As the coronavirus pandemic upends work, travel and home life, the rules are shifting for what people can and can’t do in their daily lives. The WSJ is continuously updating advice and information on how to stay safe, healthy and connected, and how to help others. Here’s our latest news, answering your questions:

Sex in the Time of Coronavirus
Illustration: Benedetto Cristofani

It’s hard work being intimate right now. People are terrified that kissing, touching or even breathing on someone could be deadly. Stress and fear are big libido buzzkills. And even if you can get in the mood, privacy may be hard to come by, with kids and anyone else you are quarantined with home all the time. In her newest Bonds column, Elizabeth Bernstein digs into how people can reclaim their sex lives28365365体育投注 in the middle of the pandemic. Among her tips:

Remind yourself that it’s OK if it’s not great. With all the extraordinary underlying stress right now, not many people are having great sex. It’s OK if it isn’t as wonderful as it used to be. Lowering the pressure on yourself will help you relax. “If we live long enough, we will all go through times when our sex life is not mind-blowing,” says Susan Orenstein, a sex therapist in Cary, N.C. “Learn to enjoy your body for what it has to offer now.”
Focus on your body. Mentally scan it. Are there areas that are tense? Noticing them reduces activity in the emotional center of the brain. This leads to corresponding changes in the body: Less cortisol, the stress hormone. Fewer stress-related neurotransmitters. Less muscle tension. Read more here.

Ways to Talk to Your Parents About the Coronavirus (and Vice Versa)

Almost everyone has a story about a disagreement between an aging parent and an adult child over how to handle life right now. Geriatric psychiatrist Marc Agronin has also noticed a communication breakdown between generations during this stressful time. He’s dubbed the different “languages” we speak fortyish, sixtyish and eightyish: The words may be the same, but the meanings aren’t. This limits the emotional support we can give and receive, upping our stress further, he says. Among his tips to get past this:

Begin with questions. In some ways this is the hardest thing to do, because most of us want to talk in these trying times. So here is my most crucial bit of advice: When talking to others—and especially with somebody from a different generation—put aside your agenda, no matter how urgent or necessary it seems, and commit yourself to learning more about them. Ask questions about how they are feeling and coping, what they need, and how they perceive the impact of the pandemic on their life. Listen to the answers without having to immediately respond with your own perspective.” Read more here.

Want to Escape? Five Directors on the Movies That Take Them Away

Movies can get on the planes, book the hotels and drink in the landscapes for viewers whose only travel right now is by armchair. We talked to five directors to get their go-to picks for cinematic getaway. Here are a couple of their suggestions:
•Michael Winterbottom (“The Trip to Greece”). “Fitzcarraldo”: Some of the director’s favorite films about travel include a voyage that is itself unenjoyable, like Werner Herzog’s 1982 adventure about a madman whose quest includes pulling a 300-ton river boat over a mountain in the .

•Lulu Wang (“The Farewell”). “Belle de Jour”: Ms. Wang gravitates to classics like this one from the late 1960s, with Catherine Deneuve as a bored Parisian housewife who slips away in the afternoons to her double life as a high-class prostitute. “This erotic surrealist comedy is all about fantasizing an alternative reality than the one you’re currently living,” Ms. Wang says. Read more here.

Tools to Help You Keep Your Distance as More People Go Outside

In the quarantine era, being outside is one of the last bastions of normalcy left. Meanwhile, green spaces and sidewalks are getting more crowded—making it difficult to maintain the minimum 6 feet of social distancing recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The answer isn’t to stay inside all the time. But we do need to stay away from each other—and tech can help. Here are some tools that can help you avoid the crowds:
Strava, the , can help you find alternative routes for running, walking and riding.
AllTrails identifies nearby.
Before your next grocery run, consult Google’s popular times to see if it’s crowded. A pink “Live” indicator is a good representation of how many people are there right now.
•If you aren’t sure what 6 feet looks like, bust out the Measure app on your or device. Read more here.

