“Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak” BBC, July 8, 2020 / Data: COVID Tracking Project

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. states continued to eclipse daily COVID-19 milestones on Tuesday, with Texas surpassing 10,000 new cases in a single day. As cases across the country advance toward 3 million, the White House gave official notice to the United Nations that the U.S. will withdraw from the World Health Organization due to what President Donald Trump said was the agency’s failure to make “greatly needed reforms” and to get “answers from China on the virus.” Critics have countered that the decision could undercut the global response to the pandemic and put Americans at risk of fighting it alone. Democratic Presidential Candidate Joe Biden responded that he would reverse the Trump administration’s withdrawal “on day one” if elected to office in November.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has come under fire for downplaying the pandemic in his country, has tested positive for COVID-19.

President Trump is also pressing state and local officials to reopen schools this fall on the grounds that students need immediate access to meal programs and behavioral health services. Florida’s state commissioner of education mandated in an emergency order on Tuesday that all brick and mortar schools open for at least five days per week, while many teachers have said they would fear for their own safety if forced to return. 

Four states and the District of Columbia have joined a lawsuit against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for what they say was a diversion of pandemic relief funds from private to public schools. State attorneys argue that the portion of funds earmarked for private schools by the Education Department was disproportionately allocated, resulting in millions of dollars lost for public schools.

Fewer people on roads and rails during the pandemic has accelerated local infrastructure projects, although the work poses a challenge for local officials, who must balance the projects with dwindling budgets and looming questions about the future of public funds. In Texas, a five-month halt in executions will end on Wednesday as officials say safety measures are in place to move forward with the procedures.

Many industries that rely on advertising, such as grocery, have been forced to pivot their business models during the pandemic. With the surge of people choosing to stay at home and order goods online, one new solution is a mobile grocery truck that traverses different neighborhoods. 

Major U.S. retailers that continue to rely on in-person shoppers are petitioning state governors to make face masks mandatory in stores, citing rising confrontations between employees and shoppers who refuse to wear one. A county attorney in Texas has warned that those who test positive for COVID-19 and do not self-quarantine could be arrested.

Colleges and universities are encountering rising insurance rates with their renewals, adding to what is expected to be a strained financial year. The onslaught of the pandemic prompted a flurry of unrelated claims in an effort to recuperate financial losses related to the outbreak, which are not covered in most policies. 

Luxury and private travel options are experiencing a boom during the pandemic as consumers seek safe modes of transportation. VOMOS, a company that specializes in private jets, yacht charters and premium vacation rentals, has reported a significant uptick in new clients.

How coronavirus affects the brain – The Conversation – 7/8/2020Firstly, some people with COVID-19 experience confused thoughts and disorientation. Thankfully, in many cases it’s short-lived. But we still  don’t know the long-term effects of delirium caused by COVID-19 and whether long-term memory problems or even dementia in some people could arise.

The World’s Cruise Ships Can’t Sail. Now, What to Do With Them? – Bloomberg – 7/8/2020As with airplanes, the first issue with maintaining an idle cruise ship is simply finding a place to park it. As many as 16,000 planes have been grounded in the pandemic, hiding out in dry and rust-proof places that range from hangars and airport tarmacs to desert boneyards. Ships are similarly scrambling to find the right conditions to weather the storm. 

Animals Use Social Distancing to Avoid Disease – Scientific American – 7/8/2020This heightened risk has favored the evolution of behaviors that help animals avoid infection. Animals that social distance during an outbreak are the ones most likely to stay alive. That, in turn, increases their chances to produce offspring that also practice social distancing when confronted with disease. 

Why Has Society Failed to Integrate Grief Into Public Life? – The Nation – 7/8/2020Fifty percent of nursing homes were already understaffed before Covid-19. One-third of our national deaths have happened in nursing homes. Median wages for nursing home workers are so low. They’re, like, $13 an hour. Elder care needs to change. We know these facts, but we still need to feel them.

‘Desperation science’ slows the hunt for coronavirus drugs – AP NEWS – 7/8/2020“People had an epidemic in front of them and were not prepared to wait,” said Dr. Derek Angus, critical care chief at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. “We made traditional clinical research look so slow and cumbersome.”

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Carrie Byington @carrie_byington 7 Jul Antibody study of 61K from Spain. Despite the high impact of Covid-19 in Spain, prevalence estimates remain low and are clearly insufficient to provide herd immunity.Herd immunity strategies called into question after coronavirus antibody study in Spain

Jamiles Lartey @Jamiles 7 Jul Important: This does not reflect on the feasibility of herd immunity via a vaccine. Rather, if true, it means that we cant ‘naturally’ innoculate our way to protection. We already knew that was an unethical idea. Study says it might be impossible as well.

menaka doshi @menakadoshi 7 Jul After my fifth test for antibodies against the novel coronavirus, the lingering doubts were finally gone…Read more at:

Liat Wexelman @LiatWexelman 8 Jul Researchers from @TelAvivUni 👨🔬🇮🇱 and the Sharon #hospital 👩‍⚕️🏨 applied an innovative antibody test 💉 to #COVID19 patients and found that severely ill patients developed the antibodies at a faster rate.#COVIDー19 #research #coronavirus#CoronaVirusUpdate

Dr Karl @DoctorKarl 8 Jul Sweden?Herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2 is 70-80-ish% IF the antibodies appear (and for some people, they don’t) & IF the antibodies provide protection (don’t know that, for sure, yet).Is rate of infection increasing?

CONTENT FACTS

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