Waze users globally are driving 60% fewer miles compared to the February daily average for a two-week period "Working Together to Help Communities Navigate COVID-19" Medium, April 15, 2020 / Image: Courtesy of Waze
Waze users globally are driving 60% fewer miles compared to the February daily average for a two-week period “Working Together to Help Communities Navigate COVID-19” Medium, April 15, 2020 / Image: Courtesy of Waze


More than 5.2 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment , bringing the total claims to about 22 million in the past four weeks. The historic weekly jobless claims report follows a record drop in retail sales. An economist said claims are expected to remain elevated as states struggle to clear backlogs and companies layoff workers in response to the shutdown.

U.S. stock futures point to a higher open as investors mull over new economic reports. Global oil prices are mixed following data that showed the difficulty OPEC members are likely to have implementing their agreed output cuts . 

Dependents age 17 to 24 will not receive a stimulus check under the CARES Act. As unemployment claims rise, many young adults are left jobless and without the $1,200 financial relief. 

The CARES Act also excludes immigrants without a social security number, green card, or eligible work visas. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced Wednesday California will distribute $500 in coronavirus relief to undocumented immigrants.

The U.K. government is expected to extend a nationwide lockdown for several more weeks as Britain’s coronavirus outbreak nears its peak. Other European countries are beginning to ease lockdown restrictions . President Trump is expected to announce new guidelines that recommend some areas in the U.S. with low transmission of the virus quickly ease up on social distancing. 

Retrospective infection data suggests Chinese officials wrestled with notifying the public, fearful of causing panic and disrupting the most important holiday of the year. Their delay of six days enabled millions of their citizens to travel for the Lunar New Year, accelerating the spread of the virus. 

The World Health Organization urged governments to review their rules and regulations on alcohol consumption, referring to research connecting drinking booze and weakening of the immune system. Nationwide, alcohol sales have seen a dramatic uptick .

The U.K.’s Office for National Statistics found nine in 10 people dying with coronavirus have an underlying health condition, like heart disease or dementia, after looking at nearly 4,000 deaths in England and Wales. 

A 106-year-old grandmother beat coronavirus , making her the oldest person in the U.K. to recover from the virus. Health experts say the elderly are one of the groups most at-risk.  

‘Essentially zero:’ United CEO warns staff of bleak travel demand into 2021 – Fortune – 4/16/2020
United Airlines Holdings Inc. is warning employees of bleak times and potential long-term payroll cuts despite billions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer assistance, as the outlook for travel demand remains depressed into next year. The carrier will further chop its flight schedule in May to roughly 10% of the capacity it had planned at the start of 2020, and similar cuts are in store for June, said Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz and President Scott Kirby. As an example of the shortfalls, the carrier will fly fewer people during all of next month than on a single day in May 2019.

Why not even coronavirus can halt the relentless rise of CrossFit – The Independent – 4/16/2020
Yet while the coronavirus lockdown has clipped CrossFit’s wings at the height of its popularity, its traditional values of togetherness, adaptation and sacrifice – the same values that see it derided as “a cult” – are carrying it forward. These are values those outside this bubble are having to embrace. The onus on staying fit, especially for those not previously active day-to-day, has seen many take their first steps in regular exercise with interactive group sessions, such as Joe Wicks’ YouTube show or other offerings on online platforms.

How to rebuild and reimagine jobs amid the coronavirus crisis – McKinsey & Company – 4/16/2020
The International Labour Organization has forecast that the pandemic could reduce global working hours by nearly 7 percent in the second quarter of 2020—equivalent to 195 million full-time jobs. McKinsey’s analysis suggests that, in regions as diverse as Africa, Europe, and the United States, up to a third of the workforce is vulnerable to reduced income, furloughs, or layoffs as a result of the crisis. Many millions of jobs could be lost permanently. 

The Psychology of Comfort Food – Highbrow Magazine – 4/15/2020
On the one hand, newly stocked and plentiful pantries, fridges and freezers reassure us that food is readily available and puts supplies within easy reach. At the same time, feelings such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, and stress may increase as we retreat and become housebound. So we may be more vulnerable to what is referred to as “emotional eating” during this challenging time.

Live shows cancelled: Will we ever dance together again? – Al Jazeera – 4/16/2020
With concerts stopped globally, there is – as we speak – no live music industry at all. But the toll and effect of this are not just on the big promoters like Live Nation or Glastonbury Music Festival. At the independent end of the industry, smaller promoters with a business model that relies on advance ticket sales to cover upfront costs, are in debt.


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

NYT National News @NYT National News 15 Apr “This kind of story is why we all became journalists, no?” Assignments have dried up for many photojournalists. Others are taking the risk of going into the fray to capture images of the pandemic.

Daily Mail Online @Daily Mail Online 16 Apr NASA satellite images reveal the once bustling waterways of Venice are now empty during the coronavirus lockdown in Italy

Reuters @Reuters 15 Apr Faces from the coronavirus frontlines via @ReutersPictures

Greg Jaffe @Greg Jaffe 16 Apr Very moving images and testimony: ‘It was supposed to be such a beautiful year’: An oral history of the coronavirus

The Paper 澎湃新闻 @The Paper 澎湃新闻 15 Apr Only after experiencing the #CoronavirusOutbreak do we realize how precious it is to breathe freely without masks, says The Paper’s photojournalist Zhu Weihui. Now he captures Shanghai residents from different industries returning to work.


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