What to Watch Now


Did we leave out your favorite life hacks? Email us at and include ‘life hack’ in the subject line, and we could feature your answer in a future update. Desktop users may also fill out the form at the end of this story.

As new and existing streaming services overwhelm viewers with choices, the WSJ is distilling the most compelling series, movies, documentaries and live events to watch at home. Each week, we’ll identify a trend in streaming entertainment, and recommend releases based on a rotating series of sources. This week’s focus:
A case against binge-watching. For many who have endless options at a time when they’re seeking connection, this is the right time to savor each episode, dissect them with fellow fans and take things one at a time. At the moment several new series are releasing episodes weekly, rather than all at once, creating opportunities for communal experience. Among them, Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere,” based on Celeste Ng’s novel of the same name about two mothers from different backgrounds. And there’s “Mrs. America,” from FX on Hulu, about the opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment. Episodes of “Better Call Saul” ( ), the “Breaking Bad” spinoff that focuses on Walter White’s shady lawyer, drops Monday nights. Read more here.

What to Read Now—Whether You Want a Challenge or an Escape

WSJ. Magazine spoke to 23 top-shelf writers, including Ian McEwan, Anthony Doerr, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Ayad Akhtar and Stacy Schiff, to find out what they’re reading under quarantine—particularly the longer, trickier books sure to take you out of yourself.

If Not Now, Then When? 23 Authors on the Best Books to Finally Read

Don’t despair, however, if you’re distracted by the headlines, the economy or the be-Zoomed whirl of school-less chaos in your home and just want something a little lighter. Here are some excellent books that don’t require your whole brain to enjoy, but are still smart and well done.

In These 10 Books, the Blissful Pleasure of an Escapist Read

MORE: Quibi Video App Review: Sure It’s Fun but What’s the Point?

100 (Non-Screen) Activities to Occupy Your Kids in Quarantine

With families holed up at home, we pulled together a list of 100 non-screen activities to keep kids engaged. Most use supplies you might already have at home. Others require not much more than your brain and your feet. Some involve even less. Here’s a small sample:
•Outdoor games: Hide and seek, jump rope, hopscotch, capture the flag
•Fun in the living room: Build a fort, play dress up, write a message in a bottle, make a radio play using any of 16,000 sound effects from this free .
•New hobbies: Fly a kite, build a terrarium, learn how to juggle.
•Bedtime: Study the constellations, use a flashlight to make shadow theater, page through old family photo albums. Read more here.

How the Suspension of Student Loans Works

Harvard University last month asked students not to return to campus after spring break due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo: brian snyder/Reuters

The federal government is suspending monthly payments and interest accruals28365365体育投注 on most of the $1.5 trillion in federal student debt for half of this year. But the suspension doesn’t cover all borrowers and loans. And there are reasons to continue your monthly payments if you can afford to.

How can I check whether my loans qualify?

If your loans were issued after June 30, 2010, they are very likely owned by the Education Department, which means they qualify, said Heather Jarvis, an attorney who teaches financial professionals about student loans.

Otherwise, contact your loan servicer or go to Under “my aid,” download a list of your federal loans and check whether the Education Department is the owner, said Ms. Jarvis.

What must I do to get my repayments suspended?

Nothing. Your loan servicer is required to automatically suspend the payments due between March 13 and Sept. 30 and change the interest rate on your account to zero, said Mark Kantrowitz, vice president of research at Read more here.

Unemployment Questions, Answered

President Trump signed a roughly $2 trillion stimulus bill that expands the amount and duration of unemployment benefits available to laid-off workers. It also broadens the pool of people who are eligible to receive benefits during the coronavirus pandemic. We answer questions on the difference being laid off and being furloughed, how to apply for unemployment benefits and how the legislation changes who is eligible.

