Lausanne, Switzerland: People eat and drink at their tables in a nightclub transformed into a restaurant, as hygiene measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 still discourage the usual clubbing experience. Photograph: Valentin Flauraud/EPA

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The global Covid-19 death rate has reached at least 400,000, with 6.9 million people infected by the virus. Experts say the number is likely higher due to inconsistencies in reporting from country to country. In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro defended his decision to remove public tracking of the country’s coronavirus cases and death toll, which have reached a level second only to the U.S. 

Up to 400,000 workers are expected to return to work in New York City on Monday after three months as a global epicenter in the outbreak, while the state’s houses of worship were permitted to reopen today at 25 percent capacity. Even so, two-thirds of American voters say that they still do not feel comfortable attending a large gathering or riding a plane due to fears of contracting the virus. 

The airline industry is expected to ground about 20 percent of its planes even after the $25 billion industry bailout conditions expire this fall. While industry executives say the bailout kept airlines open and operating, demand is not expected to fully rebound for years. Indonesian airline Lion Air was forced to shut down less than one week after reopening after the airline said passengers were “unwilling or unable” to comply with rules to control the virus’ spread. 

Chinese officials today released an extensive report countering claims that the country delayed the release of critical information needed for Covid-19 tests and vaccines. Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu told reporters that “certain countries” have “insanely smeared and slandered China,” adding that “China will certainly fight back.” 

Instances of shortages or conflict have moved authorities in the European Union to consider lessening the bloc’s reliance on China for materials in industries such as digital infrastructure and pharmaceuticals. However, varying levels of reliance on China has prevented any official action from union members.

UK-based drugmaker AstraZeneca has approached rival drugmaker Gilead to consider a potential merger, which would mark the biggest healthcare acquisition “of all time.” While Gilead authorities have said they are not interested in merging, the deal points to a growing pharmaceutical market as drugmakers race to find treatment for Covid-19. One British university has created an enterprise that will waive royalties and reduce other production costs in an effort to ensure that the vaccine is financially accessible.

A new study by the Scripps Research Institute points to high cholesterol in lung tissue as a possible risk factor in Covid-19-related deaths.

A businesswoman in India is organizing a private jet to reunite pets that were parted from their owners due to travel restrictions during the pandemic. In Japan, companies are exploring ways to make face masks cooler and more comfortable for protection in the summer heat.

The coronavirus was likely in the US before anyone knew it existed. It’s now hard to believe we ever assumed otherwise. – Business Insider – 6/7/2020
A test revealed his diagnosis the next day: The US had its first case of COVID-19. But he was almost certainly not the true first. Since then, a growing number of puzzle pieces have revealed a different picture of the beginning of the country’s outbreak — one that in retrospect seems so obvious it’s hard to imagine we ever believed otherwise. 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella on the Importance of Empathy Now – Time – 6/7/2020
During the COVID-19 epidemic, Nadella has taken to calling the tech giant’s workforce “digital first responders.” The company’s developers and cloud experts are working side-by-side with organizations including the CDC, John Hopkins University of Medicine, state unemployment centers, retailers, and schools. Institutions “have gone through two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months,” says Nadella. “We were seeing the other side of it which is the peak demand on our infrastructure.”

Escaping ‘Zoom fatigue’ is surprisingly complicated – Fortune – 6/7/2020
Countless people have decried newfound “Zoom hangovers” or “Zoom fatigue,” calling upon experts to figure out what it is about video calls that drains us. […] It’s not a natural way to have a conversation. It’s difficult to make eye contact. We can see ourselves, which is distracting. Every conversation takes place in the same context—on the same screen. All of this, and more, is difficult for our brains to process. 

Doomscrolling: Why We Just Can’t Look Away – Wall Street Journal – 6/7/2020
I was “doomscrolling.” Also known as “doomsurfing,” this means spending inordinate amounts of time on devices poring over grim news—and I can’t seem to stop. My timeline used to be a healthy mix of TikTok memes and breaking-news alerts. Now the entire conversation is focused on two topics: the pandemic and the protests.

Work from home, but have no room? Buy an Airstream RV – USA Today – 6/6/2020
He bought a small 22-foot Airstream RV on a 30-year loan, parked it in his back yard, and souped it up for video calls. The analyst surveyed the local real estate market, and found that rentals were charging at least $2,000 monthly. Instead, he got a 20-year-loan at $370 monthly for a $50,000 Airstream “Sport” trailer. 

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

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

CNBC Make It @CNBCMakeIt 6 Jun How ‘Animal Crossing’ and the coronavirus pandemic made the Nintendo Switch fly off shelves.

SiliconRepublic @siliconrepublic 7 Jun For diversity and inclusion advocate Sheree Atcheson, the cute and wholesome nature of Animal Crossing has helped her stay socially connected while working from home

ABC Science @ABCscience 6 Jun It’s “tend-and-befriend” instead of “fight-or-flight”. @cameronwilson dives wholeheartedly into wholesome gaming

Frank J. Fleming @IMAO_ 6 Jun The fish were biting like crazy this evening, and the kids were identifying the real fish we caught because they had caught the same ones in Animal Crossing.

WIRED UK @WiredUK 7 Jun Animal Crossing is now home to dozens of small companies. In-game photographers are conducting photoshoots, wedding planners are running marriage ceremonies and even in-game sex workers are offering services in exchange for the game’s currency, bells

CONTENT FACTS

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