WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The coronavirus U.S. death toll surpassed 60,000 yesterday as Florida became the latest state to detail plans to open its economy . Dr. Anthony Fauci recently expressed cautious optimism that a coronavirus vaccine will be known by winter. Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir showed promise from a clinical trial that involved over a thousand patients. Dr. Fauci likened the drug to the discovery of the first medication found to help treat HIV.
U.S. stock futures inched higher this morning despite the Federal Reserve chairman announcing the coronavirus economy is the worst in history. The latest U.S. weekly jobless claims report shows 3.8 million workers filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total in the past six weeks to more than 30 million.
Almost half the global workforce – about 1.6 billion people – are in “immediate danger of having their livelihoods destroyed” by the economic fallout from coronavirus, the International Labor Organization warned. Pakistan’s government has created more than 60,000 jobs that consist of planting trees to soften the blow of the economic impact. Despite infecting nearly 3 million people globally, 33 countries and territories have yet to report a single case, though most are small, hard-to-reach island nations.
As coronavirus pushes more people to work and learn from home, poor internet connectivity plagues more than 18 million Americans. Inadequate broadband connectivity can be found in towns and cities– in low-income urban areas as well as rural regions and tribal lands. This issue is disproportionately affecting low-income students who do not have internet service to engage in online learning. The U.N. Development Programme analyzed countries’ vulnerability to pandemics and found one of the most important, though often overlooked factors, is internet access, as it often determines whether people can continue their education or jobs at home.
YouTube is bringing fact-checking information panels to the U.S. following a slew of COVID-19-related misinformation and conspiracy that has spread online. The move will not result in the takedown of videos, but rather will offer users context as they search information.
Facebook and YouTube walk a fine line – the two have been criticized for misinformation spreading on their sites, but also for censorship following the removal and moderation of content . Recently, controversy surrounded YouTube after it allegedly removed a video of two doctors equating coronavirus to the flu. Facebook has also removed content that was deemed unlawful after it promoted anti-stay-at-home protests in states with stay-at-home orders.
Contact tracing, which alerts a person if they have come into contact with an infected individual, has been hailed as a key step to reopening economies. As governments attempt to ramp up the technology, states and cities are unsure if their budgets will allow it. Some governments have resorted to volunteers, retirees, and students to train or acquire the necessary technologies. Despite these efforts, a poll shows more than half of all Americans either do not own smartphones or will not use apps backed by Apple and Google. The two tech companies have been at the forefront of contact tracing efforts.
A nurse in the Kabale District of Uganda, whose commute has been hindered by the pandemic, can no longer take the motorized boat he once did to work. Instead, he paddles two and half hours in a canoe to reach his health facility.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Reopening some states heightens the risk of coronavirus surges in others – Stat – 4/30/2020
For all that’s still being discovered about the novel coronavirus, one thing was clear from the beginning: It moves. In just a few months, it sprinted around the world and left in its wake a trail of death, social paralysis, and economic ruin. Now, as some U.S. states start to lift pandemic-related restrictions on businesses and public spaces, there is a fear that infections will resurge in those places — and that if that happens, the virus won’t stay put.
We mocked preppers and survivalists – until the pandemic hit – The Guardian – 4/30/2020
In fact, many perfectly reputable organizations – including the US federal government and the Red Cross – recommend Americans maintain extra food and emergency supplies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) advises keeping a two-week supply of food, as well as water, batteries, medical masks, first-aid supplies and a battery or hand-powered radio, among other things.
We need to flatten the ‘other’ coronavirus curve, our looming mental health crisis – The Conversation – 4/30/2020
The battle against the mental health consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is just beginning. Governments and researchers are mapping how best to prevent the predicted rise in mental health issues we face in coming months and beyond. This involves not only preventing a wave of mental disorders from starting but also preventing increased difficulties in people already living with poor mental health.
Coronavirus’s next victim: Big Meat – Grist – 4/30/2020
Americans are soon going to be eating a lot less meat, just not in the way environmentalists had hoped that would happen. Coronavirus has shuttered so many meatpacking plants around the country that the number of cattle and pigs slaughtered every day is down 40 percent. Farmers are euthanizing pigs by the thousand and trucking the meat to landfills to rot. “The food supply chain is breaking,” wrote John Tyson, chairman of Tyson Foods Inc. in a full-page that ran in major newspapers on Sunday.
Americans are surprisingly open to letting their phones be used for coronavirus tracking – The Verge – 4/30/2020
Today Apple and Google released an initial version of the API that represents the first phase of their joint effort to enable public health authorities to quickly identify people who may have been exposed to new cases of COVID-19. […] Nearly 3 in 5 Americans say they are either unable or unwilling to use the infection-alert system under development by Google and Apple.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
Bloomberg @Bloomberg 30 Apr Global emissions are set to decline by 2.5 billion metric tons—the biggest drop in history
Robert Dillon @Robert Dillon 30 Apr Here’s another way to think about this chart – global economic growth. We all want to reduce carbon, but shutting down the economy or the Bronze-Age approach is not a solution – via @business Global emissions set for biggest drop in history.
Richard Bassett @Richard Bassett 30 Apr Whilst CO2 emissions may be lower, overall atmospheric CO2 concentrations are still rising @bbcnews #CO2
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists @Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 29 Apr The COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on science. But some research has kept going through it all, including an effort led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to keep tabs on the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
CBS News @CBS News 29 Apr The largest Arctic ozone hole ever recorded is now closed
Turbine Labs has tracked 97,658 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 4,161,328 social media posts over the last 24 hours.