Who is eligible for unemployment insurance?
Americans generally are eligible for benefits if they are laid off from their jobs. Specifics vary by states, which administer unemployment insurance programs. Several states have already adjusted eligibility requirements because of the coronavirus. For instance, states expanded eligibility to include workers who don’t have access to paid leave or who may not meet any requirement of being available to work, such as those who are quarantined. The stimulus law further expands eligibility to include people who aren’t typically eligible for benefits, including self-employed people, those seeking part-time employment and independent contractors. People who are diagnosed with coronavirus, have a household member with coronavirus or are unable to go to work because of quarantines would also be eligible, as would individuals who had to quit their jobs or are laid off because of the coronavirus. People who are receiving paid sick leave or other paid-leave benefits wouldn’t be able to receive unemployment insurance. Read more here.

There’s a Good Chance You Can Suspend Your Mortgage

If your mortgage is federally backed, lenders are supposed to allow forbearance28365365体育投注 for those experiencing a financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Here are answers to commonly asked questions:

What is forbearance?
28365365体育投注 Forbearance allows homeowners to suspend their monthly payments when they experience a hardship or interruption in their ability to make payments. It is not payment forgiveness or even deferment. Instead, all the missed payments, plus interest, are often due when the forbearance period ends. As part of the $2 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, lawmakers provided more guidance for mortgage companies granting forbearance to those affected by the crisis. If the loan is federally backed—and about 70% of mortgages in the U.S. are backed or insured by a federal agency—then the mortgage servicer is supposed to grant it.

How can I get this approved?
Many mortgage companies have posted options available to customers who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for there, try calling your company directly. But be warned: You likely won’t be the only one trying to get through. Read more here.

•And for those wondering whether the fact that they’re suddenly working from home means that they can turn the expenses involved (say, purchasing a new work chair) into a tax deduction? The short answer is no. Read more here.

How People Are Helping, and Why You’ll Be Glad You Did

A volunteer at the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C., handled boxes of food on April 9.

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg News

Across the country, people suddenly feeling helpless amid the coronavirus pandemic are finding a balm to soothe their stress: Identify a need, and do your best to fill it. Helping others can distract us from our own stress, increase our sense of meaning and purpose, and reduce the toll stress takes on our bodies.

But while this crisis has sparked a surge of helpers across the country, experts say these efforts aren’t enough. Feeding America estimates a $1.4 billion shortfall for food-bank operations for the next six months, for instance.

This piece offers many ways you can pitch in, among them ways to donate money:

You can donate to your local food bank or to Covid-19 relief funds set up for restaurant workers, domestic workers and others affected by the pandemic. You can also consider continuing to pay workers who may no longer be able to do their jobs because of stay-at-home orders, like hairdressers, nannies and housecleaners.

Select resources:

Read more here.

And here are more ways to help workers who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic, and how whole families can help28365365体育投注 as a unit.

Aid to a Friend Caring for a Coronavirus Patient

“Because I am organized in my job and day-to-day life, I took on my husband’s care thinking I would have it all quickly in hand. But things didn’t turn out that way,” writes Leslie Yazel, whose husband came down with coronavirus-related pneumonia. Here, she offers what she learned about the best ways to help those who are caring for someone with coronavirus28365365体育投注. One big takeaway:

Offer a 360-degree solution. When people who live locally wanted to buy us supplies, it often raised a lot of questions: How could we retrieve the items without exposing them to the virus? How would we know the cost and how would we reimburse them? Can a disinfecting wipe sterilize dollar bills? So I was relieved when my neighbor called and said he was going to the store and that I should text him our grocery list, and then he would drop the bags on our porch with my receipt. He said he would call as he walked away so I would know they’d arrived. And there was no need to pay him back until things got back to normal. Constant coronavirus care (and fear) makes it hard to think clearly, so it’s a blessing when other people present a whole logistics plan. Read more here.

New Home Workouts Come With New Aches and Pains
Illustration: Ivan Canu

As people take on push-up challenges and attempt to follow workout classes from their living rooms, aches and even injuries can arise, whether they are old hands at workouts or new to classes.

