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What’s essential? In France: pastry, wine. In US: golf, guns

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Article by Andrew Selsky Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic is defining for the globe what’s “essential” and what things we really can’t do without, even though we might not need them for survival.

Attempting to slow the spread of the virus, authorities in many places are determining what shops and services can remain open. They’re also restricting citizens from leaving their homes. Stay-at-home orders or guidance are affecting more than one-fifth of the world’s population. This has left many contemplating an existential question: What, really, is essential? Whether it is in Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there’s general agreement: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns.

But some lists of activities also exempted reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists. […]

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