“Coronavirus pandemic: Tracking the global outbreak” BBC, August 3, 2020 / Image: BBC / Data: COVID Tracking Project

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The U.S. dollar rallied on Monday following its weakest monthly performance in a decade. A 10% loss in value since the dollar’s all-time high in March, accelerated by unchecked coronavirus infections, indicates a waning confidence in the country’s control over the outbreak, analysts say. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that the U.S. has entered a “new phase” in the pandemic as the virus is more widespread than it ever has been, reaching rural and urban areas equally. 

Schools in the process of reopening amid the surge in cases are encountering setbacks across the country. One student in Indiana tested positive for COVID-19 within hours of entering on the first day of school, immediately prompting questions of imminent quarantine and closures. Hundreds of kids at a sleepaway camp in Georgia were infected with the coronavirus just days after their arrival, prompting warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that children of all ages are susceptible to COVID-19 infection. 

Department store Lord & Taylor, as well as the parent company of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Banks, have filed for bankruptcy . The companies join a growing list of retailers, including J Crew Group, J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and Lucky Brand, that have foundered amid the pandemic. Even so, more corporate leaders say they have worked through the shock of the pandemic to identify better strategies for their “new reality.” As 129 more S&P 500 companies prepare to provide their quarterly updates this week, some will again offer outlooks on their financial results. Many companies entering the second half of the year “with confidence” have pivoted their advertising spending to support public health, narrow in on big brands or show off new innovations.

More evidence is emerging of long-term complications resulting from COVID-19 for those with underlying health conditions. The cost to care for those affected with “post-COVID syndrome” will likely result in billions healthcare costs ahead, physicians warn. 

Researchers say that the cost of fighting COVID-19 is 500 times more expensive than the preventative measures that could reduce the transmission of new diseases such as the coronavirus. At an estimated impact of between $8.1 and $15.8 trillion globally, U.S. scientists in a policy brief highlighted the cost of the pandemic in an effort to advocate for the protection of tropical rainforests, which they say is crucial to counter the spread of future diseases.

Despite international skepticism for its testing methods, Russia’s government is preparing to mass administer vaccinations to residents in October. The acceleration of the country’s vaccination program could make Russia the first in the world to inoculate people against the virus, recalling a new kind of arms race. The prime minister in the U.K. is considering sealing off London and mandating a stay-at-home order to avoid a second national lockdown amid new COVID-19 infections. In Melbourne, surging cases have prompted city officials in Victoria to declare a “state of disaster,” virtually banning residents from going outside. New data from Iran shows that the true number of coronavirus deaths may be three times greater than what the country has reported. 

The pandemic has shifted global coffee consumption, leaving some producers to question whether new coffee drinking habits will offset the loss of demand from cafes and restaurants. Industry experts say it is still too early to tell whether coffee drinkers in the West will up their intake to the same levels.

The Pandemic and Natural Disasters Are Colliding Again – Intelligencer – 8/3/2020
But if a major hurricane hits the United States between now and the end of the season in late November, the disaster will be compounded by the strain on emergency resources already in use — as well as the need for social distancing at Federal Emergency Management Agency shelters, which are required to cut capacity by as much as 60 percent.

A tiny Texas company is running most U.S. drive-thru Covid-19 testing – STAT – 8/3/2020
That company, eTrueNorth, doesn’t run Covid-19 tests, ship them to and from labs, or employ the staff at testing sites. Instead, the company is acting as a kind of conductor, helping to oversee a patchwork of clinical laboratories, pharmacy staff, and technical infrastructure. 

How to Evaluate COVID-19 News without Freaking Out – Scientific American – 8/3/2020
I encourage people to turn to their trusted traditional media sources rather than turning to Twitter or Facebook or WhatsApp, because when you do that, you do get information that’s a little bit more recent, but the quality of that information is far, far lower.

Birth at a time of national emergency: from the second world war to coronavirus – The Conversation – 8/3/2020
A survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCOM) found 78% of midwifery leaders had ended face-to-face visits. Home births have been reduced or removed as an option across many NHS trusts, with multiple midwife-led birthing centres also closed. 

Is Telemedicine Here to Stay? – New York Times – 8/3/2020
“The concern everyone in the industry has is that reimbursement is in jeopardy,” said Dr. Mia Levy, the director of the cancer center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, which treated patients virtually during the height of the pandemic. “Because of telehealth, we were able to stay actively engaged with our patients,” she said.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Bloomberg Economics @economics 3 Aug Undocumented workers in the U.S. are running out of options to help them survive the coronavirus pandemic

Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, Ph.D. @nataliapetrzela 3 Aug “The pandemic has brought an unrelenting tide of death to the borderlands: He has gone from transporting 15 bodies a week to 22 a day.”Tragic proportions of Latino death at the borderlands ⁦@latimes⁩

The Sun @TheSun 2 Aug Thousands of non-English speakers ‘could be spreading coronavirus because they don’t understand the rules’

The New Humanitarian @newhumanitarian 2 Aug While COVID-19 cases continue to climb in the US, the government has scaled back language regulations on medical documents, making it harder for those with limited English proficiency to access accurate information.

Megan Mitchell @megan1mitchell 2 Aug Free coronavirus testing continues across Greater Cincinnati. How health officials are trying to overcome a language barrier. More on @WLWT

CONTENT FACTS

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