The pros have advice on how to avoid the pain. Focus on form instead of trying to keep up with your virtual class. If you’ve never tried to do an exercise before, take the time to learn the mechanics before attempting 10 repetitions. Many personal trainers and physical therapists are offering one-on-one sessions virtually. If you have questions about technique and form, invest in a session. Don’t be afraid to modify an exercise, and if you start to feel any pain, stop. Start slow and remember to take rest days. Read more here.

Five Home Workouts to Try

Answers to Your Coronavirus Health Questions

With the scale and impact of the pandemic changing daily, we’re continuously answering readers’ health questions. Your Health columnist Sumathi Reddy tackles many more questions on how to stay healthy here. And, as the science evolves, we’re updating what we know here.

Today’s Q&A: What are the symptoms of Covid-19? The virus infects the lower respiratory tract. Patients initially develop a fever, cough and aches, and can progress to shortness of breath and complications from pneumonia, according to case reports. Of nearly 56,000 patients in China, 87.9% had a fever, 67.7% had a dry cough, 38.1% experienced fatigue, and 18.6% had shortness of breath. Other, less common symptoms included sore throat, headache, aches, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and nasal congestion.

Some people become only mildly ill, or are infected but don’t get sick. Others are mildly ill for a few days, then rapidly develop more severe symptoms of pneumonia.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that people with severe symptoms should seek medical treatment immediately. Those severe symptoms include:
• Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath

• Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

• Bluish lips or face

When You Have a Medical Issue That’s Not Covid-19

What is the best way to seek care for a noncoronavirus-related problem when a visit to a doctor or dentist is likely to involve breaking the 6-foot social-distance barrier? We spoke with dentists, eye doctors, gynecologists and others to get their advice. Here are a couple of general guidelines:
•Don’t assume doctors are too busy for you.
Doctors are converting their practices to telemedicine quickly to address more ailments, so there is no need to suffer in silence.
•If your condition requires an office visit
, ask your provider what precautions the practice is taking in response to Covid-19. Offices should be disinfected regularly. Waiting rooms should be empty. Companions may be asked to wait outside. Read more here.

How to Make the Most of Your Telemedicine Appointment

The coronavirus crisis has rushed the transition to telemedicine, and many health-care providers say there is no going back. What can patients expect from a telemedicine visit, and how should they prepare? A few tips:
•First, call your doctor’s office
to find out whether telemedicine visits are available and whether you will need to set up an account or install special software on your computer, phone or tablet. Ask your doctor or insurer about your out-of-pocket costs. Once you know what technology you will be using, get familiar with it.
•Have relevant medical devices and logs on hand
, such as a penlight or smartphone flashlight for viewing a sore throat, a blood-pressure cuff for a heart patient, a thermometer for infection, blood-sugar logs for a diabetic patient or a food log for those with gastrointestinal symptoms.
•Wear loose clothing
that will allow you to show your medical provider what is concerning you. Read more here.

A Smart Guide to Restaurant Takeout
Photo: Bobby Doherty for The Wall Street Journal

For the homebound, a meal from a favorite restaurant can offer a welcome dose of comfort and pleasure. For the restaurant industry, income from takeout and delivery is now a lifeline sustaining small businesses imperiled by the outbreak. We’ve got answers to your safety questions here and below. Plus, suggestions to make the most of your meal:
•This may be the time to seek out new delivery and takeout options. Upscale restaurants, butcher shops, bakeries and cafes are figuring out on the fly how to feed people stuck at home. Restaurants that are the most sought-after bookings are offering menus for pickup.
•Resy and Tock, online restaurant booking platforms, have free-of-charge features enabling customers to reserve and pay for meals-to-go from a growing roster of restaurants.
•Avoid ordering anything that is meant to arrive crispy or crunchy. Any dish that combines both hot and cold elements will average out at an unappetizing lukewarm by the time it reaches you.
•Order enough for at least two meals, if you can, which helps minimize delivery costs as well as social contact. Read more here.

And here’s more advice on how to handle food being delivered to your home.

