U.S. stock futures climbed higher Wednesday as investors remained optimistic about an economic rebound. Yesterday, the market closed at its highest level since March. The private sector shed a total of 2.76M jobs in May, according to an ADP report released Wednesday. The gain was well below forecasts from economists that expected a loss of 8.66M.
One-third of America’s unemployment payout has not arrived, with benefit checks lagging by up to $67B, according to a Bloomberg calculation. The Treasury disbursed $146B in unemployment benefits in the three months through May, but flagship policies struggle to contend with the waves of layoffs. With millions of Americans skipping payments, defaults and evictions are imminent, which were previously staved off by help from Congress and lender leniency.
As states grapple with fallout from the pandemic, Nevada’s workforce could be hit the hardest, upended by Las Vegas’s economy. The city’s business model based on bringing people together for gambling and entertainment was threatened by coronavirus and has led to an unemployment rate that is nearly double the national average.
The global race for a vaccine continues as the number of reported coronavirus cases in the U.S. climbs to more than 1.8M. White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed concern over the “durability” of a potential vaccine, saying there is a chance it may not provide long-term immunity. One poll shows that even if a vaccine were available, 27% of adults would definitely or probably not get it, stating they do not trust vaccines or it is just not necessary.
Vaccine research is being done on more than just mice– ferrets, monkeys, and other animals are offering insight into how the shot may react in a human’s immune system. Previously thought to aggravate coronavirus symptoms, the anti-inflammatory painkiller ibuprofen is now being tested as a possible treatment in London.
Hazard pay – a temporary wage increase of $2 – that was offered to essential workers has largely stopped at big corporations. Grocery store chains that implemented the wage increase have halted the extra payment as economies take steps toward reopening. This week Amazon dropped the $2 pay rise for its 250,000 warehouse staffers. The retail giant previously faced criticism for phasing out its policy of allowing workers to take unlimited paid time off in April. One county in California is seeing a spike of positive coronavirus tests among its essential workers.
In the first day of New York City’s contact tracing program, hired tracers reached out to nearly 600 people who tested positive. The city has hired 1,700 people for its effort, though it still needs to reach 2,500 in order to meet Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s target for entering the initial phase of the state’s reopening process. The effort comes as New York sees an all-time low in coronavirus cases. Hospitalizations reported on June 1 tallied to 154– the lowest number since the state initiated counting in mid-March.
As places begin ramping up contact tracing, the effort is turning into “a big job opportunity” in some parts of the country. Researchers estimate 184,000 contact tracers are needed in order for the U.S. to safely reopen.
When yellow fever persisted in the late 19th century, American post offices would use perforated paddles to poke holes in mail, allowing the contents to get full fumigation as a step in the sanitation process. In today’s current pandemic, the USPS has implemented procedures to clean its mail facilities, though it does not sanitize mail.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
For African-Americans, a Painful Economic Reversal of Fortune – Wall Street Journal – 6/3/2020
In the decade before Covid-19, African-Americans’ economic circumstances, crushed during the 2007-09 recession, had slowly but steadily improved. Then lockdowns crashed the economy, and last week the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of police touched off a wave of angry and at times violent protests. The events have highlighted painful inequities that continue to weigh on African-Americans, in their health, their incomes and their treatment by the justice system.
Mayo Clinic patient data fuels AI companies, and consent concerns – STAT – 6/3/2020
The patients of Mayo Clinic, whether they know it or not, have seeded a burgeoning digital health industry with their personal data. Details about their care, from disease diagnoses to digital tracings of their heartbeats, have been provided to companies for training artificial intelligence systems to detect dangerous arrhythmias, pregnancy complications, and deterioration in the hospital.
There Are Many Reasons to Be Wary of Antibody Tests – Elemental by Medium – 6/3/2020
While it’s likely people develop some immunity after being infected with the coronavirus, experts still don’t know whether you need a certain amount of antibodies to fight off another infection. And even if you do have the right amount, it also isn’t clear yet how long its protection lasts. […] If you’ve felt even remotely sick in the past few months, just knowing whether you ever had Covid-19 could be a welcome relief. But there’s one big problem: These tests can be so inaccurate that they might not tell you anything meaningful.
The sophisticated design behind a simple coronavirus sign – Quartz at Work – 6/3/2020
For a seemingly simple analog device, a lot goes into designing a good sign. Coronavirus signs typically suggest a change in behavior—discarding old habits for safer practices—and that’s never an easy thing, explains Tim Fedley, creative director of the London-based consultancy Applied Wayfinding. Each public sign is a distillation of human psychology, cultural anthropology, urban design, user design principles, and graphic design, on top of the politics of its constituents.
What’s the Future of Group Exercise Classes? – New York Times – 6/3/2020
During 24 days in February and March, 112 people were infected with the Covid-19 virus in South Korea after participating in or associating with participants in Zumba classes, according to a sobering new epidemiological study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases. The study, which traces the start of the illness cluster back to a one-day instructor workshop held in mid-February, raises crucial questions about the risks of infection during group exercise classes and whether and how such workouts might be made safer.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Bill Hanage @BillHanage 3 Jun Sweden’s approach was IMO the wrong way around. It sought to avoid taking unpalatable action, rather than responding to the threat. The light touch, applied early on, has likely slowed transmission in the community, but the consequences for the elderly have been catastrophic 5/n
PulseToday @pulsetoday 3 Jun Care home Covid deaths may be ‘under-reported’, suggests @PHE_uk’s review into the disparities in the risk and outcomes from the virus
Public Health On Call @PublicHealthPod 3 Jun What does the future of long-term care facilities look like? In today’s episode, @sdesmon talks with infectious disease physician Dr. Morgan Katz about how #COVID19 is changing nursing homes.
Reuters @Reuters 2 Jun ‘Cuddle curtain’ allows long separated family members in Brazilian nursing homes to reunite and hug each other
Ray Locker @rlocker12 3 Jun As Florida reopens, the deaths quietly keep piling up in nursing homes. This may be the future; vulnerable seniors and their caregivers will face the biggest risks.
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