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

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-28 19:18:53-04

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 which has caused confusion over what's considered essential, and what's not. Whether it's Asia, Europe, Africa or the United States, there's general agreement on what's essential: Health care workers, law enforcement, utility workers, food production and communications are generally exempt from lockdowns.

As COVID-19 cases surge across Southern California, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday evening that area agencies could receive more than $1 billion in aid as part of a massive emergency relief package under consideration in Washington.

But some activities reflect a national identity, or the efforts of lobbyists.