The Risks of Visits to the Grocery Store

With communities across the country virtually shut down, there is still one place nearly everyone needs to visit at some point: the grocery store. Experts say deliveries are safer, but sometimes it can be hard to get one scheduled right away. So if you must go to the store, what’s the best way to navigate the aisles and crowds? We asked the experts. Among their tips:
•Try to minimize visits to the store.
“The biggest risk factor is really being around other people,” says Benjamin Chapman, a professor of food safety at North Carolina State University.
•Many grocery stores are providing shoppers with wipes. If not, it’s a good idea to bring your own, mainly to wipe the grocery cart.
Try to avoid exchanging money or credit cards with the cashier. Use a credit card reader when possible.
People over 65 and those who have medical conditions that put them at greater risk of hospitalization and serious illness should avoid going to the grocery store, if possible. Read more here.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

We need sleep now more than ever. This guide has , many of which are products you can order online, including these three:
•Try a weighted blanket.
The one featured here is chic, inviting to the touch and made without plastic or glass beads, meaning it breathes.
•Tuck lavender sachets in your pillow.
These ones are made of colorful linen.
•Pop in smart earplugs.
28365365体育投注 These are the world’s smallest active-noise-canceling ear plugs.

How to Bond With Colleagues During the Crisis
Photo: Martin Tognola

Even though we’re separated from our co-workers, we can and should think about how to be better colleagues at this very challenging moment. Here are a few things to remember:
•Offering support to a colleague can feel a little awkward, because you don’t want to be intrusive—and you may be uncomfortable in the role of confidant. Start by dipping a toe in the water: ask how a colleague’s family is holding up and staying healthy. Don’t offer advice unless it is requested, and pay careful attention to any verbal cues or facial expressions that suggest your colleague is ready to wrap up the personal part of your interaction.
•Not all the support you offer has to be emotional. Teach your colleague to use Slack even if you’re not in IT; help an overloaded colleague complete the PowerPoint deck she would have finished three days ago if her children weren’t home.
•Just about everyone is going through one of the hardest periods of their lives. We are going to have to forgive each other for occasional lapses in courtesy, moments of temper or days of subpar work. Read more here.

Double-Duty Desks for Working From Home

As we settle into a stretch of working from home with no end in sight, our collective urge to set up a more solid, less impromptu workstation28365365体育投注 has grown. Some possibilities include a craft table, a dresser or a set of bookshelves. Here are a couple more tips:

•The temporary desk you select needs to blend with your home’s aesthetic and not scream its functionality. “Choosing an unconventional desk can help trick the mind” into getting more work done, says one designer.

•For anyone inclined to buy a new desk, another designer says, the key is to pick something that can have a second life post-pandemic. Read more here.

MORE: Desk Chairs That Don’t Sacrifice Design Cred

What Are the Benefits of Wearing a Face Mask?

The Trump administration has recommended that Americans wear basic cloth or fabric face masks when in public to reduce transmission. The new recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention aims to reduce the risk that people who are infected but asymptomatic will spread the virus.

We asked experts for their advice:

•What should people who don’t have masks and want to leave the surgical ones for health workers do? At this point, masks are scarce, and experts say most store-bought masks should be saved for health-care workers because of shortages. Masks that can be found at hardware and department stores may provide some level of protection—mainly helping to avoid infecting others—but many are sold out or going for high prices. Cloth masks can be found on websites like Amazon and , though the quality varies. However, , using a variety of materials, such as T-shirts, kitchen towels, possibly even vacuum bags.
•Any tips for making your own mask?
Thicker, tightly woven fabric is more effective at creating a barrier than a thinner, looser material. A heavy sweatshirt or kitchen towel is better than a bandanna or handkerchief. Fit is the most important thing. Make sure your mask fully covers your nose and mouth and is snug but still breathable.
•What else? Experts say masks can’t substitute for other more effective virus-prevention strategies, such as social distancing. But having a mask on can serve as an important cue to not touch your mouth or nose. Read more here.

