Yesterday, a student tweeted and asked me to keep everyone updated on the new coronavirus.
He said he went to New York's Lakeland Central School District, which is closed because of virus concerns.
And yesterday on the U.S. West Coast, the governor of Washington state told school districts there to get ready for possible closures.
This is just one effect of the quickly spreading virus.
Thursday night's NBA game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Golden State Warriors is scheduled to be played without fans.
Saudi Arabia just announced it was closing movie theaters across the country.
And India says anyone who's traveling there after visiting hard-hit countries like China and Italy will be quarantined for at least two weeks.
The World Health Organization, part of the United Nations, has declared that the new coronavirus is a pandemic, meaning it has spread worldwide.
The group says this is the first time that a coronavirus, a type of disease that can cause respiratory problems, has caused a pandemic.
But it added that several countries have shown the virus can be suppressed and controlled.
Around the country tonight, some workplaces are telling their employees—stay home because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Tech giants Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook are asking employees in Seattle to work from home when possible with the encouragement of local officials.
We are encouraging employers to maximize telecommuting.
Other employers are preparing to make that move.
NASA and JPMorgan Chase are preparing by conducting one-day telework practice runs.
In New York state, a few thousand people have been asked to self-quarantine.
Teleworking, teleconferencing, refraining from travel, getting much of our work done at home could soon be much more commonplace.
The University of Washington in Seattle said classrooms will be shuttered for the next two weeks.
In many of our classrooms, there is incredibly close proximity.
Meanwhile, some schools like St. John Vianney in Holmdel, New Jersey, can offer students their lessons, textbooks and assignments online, and are prepared to go into virtual days if the school needs to close.
Is America ready to telework?
I think that we're already seeing over the past 15 years, a lot of companies, even very large companies, companies that might surprise you like IBM, which has a huge portion of its workforce working at home already.
But for many, that means a shift in workplace culture.
Employees will need to be outfitted at home with the computers and other equipment they'll need, and they have to be trained on how to use them.
Luckily, this stuff is very, very intuitive.
You know, obviously, there's a number of different software solutions out there to enable telework or virtual conferencing.
Very simple to set up.
Workplace analysts acknowledge there are many businesses like carmakers, factories, food services, banks with retail branches where employees working remotely is out of the question.
But in other sectors, they say, the psychological advantages of working from home could lead to better productivity.
Employees feel less stressed.
The freedom of being able to walk around at home and grab a snack can build creativity.
Sometimes employees feel isolated or lose focus on the mission.
People who are not used to working in a remote location at home falling victim to the fact that they're at home and they get to work in bunny slippers, which they might mistake for the opportunity to sort of goof off and maybe miss some deadlines.
Stephen Ward, whose cybersecurity firm has about half its people working from home, has a formula for keeping those employees focused and motivated.
Use your calendar.
You know, set tasks for yourself, get up and take a shower.
Simply, just going through that process of like not working in your pajamas is a good idea.
How does a virus spread?
There are plenty of ways.
It could be a sneeze, a handshake, to name a few.
Then there's our habits—washing our hands, not touching our face.
Even the climate may play a role in determining how far and how fast an infection spreads.
Scientists have summed up how far an infection can spread with a number.
It's called R naught (R0)
A number greater than one indicates it'll grow, less than one indicates the outbreak will die out.
Scientists determine the number with a formula that brings together all the environmental and biological factors.
This is how it looks in reality.
An infection is introduced to human from animal, let's say, the bigger the R0 number, the more people of virus can infect.
So an R0 of two means that patients zero will on average infect two other people who in turn can infect another two people and so on.
An infection like measles sits higher of the spectrum with an R0 of between 12 and 18.
At the lower end is something like Ebola with an R0 number of 1.5 to 2.5.
And while the flu varies from year to year, one study reports it averages to 1.2.
But as various factors change, so too does the R0.
When it first emerged, SARS spread rapidly with a high R0, but people were only contagious once symptoms started showing.
Once people were informed about the symptoms, they started coming to the hospital earlier.
People could check themselves into hospital before infecting other people, pushing the R0 number below one.
And that is how a virus can spread.
Our next topic today concerns the issue of slavery.
It's not a thing of the past.
That's part of the mission statement of CNN's Freedom Project which aims to increase international awareness about modern day slavery and to take steps to stop it.
On March 11th, which has been called My Freedom Day, students worldwide raised their voices about these issues.
Here in Hong Kong, My Freedom Day feels a little bit different this year.
Instead of being at a school, I'm in the studio, where I've been talking to students by a video chat.
Because of the coronavirus outbreak, schools are closed here for at least two months, but that has not diminished their activism.
Freedom means to me being able to go out, being able to travel.
I have a lot of family friends overseas who have experienced xenophobia.
Especially in Italy, I had a—I had a family member travel there.
There were a lot of xenophobic remarks.
So I think freedom to me also means being able to be accepted anywhere.
I think a big freedom that's important to me is freedom of speech.
Even though schools been closed through these kind of online platforms we've been able to continue these discussions and maintain that freedom.
I think, at this current time, I think we should be very grateful for our opportunity and freedom to continue learning.
What you've learned about the problem of modern day slavery and how you're choosing to respond to it.
One big statistic that I actually saw recently in the news was one in 200 people is a slave, and that surprised me because I thought that was something that only happened 200 years ago and I just thought like it was astounding.
I think that in Hong Kong, we have a form of modern day slavery in the abuse of migrant workers and helpers.
Recently, we've done a mask drive where we donate them sanitizing products and masks to support them throughout this coronavirus period, especially when they don't get the support they need.
And due to the coronavirus, a lot of migrant workers have been asked by their employers to stay at home during these 24 hours instead of going out.
The lines between, you know, getting their rest and, you know, continuing to work becomes quite blurred.
I mean, how optimistic are you that we could end modern day slavery?
To be perfectly honest I do feel very optimistic about the situation.
I think that our world now is much more aware of human rights.
Education is kind of the first step forward that I think we'll be able to make.
Obviously, I would hope that we would be able to end it, but I think that the more realistic first step is educating youth and motivating them to try to make a change in their lifetime.
Like, our generation seems quite responsible but also motivated to want to make a change and that's why I would like to keep that hope and that optimism that this can be, like, have a difference.
10 out of 10.
For "10 out of 10": two.
As in two whittle baby cheetahs.
Their populations are believed to be decreasing in Africa but they're on the up and up at the Columbus Zoo.
One of the new cubs is a female who weighed about three-quarters of a pound at birth, the other a male tipped the scales at a pound.
The zoo says it's raised many cheetah cubs before and some have bonded with their human caretakers, allowing them to monitor the animals health during births like this one.
We have no intention of "cheetah-ing" you out of puns here, it's become a "habitat" of ours.
"Cats" the reason some of you love to watch and chasing some down helps us make strides in creative writing.
So there's "savannah" way we'd sprint away without "cubbing" up with three or "carni-four" or more.
After all, we're always on the hunt.
I'm Carl Azuz.
Cheetahs are joined by the Golden Eagles on today's show.
That's the mascot of Lewistown Junior High School in Lewistown, Montana.
Thank you for leaving a YouTube comment for CNN .