WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
U.S. stock futures jumped higher as retail sales rebounded in May following April’s record drop. Total sales, including online, rose to 17.7% as thousands of stores and restaurants reopened. Stocks also rallied after news that President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a $1T infrastructure stimulus plan. On Monday, the market saw a recovery from earlier losses after the Federal Reserve announced it will start buying individual corporate bonds.
The lasting impact of coronavirus is being felt by businesses as they make moves to insulate themselves from further damage. BP will write off up to $17.5B from the value of its assets after cutting its long-term oil and gas price forecasts on predictions the pandemic will accelerate a shift away from fossil fuels. A United Nations forecast estimates overseas investments will fall by 40% this year due to coronavirus risks, hitting poorer, developing countries the hardest.
A recent poll asking whether people in the U.S. planned to download a contact tracing app revealed that more than 70% of individuals intend not to – a sharp decline from April when only one or two rejected the idea. States have not fully assembled the teams necessary to carry out contact tracing on a scale public health officials say is necessary, citing fund shortages or difficulty reaching people they need to warn.
Norway has suspended its use of the virus tracing app after privacy concerns arose. The Norwegian Data Protection Agency argued the country’s low infection rate meant data gathering could no longer be justified against privacy worries. Meanwhile, Germany is set to launch its contact tracing app later this week and the U.K. has said it will launch its own app “soon” but timing remains unclear.
Minority communities continue to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus. An analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention disclosed that along with older people and those with underlying health conditions, of the number of cases analyzed between January and May 33% were Hispanic and 22% were Black. Another poll showed Black Americans are more likely than white Americans to know someone who has died of coronavirus, adding to the data that shows Black Americans have “borne the brunt of the pandemic.”
A Supreme Court ruling this week banned workplace discrimination against gay and transgender people following the Trump administration’s decision to eliminate federal protections against discrimination in health care for transgender people. Transgender people are likely going to feel the economic impact of coronavirus as transgender people of color are six times more likely than the national average to be unemployed. This turbulent week has only exacerbated concerns the pandemic will leave an already marginalized group further behind.
As restaurants reopen, Los Angeles County found that at least a thousand food establishments are not following coronavirus safety rules. Over the weekend, South Carolina – reporting 799 new cases of confirmed COVID-19 tests – saw some restaurants and bars discover their employees were among those that tested positive, prompting closures. Yelp is rolling out new tools that allow business owners to share the safety measures taken to keep customers and staff safe amid the pandemic, like temperature checks and contactless payments.
A professor is working to create a thin film that can be placed over an N95 mask. Masks, like the N95, are only intended to be worn a few times, but this removable membrane would extend their life, allowing them to be more reusable.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Perspective | How to help kids exercise their brains and become more independent this summer — even during covid-19 – Washington Post – 6/16/2020
Yes, lockdown was stressful, but in addition, kids have little practice in planning and in resisting distraction. Their school sets their schedule, and teachers keep them on task. Covid-19 swept away that structure, and although parents exhausted themselves trying to replace it, they mostly failed.
Do you have to wear a face mask on a plane? U.S. airlines could stop you from flying if you don’t – Newsweek – 6/16/2020
According to the new policies that will be implemented by A4A, airlines will explain their face-covering policies in communications with customers before the flight and may require them to acknowledge the rules during check-in.
How To Manage Your Credit Cards Through The Pandemic – Forbes – 6/15/2020
Those payments you forgo are ultimately added to your principal balance. As a result, you are paying interest on not just your old purchases but also on interest accumulated and possibly the principal payments you missed. For this reason, if you can continue to make payments it may be a good idea to do so.
We Can Protect the Economy From Pandemics. Why Didn’t We? – Wired – 6/16/2020
[…] And here he was saying that they had come up with a kind of financial vaccine for exactly this scenario, released not long before the worst pandemic in a century. It wouldn’t stop the virus, of course, but it could help alleviate some of the misery that flowed from it.
How humans are beating machines in the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19 – The Verge – 6/16/2020
States that had committed to using contact tracing apps or expressed interest are now backing away from those claims. The few states that have rolled them out have seen only tepid responses. And there are no indications of any momentum for the apps at a national level.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Rachel Roubein @rachel_roubein 16 Jun The reasons why thousands of nursing homes haven’t been inspected for procedures that could stop the spread of covid:— Some state inspectors have *just recently* gotten PPE.— Others chose to inspect the homes remotely w/ @MaggieSeverns
Rich Duszak, MD @RichDuszak 16 Jun “A vaccine is no good without the vials, syringes and storage capacity that currently does not exist.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer @PhillyInquirer 16 Jun Hospitals in rural areas stockpiled PPE. Three months later, they’re dealing with revenue losses that could prove hard for them to weather.
Reza H. Akbari @rezahakbari 16 Jun I am so proud of my brother who is working on the frontlines of the #coronavirus pandemic as a home care physical therapist. He braves a risky work environment worsened by the lack of proper equipment every single day. #CovidUS #COVID19
Guardian US @GuardianUS 16 Jun The Covid disaster tent in our hospital is packed up yet the virus remains everywhere
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