Health care workers take a break from work at a hospital in Barcelona on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)

BRUSSELS — With the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, the flattened world has developed a few speed bumps. With trade disrupted and economies paralyzed, some consider that the nation-state is back, as if it ever went away.

For countries like the United States, China and Russia, that is normality. But for the European Union, this continuing experiment in shared sovereignty, borderless trade and freedom of movement, the virus has been a serious systemic shock. Some have even wondered if the bloc itself could shatter under the pressure.

But after a fumbling start, the EU and its institutions, including the European Central Bank, have begun

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