Coronavirus at 5 million: A visual guide to how the pandemic changed the world – The Independent, May 20, 2020 / Data: Apple

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. stock futures jumped this morning as investors anticipate additional government aid and the decline in new cases in coming months. In the UK, the government sold its first bond with a negative interest rate, joining Japan, Germany and other European countries in similar efforts to stave off recession. U.S. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said the central bank will not turn to negative interest rates, despite support from President Donald Trump. 

Pier 1 will permanently close all of its 540 stores after the company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and failed to find a buyer amid the pandemic. Despite a significant increase in Target’s first-quarter digital sales and a 10 percent spike in comparable sales, the company’s earnings are down, pointing to mounting labor and production costs that retailers face as they ship items directly to consumers’ homes. Kroger has announced a one-time “thank you” bonus to employees for working the frontlines. 

United Airlines has announced a new cleaning program that will include touchless kiosks, sneeze guards, prepackaged snack bags to replace food and beverage service, and limited seat selection with alternative times if the flight is at 70 percent capacity. Meanwhile, jet-engine maker Rolls Royce announced it will cut 17 percent of its workforce. 

Authorities in India on Wednesday wrestled with residents who refused to take shelter from the strongest cyclone to hit the region in decades, citing fears of contracting the coronavirus. Seventy-five high schools in South Korea closed on what would have been the first day back after discovering new infections in two students. In Northeast China, a new cluster of cases is causing concern among public health officials of possible mutation

Google Drive and Internet Archive have inadvertently become the new hosts of misinformation campaigns following their removal from Google and Youtube. Anti-vaccination groups have exploded on social media, perpetrated by a call to arms against one popular conspiracy that Covid-19 is a “catalyst for worldwide adult mandatory vaccination.” In China, government institutions have more than doubled their social media output, often perpetuating the conspiracy theory that the virus came from a U.S. government lab.

As salons remain closed or booked out during the pandemic, many celebrities have taken to publicly sharing their haircut failures, prompting others to follow suit . Actor Chris Evans contributed to the levity with a viral photo of a botched haircut for his pet dog. 

Advocates say state reopenings put nursing homes at risk – The Hill – 5/20/2020
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of publicly reported data, more than 30,000 people have died in nursing homes and other assisted-living facilities due to COVID-19. This would account for 41 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the country. 

Coronavirus: everyone wins when patents are pooled – Nature – 5/20/2020
Work that would normally have taken months — possibly even years — has been completed in weeks. But rather than building on this cooperation, some countries are retreating into a kind of techno-protectionism, which serves neither science nor society.

Clicked back to life: how Netflix is reviving forgotten film flops – The Guardian – 5/20/2020
Allen, a figure associated more with critical acclaim than commercial success, is currently outgrossing Pixar’s Onward with a film that might never see a US release, a bizarro turn of events that felt indicative of what’s become a very surreal year in film.

The COVID-19 child care dilemma: When workplaces open, but schools and summer camps don’t – Poynter – 5/20/2020
Seventeen percent of providers have closed to everyone except the children of essential personnel. Of the facilities which have remained open, 85% are operating at less than 50% of enrollment capacity and the majority of those are operating at less than 25% of capacity, the survey conducted in April found.

People Are Doing Some Pretty Incredible Self-Poke Tattoos During Quarantine – mitú – 5/19/2020
“There’s really no safe way to do it at home,” Dr. Akhavan insisted. “There’s probably a 25 to 50 percent chance you’re going to have some sort of complication.” To note, these complications can include anything from bacterial and viral infections which in their most severe forms can lead to death.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

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

Eric Vanderburg @evanderburg 20 May Coronavirus patients in new Chinese cluster exhibiting symptoms differently than Wuhan

DT Next @dt_next 20 May Patients in the northeast also rarely exhibited fever and tended to suffer damage to the lungs rather than across multiple organs, he said.#Coronavirus #China

LatestLY @latestly 20 May COVID-19 Mutation Fears Sparked as China Observes Changes in New Cluster of Cases | Read full report #COVID19 #Coronavirus #China

Tim O’Brien @TimOBrien 20 May Patients in two northern Chines provinces appear to carry the coronavirus for a longer period of time and take longer to test negative – suggesting that the pathogen may be changing in unknown ways and complicating efforts to stamp it out.

Bloomberg TV @BloombergTV 19 May “It seems to be a fairly stable virus that doesn’t mutate at high rates,” says Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Anita Zaidi on why she is optimistic for a COVID-19 vaccine. She was joined by Mastercard’s Mike Froman on today’s @neweconforum panel

CONTENT FACTS

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