses that have now opened. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Business owners have also been left wondering if customers will return. On a postcard-perfect spring day, Detroit's Eastern Market had far fewer customers and vendors than normal at the farmer's market.

Jill and Mark Thomas said they felt safe selling bottles of homemade wine from their Unwined Winery, but it wasn't the same in the COVID-19 world.

"It's easier when you can get samples to people," said Jill Thomas. "We're not allowed to do that now."

In Spain, where COVID-19 has caused more than 25,100 deaths, people ventured out Saturday for the first time since a March 14 lockdown.

"I feel good, but tired. You sure notice that it has been a month and I am not in shape," 36-year-old Cristina Palomeque said in Barcelona. "Some people think it may be too early, as I do, but it is also important to do exercise for health reasons."

  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    Vendors wait for customers at a drive-thru farmers market Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Overland Park, Kan. The market has moved from its usual home to a sprawling parking lot allowing for people to spread out and shop from their cars as a measure to stem the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    Shoppers wait on one of several lines to make purchases at the farmer's market at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Saturday, May 2, 2020. As warmer temperatures tempted New Yorkers to come out of quarantine due to coronavirus, police dispatched 1,000 officers this weekend to enforce social distancing and a ban on congregating in public spaces. (AP Photo/Peter Morgan)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    An elderly woman wearing a protective face mask and disposable gloves as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, adjusts her headscarf as she takes a walk outside, breathing in fresh outdoor air, on the grounds of a nursing home in Caracas, Venezuela, Saturday, May 2, 2020. Venezuela's government allowed elderly people and children to go outdoors for a few hours, relaxing a strict quarantine to help curb COVID-19. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    Members of the Equestrian Gendarmerie Units, which normally serve to protect the Topkapı Palace, wearing face masks for protection against the coronavirus, as they patrol the beaches in Sariyer outside Istanbul, Saturday, May 2, 2020. The equestrian unit is used to patrol the beach area to enforce the curfew measures, restricting people from walking around or swimming. (Ibrahim Mase/DHA via AP)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    A man sits on the top step of the Lincoln Memorial as people gather by the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington, Saturday, May 2, 2020. The District of Columbia is under a stay-home order for all residents in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    Thousands line up to receive food handouts in the Olievenhoutbos township of Midrand, South Africa, Saturday May 2, 2020. though South Africa begun a phased easing of its strict lockdown measures on May 1, its confirmed cases of coronavirus continue to increase. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    Cape Town City Ballet dancer Olivia Parfitt, trains at her apartment in Cape Town, South Africa, Saturday, May 2, 2020. All members of the company are forced to practice at their homes during the government lockdown to control the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    In this photo taken on Monday, April 27, 2020, a woman wearing a sanitary mask to protect against COVID-19 holds her daughter as she walks past a building in Castel Volturno, near Naples, Southern Italy. They are known as "the invisibles," the undocumented African migrants who, even before the coronavirus outbreak plunged Italy into crisis, barely scraped by as day laborers, prostitutes and seasonal farm hands. Locked down for two months in their overcrowded apartments, their hand-to-mouth existence has grown even more precarious with no work, no food and no hope. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
  • Sun draws many out in US, Europe; Russia virus numbers grow
    People exercise at Madrid Rio in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, May 2, 2020. On Saturday, Spaniards were able to go outdoors to do exercise for the first time in seven weeks since the lockdown began to battle the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Spaniards deserved relief after weeks of confinement, but he asked citizens to remain vigilant.

"Until we have a vaccine, we are going to see more outbreaks," Sánchez said. "What we need to guarantee is that these outbreaks do not put our national health system in danger."

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