Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak timeline map – HealthMap, May 22, 2020 / Data: Open COVID-19 Data Curation Group


NOTE: This is a special Memorial Day Weekend edition of the Daily Executive Briefing. The regular briefing will resume on Tuesday, May 26. 

As Americans prepare for a very different Memorial Day this weekend, services across the country have been cancelled or modified to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. Many cities are prepared for only a trickle of tourists, with most Americans opting not to travel at all. Beaches, parks, and restaurants with outdoor seating will reopen to mark what is normally an official kickoff to summer, with experts saying that transmission outdoors is “ negligible” as long as social distancing and handwashing are in place. In watering holes, epidemiologists say that proximity to other people poses the greatest risk of contracting the virus, as it is unlikely to transmit through the water. Beaches, lakes, and pools across the nation are implementing a patchwork of regulations to ensure that gatherings do not get too large.

U.S. Senators are weighing the drawbacks of returning to their constituencies for the long weekend, as travel could expose them to the virus and force many to spend most of the recess in self-quarantine.

U.S. futures are down this morning due to U.S. tensions with China following the announcement that mainland officers will police Hong Kong. 

Chinese authorities have opted to forego an estimate for the country’s GDP this year due to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Still, some experts say the Chinese economy is in a recovery stage, pointing to an uptick in consumer spending and confidence.

Facebook has joined other tech companies including Twitter and Shopify in allowing employees to permanently work from home. While Twitter and Shopify employees will go completely remote , Facebook will move half of its employees to a work-from-home model, with possible pay cuts for a lower cost of living.

The CDC in new guidance models estimates that 35 percent of those who contract Covid-19 have no symptoms, while 0.4 percent will die. In Brazil, the death toll has surpassed 20,000, stressing hospitals to the point of collapse.

A regional USPS facility in Denver has been closed due to a new cluster of coronavirus cases. The closure comes at a time when the financial stress on many USPS offices is concerning state authorities about their capacity for all mail-in voting come November.

Photographer Mark Seliger will auction his iconic celebrity portraits to raise money Covid-19 relief. As movie theaters remain closed, Warner Bros. found a workaround to debut a new movie trailer, playing it every hour on the online video game Fortnite.

The questions facing Facebook’s WFH future – Protocol – 5/22/2020
Employees have until January 1 to tell the company where they plan to live and work, and their pay will change accordingly. What that means is hard to know. Will pay change based on taxes and accounting questions? Or is Facebook going to lower people’s salaries based on their relative cost of living? That second idea drives some people crazy.

The COVID-19 vaccine will require billions of glass vials—but lockdowns are cratering the supply of recycled glass – Fast Company – 5/22/2020
“One of the weak links that we have in our waste disposal and waste diversion chains in that recycling, unlike traditional waste management, is seen as something that you could just curtail or discontinue,” he says.

Fake news gets shared more when it is angry and anxiety-inducing – New Scientist – 5/22/2020
Fake news may go viral more quickly when it uses words associated with anger. Jichang Zhao at the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data and Brain Computing and Yuwei Chuai at Beihang University in China have analysed the spread of both fake and real news across Weibo, one of China’s biggest social media platforms.

Look, don’t touch: what great literature can teach us about love with no contact – The Guardian – 5/22/2020
Keats wrote that “touch has a memory”, and the anticipation or the recollection of the physical is often where the excitement, fervour and true poetry lie. As Emily Dickinson expressed it: “Within its reach, though yet ungrasped / Desire’s perfect Goal – / No nearer – lest the Actual – / should disenthrall my soul – ”

Are we witnessing the end of the high-five? – ESPN – 5/22/2020
When asked if the coronavirus will bring about the end of the high-five and handshake, Gandhi said probably. “Of all of the things we would say we would advise against, the high-five and the handshake are two in the current era, in the current pandemic, [that] we should not continue to use,” he said.


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

CNN @CNN 22 May At one grocery store’s salad bar, what used to be filled with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers is now filled with mini liquor bottles, beer, mini cereal boxes and candy

TIME @TIME 22 May ‘The taste of Bordeaux is going to change.’ Under threat from climate change and coronavirus, French winemakers try experimenting

The National @TheNationalUAE 22 May Seven-year-old UAE resident cooks up Eid dishes

Ryan Prominski @realryanpro 22 May I think I’m going to start cooking for a #MemorialDayWeekend BBQ today and when nobody shows I can feign disappointment and eat it all.

Arab News @arabnews 22 May #ICYMI: Canadian-Palestinian chef @suzannecooks shares with us her #maamoul recipe that you can make #athome for #Eid


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