“Change in credit and debit card spending” New York Times, April 11, 2020 / Image: Earnest Research

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

U.S. stock futures are down as oil prices move higher following the biggest-ever oil cut on Sunday. A group of 23 oil-producing nations agreed to cut nearly 10 million barrels – about a tenth of global supply. With more people home, the demand for fuel has plummeted and driven down prices, straining the U.S. shale industry. This oil cut is more than four times deeper than the previous record cut in 2008. 

With a decline in U.S. infection rates since Friday’s record high, focus has shifted to easing lockdown restrictions and navigating ‘reopening’ the economy. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday parts of the country may be able to start a “rolling reentry” as soon as next month. 

Following record-high unemployment figures, many individuals are awaiting their cut of the $2.2 trillion relief package signed into law at the end of March. As the first stimulus checks start to go out this week, the IRS will provide an online tracker to stay updated on the status of payments.

South Korea plans to send 600,000 coronavirus testing kits to the U.S. Tuesday following a request by President Trump in late March. The U.S. now has over 20,000 confirmed fatalities, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker, more than any other country. On a per capita basis, however, the United States ranks 10th in total fatalities, behind countries such as Italy, Spain, France, and the UK. 

Democratic governors have previously openly criticized the administration over the confusion of acquiring coronavirus supplies from the federal government, including ventilators, masks, and protective equipment. Trump has defended his role, saying the responsibility lies within states. Gov. Larry Hogan (R-MD), recently called out the federal government’s shortcomings regarding the pandemic. 

The University of Southern California is conducting a large-scale antibody study to understand the scope of COVID-19, as well as learn more about antibodies that could provide potential immunity.

More research continues to shed light on the novel coronavirus. The CDC released a study that found coronavirus can spread through the soles of shoes, and NYU scientists found that obesity is the single largest factor in New York’s coronavirus hospitalizations. 

Amazon, facing a surge in online grocery demand, will start putting new customers on a waitlist as it works on adding capacity each week. As more people stay home amid the pandemic, grocery prices are rising and brands say the number of promotions will decline.

The government had 20 years to prep for a pandemic, and still failed – NBC News – 4/13/2020
Clinton set the wheels of government in motion, and the result was the-first ever federal government effort to marshal resources in preparation for a pandemic, including the creation of the National Emergency Medical Stockpile, which stowed vaccines and medical gear in secret locations around the country. […] The interest in germs as a national security concern didn’t last. Instead, it kicked off a boom and bust cycle of pandemic preparedness that persisted into the Trump administration. 

How Coronavirus Spread Through Corporate America – Wall Street Journal – 4/13/2020
Hundreds of companies in the S&P 1500 withdrew their previously issued full-year guidance, citing Covid-19 as the catalyst. Airlines were among the first, though retailers now account for about a quarter of the 295 companies that pulled their profit or sales forecasts as of April 10.

The Coming Mental Health Crisis as Remote Working Surges – OZY – 4/13/2020
Kate Lister, president of Global Workplace Analytics, has been studying remote work trends and providing workplace strategy advice to employers for more than a decade. She predicts 25 to 30 million U.S. employees will regularly work from home within the next two years, even though before the coronavirus crisis only 5 million worked from home half the time or more.

The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Unleashed A Revolution In Education: From Now On, Blended Learning Will Be The Benchmark – Forbes – 4/13/2020
For a long time, classes will be at half capacity, many students or teachers will be forced to self-confine, attendance will be irregular, and many methodologies we used before will no longer apply. […] The change will be permanent: educational activity will no longer be face-to-face or online but a blend, able to move from one to another immediately fluidly, continually, through a student’s life, way beyond the school, college or university years. 

Will the open office die following COVID-19 pandemic? – ZDNet – 4/13/2020
Social distancing is likely to stick around even when the economy boots back up. Offices will open but have restrictions. Now enter the open office, which was designed for collaboration, saving space and the somewhat farcical idea that you never need to focus or have privacy.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post. 

Daily Gazette @Daily Gazette 13 Apr Dairy farmers strive to survive the effects of coronavirus – ‘Cows just don’t automatically decide to produce 10 percent less, just because we don’t need it,’ co-owner of King Brothers Dairy in Schuylerville Jeff King says

NBC12 WWBT Richmond @NBC12 WWBT Richmond 12 Apr Thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables grown in Florida are being plowed over or left to rot because farmers can’t sell to restaurants, theme parks or schools nationwide that have closed because of the coronavirus.

euronews @euronews 13 Apr French farmers are worried that produce will rot in the fields as restrictions stop migrant workers from coming to pick fruit and vegetables.

Matt Pearce 🦅 @Matt Pearce 🦅 12 Apr “Slaughterhouse shutdowns are disrupting the U.S. food supply chain, crimping availability of meat at retail stores and leaving farmers without outlets for their livestock.”238 workers got infected at one plant that supplies 4-5% of the nation’s meat.

National Geographic @National Geographic 13 Apr Farmworkers are critical to keeping the U.S.’s food supplies flowing during COVID-19 pandemic. But they are also particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the disease https://t.co/vA3mCas2rm

CONTENT FACTS

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