Coronavirus pandemic, April Fools' Day and more things to start your Wednesday

Editors, USA TODAY
·3 min read

What happens if you can't pay rent on April 1 because of coronavirus

For millions of tenants who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, Wednesday is D-Day: The monthly rent check is due. That could pose a nationwide dilemma because 3.3 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment insurance the week ending March 21 and a similar number may have sought benefits last week. That means virus-related layoffs or reduced hours may have topped 6 million just in the past two weeks. Fortunately, the vast majority of tenants will be getting a reprieve through federal, state or local moratoriums on evictions. Many landlords will similarly get a break on mortgage payments, though others could still be on the hook even if their tenants are delinquent.

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Ill-fated cruise ships still in limbo off Florida

The fate of two cruise ships, one of them stricken by coronavirus, remained uncertain as they headed toward Florida on Wednesday. Holland America's MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam are seeking permission to dock at Broward County's Port Everglades cruise ship terminal after four elderly passengers on the Zaandam died and more than 100 guests and crew reported flu-like symptoms. Nine on the Zaandam have tested positive for coronavirus. State and local officials, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, have so far refused to let the ships dock, saying the state's health care resources are stretched too thin. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will speak with DeSantis about whether to allow the ships to dock..

April Fools' Day arrives amid no-joke pandemic

April Fools' Day is Wednesday, the annual tradition where people and brands become pranksters for a day. But this year, with the coronavirus pandemic wreaking global havoc, some companies are reconsidering their gags. Google, for instance, said it would forgo its annual ritual of sharing jokes across company platforms, according to an internal email obtained by Business Insider. "It definitely does seem a little tone-deaf" if a business were to engage in April Fools Day jokes as usual, said Alex Boese, author of The Museum of Hoaxes: A History of Outrageous Pranks and Deceptions.

Costco adds third weekly senior hour due to coronavirus demand

Costco Wholesale Club will now offer three senior shopping hours a week amid the coronavirus pandemic and is allowing "those with physical impairments" to also participate. The retailer quietly added Wednesdays as the third day after originally starting the special hours last week as a twice-weekly event for members 60 and up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Costco store pharmacies also will be open earlier but food courts will maintain normal hours, according to the website. Acknowledging older adults and persons with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to COVID-19, a growing number of stores have been dedicating time or opening earlier for senior shoppers and other at-risk groups.

ESPN to fill airtime with memorable NBA Finals games

Did ESPN's Monday Night Football offerings this week have you craving for more classic sports games? During the month of April, ESPN will also air NBA doubleheaders Wednesday nights showcasing key NBA Finals games, starting with two games from the 2016 series between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The rest of the month will feature games from the Los Angeles Lakers' titles in 2009 and ‘10, Boston’s 2008 championship run and Miami's memorable 2013 title run.

Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus pandemic, April Fools' Day: 5 things to know Wednesday