“Coronavirus cases rise in 25 states” -Axios / Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise / Axios


Jobless claims in the U.S. continued on a plateau last week, totaling 837,000 as the stall in economic recovery persists. Up to 179 million Americans could stand to lose their power or other utilities with the expiration of disconnection bans in more than half of U.S. states. One energy alliance estimates that unpaid debts for electric and gas utilities could reach $24.3 billion by the end of the year. 

Home and car insurer Allstate will lay off 3,800 employees, with 1,000 cuts tied to the company’s rebates to policyholders during the pandemic and another 25-30% due to fewer claims being received by the company. American Airlines and United are moving forward with 32,000 job cuts after the first round of federal aid expired on Wednesday and Congress failed to agree on a new stimulus package to support airline payrolls. 

A House vote on a $2.2 trillion relief bill was delayed on Wednesday after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to reach an agreement on its contents. The vote would be largely symbolic, as Republican senators already voiced their opposition to the bill. President Donald Trump on Thursday signed a stopgap funding bill to keep the federal government open through Dec. 11 after funding for the fiscal year ran out at midnight. 

Dozens of medical practices and pharmacies across the country are promoting an unproven COVID-19 treatment. Among the physicians selling the drug are prominent figures in the wellness community who prescribe thymosin alpha-1 under the false claims that the drug is FDA-approved. 

One study conducted by researchers at Cornell University found the largest portion of falsehoods and misinformation surrounding the virus has stemmed from comments and social posts made by President Trump. 

August marked the fifth straight month of rises in unemployment across Europe, highlighting concerns that government support programs there will not be sufficient to keep many businesses afloat. The jobless rate among countries that use the euro currency increased to 8.1%. The regional government in Madrid is fighting national COVID-19 lockdown mandates in court after initially refusing to obey the restrictions, citing imminent hunger and unemployment as higher risks facing the region.

Covax, the international humanitarian coalition aimed at supplying a coronavirus vaccine to the world’s poorest countries, is facing a storm of challenges after the U.S. and other affluent countries refused to join. The effort is struggling with potential shortages of money and distribution resources, as well as skepticism from the populations that the coalition aims to help. 

The coronavirus pandemic has fueled a renewed obsession with mushrooms in Russia. Limited travel options and more free time during outbreaks has prompted thousands of people in St. Petersburg and Moscow to foray into the woods and hunt for the fungi, which is a staple in the national cuisine and experienced a banner year in the region’s forests.

Diabetes, disparities, and Covid-19: Three intertwined ‘epidemics’ raise risk – STAT – 10/1/2020
There are no easy answers to the coronavirus pandemic, but for people with diabetes, it’s dismayingly difficult to untangle the thicket of biological and socioeconomic factors that make them more likely to suffer severe illness and die should they catch the virus that causes Covid-19.

So many communities are testing poop for Covid-19, equipment is running out – Quartz – 10/1/2020
In some cases, demand is so high that orders are backlogged; Birthe Veno Kjellerup, a bioengineer at the University of Maryland College Park, told Quartz that her department had ordered some from Teledyne ISCO in July but hadn’t gotten their order as of mid-September.

The next step SMBs need to take after going digital – Protocol – 10/1/2020
During the pandemic, many shoppers grew accustomed to buying online, so SMBs didn’t need to convince consumers of the benefits of ecommerce. Even if a business was flooded with new customers, there’s still work to be done to keep that traffic now. The cost of customer acquisition in ecommerce is very high, so consumers will need to make a couple purchases before the costs pay off.

We’ve Had 56 Statewide Elections During The Pandemic. Here’s What We Learned From Them. – FiveThirtyEight – 10/1/2020
The most obvious change that states have made to the way elections are held during the pandemic is to encourage mail voting. Going into the year, 16 states did not allow anyone who wanted to to vote absentee, but only two (Louisiana and Texas) kept that restriction in place for their primary after the pandemic hit.

‘Super-sharers responsible for a disproportionate amount of COVID-19 disinformation on social media – Phys – 10/1/2020
The team has identified a group they label as “super-sharers”, who amount to 6% of social media users and were much more likely to have shared COVID-19 disinformation. These individuals possess a number of common traits: They have admitted to sharing any form of disinformation in the past month […]


NYT National News @NYTNational 30 Sep “If it can happen to a super-healthy 19-year-old boy who doesn’t smoke, vape or do drugs, it can happen to anyone.” In North Carolina, a college student who contracted coronavirus has died from apparent complications three weeks after testing positive

Walid Maani @WalidMaani 1 Oct Children can spread coronavirus among themselves efficiently, but young adults are the primary source of coronavirus spread,Big contact tracing study shows role of kids and superspreaders in coronavirus pandemic

Herb Scribner @HerbScribner 30 Sep This COVID-19 vaccine may work well in older adults and young adults — which isn’t that common

Bertha Coombs @berthacoombs 30 Sep “the incidence of coronavirus is now highest among young adults ages 20 to 29, who accounted for more than 20 percent of all confirmed cases from June to August.”

Jim Langevin @JimLangevin 30 Sep No age group is immune to #COVID19. Following public health guidelines like wearing a mask is about preventing further spread & saving lives. We all have a role to play in keeping our communities safe.


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