“Euro-Area Capacity to Recover as Demand Shock Lingers” Bloomberg, June 17, 2020 / Image: Bloomberg Economics


U.S. stock futures drifted lower as applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. totaled 1.5M last week. Applications have exceeded 1M on a weekly basis since mid-March. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers that “significant uncertainty remains” regarding the economy’s strength. Americans have skipped payments on more than 100M student loans, auto loans, and other forms of debt, drawing attention to the pandemic’s toll on people’s finances. 

U.S. banks are facing a coin shortage from the partial closure of the economy, which largely stopped the flow of coins as supply chains and normal circulation patterns were disrupted. Federal Reserve Chair Powell said as states reopen, coins are beginning to move around again. 

The U.S. is now conducting more than 3M coronavirus tests a week – a sharp increase compared to the shortages that exacerbated the pandemic in the spring. However, experts predict that 30M tests per week will be necessary in order to safely reopen schools and businesses come fall. President Donald Trump has been pushing top health officials to speed up the already “historically ambitious” timeline to approve a coronavirus vaccine by the end of the year, though scientists worry that a vaccine may be approved before it is fully vetted for safety. Moderna currently sits as the COVID-19 vaccine front-runner

An important stage of vaccine development involves human trials and right now there are nearly 30,000 volunteers willing to deliberately expose themselves to coronavirus “should researchers decide to proceed.” Experts say, due to genetic disparities, that a vaccine will work only if trials include Black participants. African Americans have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, making up almost a quarter of lives lost in the U.S.

More than half of Americans would call the U.S.’s response to coronavirus “fair” or “poor,” according to a new survey by Gallup and West Health. The poll is a sharp contrast to Vice President Mike Pence’s claim that the country’s response is a “cause for celebration.” President Trump said the virus was “dying out” on Wednesday when asked whether he was worried about holding his rally on Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The same day, Tulsa saw a record number of new cases, contributing to the seven-day average of new cases which has spiked 400% this month. Despite the rising numbers, President Trump said the U.S. will not close down businesses again. 

As cities reopen, some activities have given rise to clusters of coronavirus. Cases have appeared to be spreading along major freeways like I-5 and I-10 as people start to road trip again. The data suggests the increase in cases lies in counties where the interstates coincide with reopenings. Las Vegas saw its largest single-day increase in cases after casinos reopened and cases in a county in Texas are rising as local rivers see large crowds. Ohio reopened six weeks ago but has yet to see a surge in coronavirus cases. Experts attribute the state’s numbers to people generally following guidelines and taking precautions, like wearing a mask and social distancing. 

Architects are predicting the future of design will be influenced by coronavirus after the pandemic forced people to stay inside for months. The open-concept look that defines modernism may be replaced by a more defensive style marked by barriers and walls. Designers are also questioning whether COVID-19 will allow for a “reset”, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly style that may permeate the industry.

The Quarantined Hippies Trapped in a Jungle Paradise – Narratively – 6/18/2020
On March 9, the day the festival took a breath between the sacred ceremonies and the oncoming beach rave, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Panama, carried into the country by a woman from Spain. On March 10, when Tribal Gathering’s 24-hour psytrance stage opened, Panama’s first coronavirus death and seven more cases were reported. […] “It wasn’t really until the end of the festival when they made the Wi-Fi free for everyone, half the festival started freaking out about possibly being quarantined and the other half was happy to be a part of the never-ending festival.”

Coronavirus: why it’s dangerous to blindly ‘follow the science’ when there’s no consensus yet – The Conversation – 6/18/2020
The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine are among the most influential scientific journals in the world. Both have recently had to retract studies on the effectiveness of COVID-19 treatments after doubts were raised about the underlying data. The scandal reveals the dangers of “fast science”.

How to manage your extraverted employees when you’re working remotely – Fast Company – 6/18/2020
This cycle of social recognition and reward can reinforce this behavior not only for extraverts but also for introverts, who may act out of character as “pseudo-extraverts” as a means to get along and get ahead. However, the recent disruption to our work lives may have tipped the personality scales from pseudo-extraversion to pseudo-introversion. There may now be an extravert disadvantage in the age of COVID-19 seclusion.

Governors get reelection boost from COVID-19 responses – The Hill – 6/18/2020
The vast majority of the nation’s governors are winning praise and high approval numbers from their constituents as they handle the health and economic fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic. The twin crises have given governors a bully pulpit unlike any most of them have experienced before. And for those seeking reelection this year, demonstrating swift and assertive action in the name of public health has put them in strong position to win another term.

‘I Begged Them To Let Me Die’: How Federal Prisons Became Coronavirus Death Traps – Vice – 6/18/2020
Rodriguez, a 49-year-old who handles accounting at a bakery, knew she was taking on a lot when she reconnected with JJ — officially Johnny Joe Desilva Jr. — while he was serving time. She knew his past involvement in gangs and drug trafficking would make the road to married life long. But now she feared she would lose her strong fiancé to sickness. To COVID-19. While he was in the federal government’s care.


Guardian Stage @guardianstage 18 Jun Immersive theatre and drive-in gigs lead way for return of UK performing arts

Esquire UK @EsquireUK 17 Jun Venues, festivals and musicians face a precarious future, but could Covid-19 be a catalyst for reform in an industry that seriously undervalues its artists?

Val McDermid @valmcdermid 17 Jun The performing arts sector isn’t a hand-wavy indulgence; it’s an economic necessity that also feeds our souls and our spirits. It’s Eastenders as much as opera.UK theatre faces ruin amid coronavirus crisis, say top cultural figures

DW Culture @dw_culture 17 Jun The German government plans to invest one billion euros in reviving cultural life following the #coronavirus crisis. The cash injection will be used to create new employment opportunities for artists hit hard due to restrictions still in place on cultural events. @BundesKultur

Amandine Schmitt @amandecherie 18 Jun .@AlisonBechdel : « I’ve spent my entire life worried about the world going to hell, and now that it actually is, I feel sort of strangely calm »


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