A basketball tournament, with no fans. A St. Patrick’s Day, with no parades. College campuses, with no students. Corporate headquarters, with barren cubicles. The nation snapped to attention on Wednesday as the new coronavirus was declared a pandemic, stocks slid into bear market territory and the American public finally began to come to grips with the outbreak. The NBA said it would suspend its season until further notice. President Donald Trump held a rare prime-time address from the Oval Office to calm the public. Health and government officials have been sounding the alarm about the virus for nearly two months as it infected and killed thousands of people, pinballing from China to Iran to Italy and beyond before striking Seattle in the first deadly outbreak in the U.S. But Wednesday was the moment that the larger American public came to the dawning realization that the toll of the virus would be unavoidable for months to come, perhaps longer. In the matter of hours Wednesday afternoon, the signs were everywhere. The NCAA announced that the rite of spring for so many Americans — its college basketball tournament — would be played before largely empty arenas. Around the same time, the White


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