“Why are Britons reluctant to wear masks to contain covid-19?” The Economist, June 2, 2020 / Image: The Economist, Source: “Six-Country Survey on COVID-19, by Michele Belot et al., May 2020

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Global stocks rose Tuesday as investors likely focused on unprecedented aid from central banks and government intervention, largely ignoring the mass protests and escalating U.S.-China tensions. U.S. stock futures also turned higher despite President Donald Trump’s call to deploy military forces to quell protesting.  

The Congressional Budget Office predicts it could take up to a decade for the U.S. economy to recover from coronavirus-related shutdowns. The new projection finds the pandemic will cost the U.S. economy $7.9T while poor countries could face debt crises. The director of the budget office warned a level of uncertainty surrounds these projections due to unknowns related to the pandemic. 

Goldman Sachs said some economic reopenings outside the U.S. are lifting foreign currencies and creating “attractive opportunities” to short the dollar. They highlighted the Norwegian krone as being well-positioned to outperform. The country has taken strict measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus and implemented substantial testing capacity. 

Following claims from an Italian doctor that coronavirus is becoming less potent, The World Health Organization reminded the public it is still a “killer virus.” A top official with WHO said people must be careful to not create a sense that the virus is less pathogenic. 

A government report shows nearly 26,000 nursing home residents died as a result of coronavirus after it spread through facilities in recent months. NBC News tallied up to 40,000 coronavirus deaths associated with nursing homes, claiming the federal government is not requiring facilities to report data on deaths that happened before May, and that thousands of nursing homes have yet to submit data to the government. 

The Trump administration’s testing czar will be standing down from his position in mid-June, he announced Monday. Adm. Brett Giroir said he will be “demobilized” and a Department of Health and Human Services spokesperson indicated there are no plans to appoint a new “head of efforts” for coronavirus testing. 

The announcement intersects with the genesis of at-home testing, which companies are beginning to roll out. Though at-home testing is more accessible – using saliva to detect an infection that is then sent to a lab for analysis – experts expressed concern over the test’s accuracy and costs insurers do not cover. 

Sweden, a country that relied on voluntary measures and left most businesses and schools open, is set to launch an inquiry into how the country handled the pandemic before summer, its prime minister said. The announcement comes amid growing criticism over nursing home deaths and a lack of testing. 

In South Africa, cases have jumped to more than 35,000. With more than 6M cases worldwide, South Africa has seen cases double roughly every 12 days. Despite having the most confirmed cases of any nation in Africa, South African places of worship will be allowed to operate this weekend despite warnings from some religious leaders. 

In an effort to uphold social-distancing recommendations, people attending a rave in Slovakia danced in allocated squares with face masks to a live DJ. Some are calling the event the “future of raving.

Two-meter distancing halves risk compared to one meter, suggests a new review – MIT Technology Review – 6/2/2020
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The researchers combed through 172 observational studies across 16 countries and found that the risk of infection when people stand one meter away is 3%, compared with 13% if standing within a meter. The risk of transmission halves for every extra meter of distancing up to three meters, the modelling suggested. The researchers also found that both face coverings and eye protection significantly reduce the risk of spreading the virus: masks cut the risk of infection from 17% to 3% while eye protection reduces it from 16% to 6%.

Coronavirus: What’s it like to be laid off over Zoom? – BBC News – 6/1/2020
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Sales executive Ruthie Townsend was invited to join the 09:00 call but, due to the shock of the news, she could not remember which call was for those about to be laid off, and which was for those being retained. “Because it was such a highly stressful situation, it was hard to process what was going on so I got mixed up. I joined the 09:00 call as that was the invite I had, and once I realised that I was being laid off, I quickly turned off my video,” she says.

Dentists extract new fee from patients to keep up with rising COVID-19 costs – NBC News – 6/2/2020
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Swish and others say they need the extra money to cover the cost of masks, face shields, gowns and air purifiers to help keep their offices free of the coronavirus. The price of equipment has risen dramatically because of unprecedented demand from health care workers. Dentists say they struggle to pay the extra costs, particularly after most states shut down dental offices in March and April for all but emergency care to reserve protective equipment for hospital use.

Hydroxychloroquine debate spills into congressional campaigns – STAT – 6/2/2020
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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in recent weeks has vocally criticized two GOP incumbents and two challengers for echoing President Trump’s enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine in March and April. Joe Biden, Trump’s presumptive Democratic challenger, has seized on the president’s remarks, calling his hydroxychloroquine advocacy “totally irresponsible” after the president announced he was taking the drug as a preventive measure.

Heat and coronavirus can be twin killers – Nature – 6/2/2020
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People who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 also tend to be more affected by extreme weather events. Examples include elderly people and those living in densely populated cities. As the pandemic continues, scientists should help politicians to develop plans and policies that protect those most susceptible to the cascade of socio-economic risks that could arise when these hazards combine.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

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

MontgomeryAdvertiser @MGMAdvertiser 2 Jun The Class of 2020 is the generation born in the wake of 9/11, and they are the generation entering adulthood amid another world crisis, COVID-19. Retweets: 2 Likes: 3

5NEWS @5NEWS 2 Jun “It’s been a rocky road, a lot of hardships. But seeing myself now about to graduate, about to go to college – it feels good…” said Folsom. Retweet: 1 Likes: 0

Metro Lifestyle @MetroUK_Life 2 Jun Single mum who struggled for her own education celebrates son’s graduation in backyard Retweets: 0 Like: 1

The Atlantic @TheAtlantic 1 Jun Earlier this year, @jpinsk was asked to give a commencement speech, but once the pandemic hit, he didn’t know what to say. So he asked a novelist, a therapist, a Buddhist teacher, and 16 other experts for their advice Retweets: 8 Likes: 32

The Nation @thenation 2 Jun To the Class of 2020: You Deserved Better Than This Retweets: 9 Likes: 34

CONTENT FACTS

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