"Small-Business Rescue Shows Not All States Are Created Equal" Bloomberg, April 16, 2020 / Image Courtesy of Bloomberg and Evercore ISI
“Small-Business Rescue Shows Not All States Are Created Equal” Bloomberg, April 16, 2020 / Image Courtesy of Bloomberg and Evercore ISI


China’s economy shrank 6.8% in the first three months of 2020, the first contraction since Beijing began reporting quarterly gross domestic product in 1992. This collapse could foreshadow the future for the U.S. and other countries as the pandemic continues to impact businesses and supply chains.

Labor shortages caused by coronavirus in Colombia, Brazil, and Peru could mean a threat to the world’s coffee supply as current inventories remain tight. Coffee picking is a low-paying job that typically results in cramped living conditions, which increases the risk of an outbreak. Local supply chains are seeing issues as restaurants and schools close. U.S. farms are finding it difficult to sell their product and distributors are struggling to redirect food, meaning more fresh produce is going to waste. 

U.S. stock futures point to a higher open after a possible treatment for COVID-19 was reported to show early signs of promise and optimism persists that parts of the American economy may begin reopening soon . Boeing’s shares soared in premarket trading following the announcement of its plan to call all 27,000 employees back to work next week in Washington state.

An intravenous drug made by Gilead Sciences called remdesivir is being watched in a clinical trial; nearly all patients are seeing a rapid recovery from the novel coronavirus. However, analysts warn investors to remain cautious on the drug’s potential as a health-care team notes that efficacy questions still persist.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 15 on Thursday. He said data will determine whether the stay-at-home measures are further extended. Experts say harder-hit areas like New York are experiencing prolonged peaks, while places that were projected to be a hotspot, like some southern states, are not being hit as hard. This could be attributed to stronger social distancing efforts than were originally expected. Singapore, a country originally lauded as a role model for its early response to the virus, has been struggling to contain a sharp rise in cases during what experts call the second wave of infections. 

University of California San Francisco, seeing the need for faster, cheaper tests, developed a system known as CRISPR-Cas12 that will recognize genetic signatures of coronavirus to determine whether the virus is present or not. This test can run multiple samples at once and will provide results in 30-45 minutes , while the test developed by the CDC takes hours. 

Scammers and con artists are capitalizing on fears surrounding coronavirus. Security experts are seeing thousands of new coronavirus-themed domain names registered each day and struggle to keep pace with identifying ones that may promote malware and phishing scams. The U.S. Secret Service warned scammers are also posing as banks to steal stimulus checks and other personal information like social security numbers. The Federal Trade Commission has a list of tips to avoid getting scammed.

A 99-year-old British army veteran raised £13 million ($16.2 million) for the country’s National Health Service by walking laps in his garden. Tom Moore reached his initial goal in 24 hours then decided to persevere, raising a million more.

Influential Covid-19 model shouldn’t guide U.S. policies, critics say – STAT – 4/17/2020
The chief reason the IHME projections worry some experts, Etzioni said, is that “the fact that they overshot” — initially projecting up to 240,000 U.S. deaths, compared with fewer than 70,000 now — “will be used to suggest that the government response prevented an even greater catastrophe, when in fact the predictions were shaky in the first place.” That could produce misplaced confidence in the effectiveness of the social distancing policies, which in turn could produce complacency about what might be needed to keep the epidemic from blowing up again.

For grocery workers, the need for mental health care may outlast coronavirus pandemic – CNBC – 4/16/2020
For grocery store and pharmacy workers across the U.S., stocking shelves and checking out customers have become anxiety-inducing tasks. Each commute and customer interaction comes with the risk of exposure to the  coronavirus. And returning home means a chance of transmitting a potentially deadly illness to a spouse or family member.

Monitoring the COVID-19 Crisis From Space – MIT Sloan Management Review – 4/17/2020
Nighttime light emissions data, a novel class of remote sensing data, measures the total amount of light produced at night in a given region. […] Nighttime light emissions have the potential to reduce reliance on slow-moving government statistics and questionable media reporting, and the data can be used to augment or replace other less timely and less accurate economic proxies to see when and where industry-related activity is changing.

‘Travel is the prominent part of your life’: Road warriors adjust to being grounded – Digiday – 4/17/2020
Road warriors across industries are grappling with the new norms of their day-to-day lives — making the most of 30-minute video chats rather than bonding over lengthy dinners; traveling from the bedroom to the office rather than earning frequent flyer miles. Even as they acclimate to working from home, road warriors don’t see this moment as an arbiter of long-term change.

How Are Americans Adjusting To Life In A Pandemic? – FiveThirtyEight – 4/17/2020
On the question of how concerned Americans are that they or someone they know will contract COVID-19, a majority remains either very (33.7 percent) or somewhat (37.8 percent) concerned. The share of Americans who say they are not very (19.2 percent) or not at all (8.1percent) concerned remains low. However, we’ve seen a turn this week in which the number who are very concerned appears to have decreased while more people are reporting they are not very concerned.


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

CNN @CNN 16 Apr “The first date was, we had dinner. Except there was no restaurant. She was on her roof and I was on my balcony.” On today’s episode of “Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction,” listen to the “meet-cute” story of a couple dating from a distance.

Travel + Leisure @Travel + Leisure 16 Apr This Michelin Star Chef Was Forced to Close His Restaurant Due to Coronavirus — So He Started Cooking for the Homeless.

Tripadvisor @Tripadvisor 16 Apr Skype with a pro chef who will walk you through a dinner recipe based on the ingredients in your fridge, or save your appetite and preheat your oven for a baking class offering lessons on everything from cream puffs to cheesecakes.

Food & Wine @Food & Wine 16 Apr Go ahead and make all the pandemic sourdough you want. But if you want to eat something that really goes with wine, try potato chips.

Apartment Therapy @Apartment Therapy 17 Apr You can still find ways to make things romantic and fun, and refreshing—even at-home. Here are 11 ideas for a perfect date night in.


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