WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The global COVID-19 death toll surpassed 1 million on Sunday, marking more than eight months since the first death was reported in China. Daily infections of the coronavirus are on the rise in nearly half of the U.S. and have reached an all-time high in Wisconsin.
The rise in infections comes as a national study revealed that more than 90% of the U.S. remains susceptible to the virus. Fewer than 1 in 10 Americans have shown signs of a prior coronavirus infection, meaning the country is far from achieving herd immunity. The study also found that communities with majorities of Hispanic or Black residents were respectively twice as likely or four times as likely to have COVID-19 antibodies compared to white-majority communities, underscoring the virus’ disproportionate effect on communities of color.
Politicians running for local offices in November are grappling with whether to continue face-to-face canvassing in their neighborhoods, weighing the risks of coronavirus infection with the need to garner supporters. Those challenges extend to the presidential race, in which President Donald Trump’s campaign messaging has been overwhelmed by pandemic issues on the ground.
A New York Times report on Trump’s newly obtained tax information, as well as Trump’s nomination of “conservative favorite” Amy Coney Barrett to fill the newly vacant Supreme Court seat, threaten to overtake much of the presidential campaign.
National surveys of American workers have found job losses are not only turning permanent, but that Americans who have maintained employment are earning less than they were before the pandemic. Retirement anxiety has increased, while about a quarter of people with side jobs say their income from that work has declined.
Employees who continue to report to work are filing legal claims against their employers for “take home infections” of family members that occurred when they brought home the coronavirus from the workplace. Risk analysts say the legal implications could amount to billions of dollars for employers, especially if more lawsuits continue to emerge.
England is imposing tougher fines on people who refuse to self-isolate even when they have symptoms of COVID-19. The fines start at £1,000 and rise to £10,000 for those who repeatedly neglect to quarantine. The United Kingdom has imposed additional coronavirus restrictions as the country reports record numbers of new daily infections. In China, tens of thousands of people deemed essential are being inoculated with three vaccines that have yet to be approved. Those vaccines remain in the final stage of trials before official approval.
The cancellation of one airline’s route that stops in Easter Island has stranded a group of 25 people in Tahiti for six months. The LATAM flight was the only service that stopped in Easter Island, stranding residents from the Chilean territory with only unaffordable alternatives. The group said they have lived for the past six months largely due to the generosity of Tahitians.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
A guide to how — and when — a Covid-19 vaccine could be cleared – STAT – 9/28/2020
Data from an interim analysis may be released if a vaccine is deemed inarguably effective — but volunteers may not be immediately told whether they are receiving vaccine or placebo. In other words, the study will remain “blinded.” Participants receiving a placebo will not be switched immediately to the vaccine.
The number to help determine if your space is well ventilated – Quartz – 9/28/2020
Air changes per hour (also known as “outdoor air changes per hour”) is pretty easy to understand—it’s the rate at which the air in a space is completely recycled. The higher the ACH, the more frequently air is cycled through, reducing the risk that a person in that space will inhale viral particles and get infected.
Pandemic puppy shortage shows market going to the dogs—in a good way – AdAge – 9/28/2020
Scammers on Facebook and Craigslist are taking cash upfront for dogs that don’t exist in many cases, she says. And because of California laws to restrict puppy mills and pet-store sales of animals, some disreputable breeders have tried setting up non-profit faux rescue operations to sell their pets, she says.
Should I Be Taking Zinc? – New York Times – 9/28/2020
“There is no scientific evidence that zinc or any vitamin or mineral or other dietary supplement can prevent or cure Covid-19,” said Carol Haggans, registered dietitian and consultant to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.
The Students Left Behind by Remote Learning – ProPublica – 9/28/2020
The biggest challenge was not technological. No one made sure that Shemar logged on to his daily class or completed the assignments that were piling up in his Google Classroom account. His grandmother, who is in her 70s, is a steady presence, but she attended little school while growing up in a sharecropping family in South Carolina. She was also losing her eyesight.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Cleveland Clinic @ClevelandClinic 27 Sep COVID-19 information can be overwhelming. And unfortunately, misinformation is common. The truth about the novel coronavirus.
Jim Roberts @nycjim 28 Sep CDC chief Robert Redfield says Trump’s new #coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas is giving the president misleading data on masks and “herd immunity.” “Everything he says is false.”
Maria Aspan @mariaaspan 27 Sep “It’s been such a year of powerlessness and misinformation, which is so destabilizing.” @DrJessIsomMDMPH on the weight, and uneven accumulation, of this year’s grief for Black Americans and other workers of color
PolitiFact @PolitiFact 27 Sep We’re still debunking misinformation about coronavirus. Why? Because hoaxes travel fast, and the numbers and causes of the pandemic need clarification.
Mick Coyle @MrMickCoyle 28 Sep “The truth is mundane and the story about the truth is mundane”If you watch or read one thing on #covid conspiracies today, make it this by @peterkinderman from @LivUniInvestigating hoaxes on #MentalHealthMondayLINK
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