The Key Elements of an Emergency Kit

If you or a family member gets infected with the coronavirus, it is very likely that you’ll have to ride it out at home. Most Covid-19 cases don’t require hospitalization, and as intensive-care beds fill, all but the most critical cases are being sent home. So, people should be prepared to care for themselves or their loved ones under their own roof—and that means having the right supplies to nurse the ill patient and keep the rest of the family healthy.

We asked doctors at top hospitals all over the country what they would include in their ideal Covid-19 home-care kit:
Safety and cleaning

Isolation and cleaning supplies: bleach; face masks that cover nose and mouth (surgical masks, home-improvement masks or scarfs); gloves for entering sick room and doing laundry (latex or nitrile rubber); hand sanitizer; laundry detergent (wash everything on hot); nail brush; paper towels; soap; tissues.
Medical supplies: cough drops; over-the-counter cold medicines; pulse oximeter and batteries (there is a pulse-oximeter app available for the iPhone, but none of the doctors we spoke to recommended it); saline nasal spray; thermometer; Tylenol/acetaminophen (children’s or infant’s versions if applicable).
Food and drink
Nutrition supplies: chicken soup; daily multivitamin and vitamin C tablets; electrolyte-replacement drinks (if using sports drinks, cut in half with water); fresh ginger, lemons, dill, fresh or dried oregano; high-calorie, nutrient-rich foods like avocados; honey for throat soothing; pectin-rich foods like bananas and apples. Read more here.

Three Kits That Prepare You for Any Emergency

What to Do if You Lose Your Health Insurance

More Americans are losing their jobs—and their health insurance—at a time when they are worried about the need for potentially costly treatment for coronavirus infection. There are options for getting health-insurance coverage:
•If you are eligible, Medicaid may be your best bet. To figure out if you are eligible and apply, go to the federal health insurance marketplace at or directly to your state’s Medicaid agency. with tools for finding out the name of your state’s Medicaid program along with a link to connect to its website. These two links will help you find the income cutoffs for and in various states.
Other options: Coverage under the Affordable Care Act, which you can sign up for without waiting for the annual enrollment period; Cobra, which allows you to keep your employer health-insurance plan for as long as 18 months after you leave your job; a family member’s plan; or short-term plans, which may have limited coverage. Read more here.

Facts (and Myths) About Boosting Your Immune System

As the new coronavirus continues to spread, having an optimally functioning immune system is more important than ever. Your Health columnist Sumathi Reddy checked in with medical professionals, who say it’s important not to rush to buy supplements and vitamins that promise to enhance your immune system. Instead, they say, stick with the more mundane, but proven, approaches:
Keep your stress levels down. The more you stress about the virus, the more likely you are to suffer from it. Try relaxing activities, such as meditation.
Exercise. Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol and helps with immune-system function. But don’t go overboard: Overexercise can weaken the immune system.
Watch your diet. Stick to a healthful, balanced diet filled with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Foods that can help support the microbiome include plain yogurt, garlic, onion, ginger, sauerkraut and fermented foods. Read more here.

Is It Time to Look for a Vacation Deal?

With no clear end in sight to the Covid-19 crisis, entire countries banning travelers and airlines mothballing much of their fleets, now hardly seems the right time to be planning your next vacation. But a number of inveterate travelers are starting to plan ahead. Keep in mind:
•As major airlines extend penalty-free cancellation or rebooking policies until the end of April or even the end of May—for travel at least a year out—the savings for those who buy now can be substantial. “The best consumer strategy is to look for late-summer deals that you can book now, with the option to change the departure to a later date if things are not better by then,” said Scott Wainner, founder of the San Francisco-based air travel deals app Fareness.
•One caveat: Not all airlines are holding massive fire sales, and most are focused more on cutting costs and grounding aircraft—which means that a flight you buy today might not be available in a few months. Read more here.

More on What to Do About Your Travel Plans

The WSJ’s travel team is regularly updating its advice for travelers wondering how to get home, what to do with plans for several months ahead and more. Read more here.

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