NEW YORK — Sweeping travel bans cascaded around the globe Thursday, walling off countries and even entire continents, keeping people inside their homes, and slowing the engines of commerce to stem the coronavirus pandemic. Markets collapsed worldwide with the growing realization that there would be no fast end to the uncertainty. The escalating crisis sent U.S. stocks to their worst losses since the Black Monday crash of 1987, extending a sell-off that wiped out most of Wall Street’s big run-up since President Donald Trump’s inauguration. After weeks downplaying the virus, Trump’s announcement of strict rules barring most Europeans from entry came as a shock across the Atlantic. Within hours, even the European Union’s passport-free travel came into question, with guards in places that had been without borders for more than a decade and airports shut down. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the pandemic “the worst public health crisis for a generation,” adding that “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.” The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Redfield, meanwhile, noted that the vast majority of new cases of the COVID-19 illness are linked to Europe, which he called “the

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