People line up to cast their ballots for the upcoming presidential election as early voting begins in Cincinnati, Ohio. REUTERS/Megan Jelinger

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stock-index futures rose Friday as investors remained optimistic over prospects for another round of fiscal stimulus, with major benchmarks in line for their best week since August. Shares of Gilead ticked up in premarket trading after the company released a study showing its COVID-19 antiviral cut recovery time by five days and reduced fatality by nearly 75% in patients needing low flow oxygen. 

Coronavirus is devastating Native American tribes across the country. More than 10% of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians has had the coronavirus and the tribe is currently bracing for a second wave. The Navajo Nation, the country’s largest reservation, has recorded at least 560 deaths. That number is larger than the coronavirus-related deaths in 13 states and a death rate higher than every state. President Donald Trump has recently made a push for voters in the Navajo Nation as they face a potential second wave. While the Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer praised Trump for the CARES Act as the first tribal leader with a prime-time slot during the Republican National Convention, the reservation had to go to court to get the entirety of their funding. 

A public health professor said “virtually all of the factors that made Native Americans extremely vulnerable to the Spanish flu are still in place today.” These factors include poor housing, underlying health issues and lack of access to doctors and hospitals. 

Coronavirus has doubled the number of people who are acutely food insecure, from 135 million people in 2019 to 270 million. In Cuba, where the economy was already strained, the pandemic brought on a food crisis. What food is available is often found only in government-run stores that are stocked with imports and that charge in dollars. The strategy is used by the government to gather hard currency from Cubans who have savings or get money from friends or relatives abroad. 

Public schools around the country are seeing a major drop in enrollment. Large and small, rich and poor, urban and rural – in most of these districts, the decline is a departure from recent trends. For most schools, this year has been marked by changes in plans, widespread confusion among teachers and families, concerns about safety and worries about unequal access to technology. In Utah, the state’s public colleges saw a decline in student enrollment this fall, and the biggest drops were at the most affordable and accessible schools.

For the first time in 95 years, Halloween will fall on both a full moon and a Saturday. However, most Halloween shops betting on a fruitful season are seeing a drop in sales. Costume shops, party stores and seasonal pop-ups that rely on the holiday for the bulk of their profits say the steep drop-off in sales could tip them in insolvency. Halloween spending is expected to fall by 8%. 

Online retailers are taking advantage of the year’s trending topics and turning them into Halloween costumes. One company has unveiled a sexy hand sanitizer costume, inspired by the copious amounts of disinfectant people have used amid coronavirus.

7 looming questions about the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine – STAT – 10/9/2020
During the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, an association representing bread makers argued its workers were essential, because bread is a staple of the American diet. At an ACIP meeting in late August, Santa Ric Erwin, of the Fraternal Order of Real-Bearded Santas, made a plea for St. Nick impersonators to be vaccinated in Phase 2. “This year Christmas will be more important to the American psyche than ever before,” he argued. 

How Will We Know a 2nd Virus Wave Has Arrived in N.Y.C.? – New York Times – 10/8/2020
Epidemiologists and public health officials said the rise in positivity rates mainly showed a need for more testing. That, they say, is the precursor to contact tracing and case investigation, which are the best ways to understand the extent of any outbreak and prevent further spread.

Most U.S. Shoppers Say They Won’t Set Foot in a Mall This Year – Bloomberg – 10/9/2020
Even with the changing behaviors, a majority of American holiday shoppers — about eight in 10 — said they will still spend in a physical store during the coming months. More than half of respondents plan to purchase more from small businesses hurt by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Will COVID lockdowns hurt your child’s social development? 3 different theories suggest they’ll probably be OK – The Conversation – 10/9/2020
Psychologists have shown very young children who develop strong and secure attachments become more independent, have more successful social relationships, perform better at school, and experience less anxiety compared with children who didn’t have strong and secure attachments.

What to Know About Vitamin D and COVID-19 – Healthline – 10/9/2020
More recent research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may increase the risk of coronavirus infection and severity of COVID-19. For example, some studies found that COVID-19 deaths tend to be higher in countries farther away from the equator, where many people are deficient in vitamin D due to the reduced amount of sunlight, especially during winter.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Sarah Newey @sneweyy 9 Oct China has joined 171 countries, incl. the UK, Japan & Germany, that have signed up to Covax. A significant move – both bc it signals Beijings desire to be seen as a public health leader & bc the US has refused to join @clarewenham @gavi @TelGlobalHealth

WSBT @WSBT 9 Oct The WHO, which also leads COVAX, welcomed the announcement, saying in a statement that “the number of countries joining the COVAX facility grows every day, and we are pleased to see China formally join.”

Reuters @Reuters 9 Oct China to purchase COVAX vaccines for 1% of population, says foreign ministry https://t.co/FOIWSqwPWE

NHS Surrey Heath CCG @SH_CCG 9 Oct This year, it’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine because those most at risk from flu are also vulnerable to coronavirus #getyourflujab

Liz Ann Sonders @LizAnnSonders 9 Oct As per @TheEconomist survey, Americans, more than other countries, want to have first available coronavirus vaccine; but looking to Germany, substantially larger share of its population believes vaccine should be available worldwide @SoberLook

CONTENT FACTS

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