“Tracking the Spread of the Coronavirus Outbreak in the U.S.” – Bloomberg / Source: COVID Tracking Project

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. states in the West and Midwest continue to report record numbers of new coronavirus infections, with the nation’s weeklong average topping 50,000. Hospitalizations for COVID-19 cases are surging to levels last seen in early September. Small household gatherings have emerged as a new driver in the virus’ spread, an authority with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.

Death rates for COVID-19 and other causes in the U.S. are soaring above those in other high-income countries. A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that overall deaths were 85% higher than countries such as Germany and Israel after adjusting for population size. Still, public health experts say that proportion could change as other countries experience surges in the outbreak.

Drugmaker Eli Lilly is pausing its trial of an antibody treatment for COVID-19 after an independent board of experts raised health concerns. The treatment, called a monoclonal antibody, is considered by many experts as one of the most likely technologies that will effectively treat the coronavirus.

A study involving a Japanese supercomputer found that humidifiers may reduce the spread of COVID-19 when window ventilation is not possible. The study revealed the influence that humidity has on the dispersion of virus particles, with low air humidity resulting in more than double the number of virus particles indoors.

Delta Airlines posted a $5.38 billion loss in the third quarter, bringing revenue down more than 75% from one year ago in the first third-quarter loss expected for all major airlines. The nation’s airports saw a 150% increase in traveler safety screenings compared to the previous quarter, but the increase was still 221 million people short of those screened in the same period last year. 

New data from the U.S. Postal Service has confirmed anecdotal evidence of temporary moves spurred by the pandemic. Temporary moves were up 27% starting in February, and big cities saw the largest net loss in residents. 

For some who are unable to move, the coronavirus is compounding complications brought on by environmental racism. One mostly Black neighborhood located near a chemical plant in Louisiana has reported coronavirus deaths brought on by preexisting conditions from living amid carcinogenic toxins.  

The shutdown of nightclubs during the pandemic is driving a surge in party houses on platforms such as Airbnb and Vrbo. The companies are now attempting to crack down on party promoters, who were selling tickets to house parties with bottle service and DJs.

The onset of winter will make the coronavirus pandemic even worse – Axios – 10/14/2020
During the summer, businesses took advantage of outdoor dining, exercise and shopping, and families and friends safely gathered outside and at a distance. As the season changes, much of what made the last several months bearable will vanish.

Found: genes that sway the course of the coronavirus – Science – 10/13/2020
Even as more genetic risk factors are identified, their overall effect on infected people will be modest compared with other COVID-19 factors, Duggal says. But studies like the U.K. team’s could help reveal the underlying biology of the disease and inspire better treatments. “I don’t think genetics will lead us out of this. I think genetics may give us new opportunities,” Duggal says.

The Future of Hotel Design – New York Times – 10/14/2020
Hotels have long been moving toward automation with self-check-out and keyless guest-room entry via cellphone, especially at budget and mid-scale hotels. The pandemic has only heightened the importance of these features, which align with increased needs for social distancing and avoiding strangers.

Teens Did Surprisingly Well in Quarantine – The Atlantic – 10/13/2020
Surprisingly, teens’ mental health did not collectively suffer during the pandemic when the two surveys are compared. The percentage of teens who were depressed or lonely was actually lower in 2020 than in 2018, and the percentage who were unhappy or dissatisfied with life was only slightly higher.

Pandemic caused ‘unprecedented’ emissions drop: study – Digital Journal – 10/14/2020
Using data including hourly electricity production, vehicle traffic from more than 400 cities worldwide, daily passenger flights and monthly production and consumption figures, they determined that the year-on-year emissions drop of 8.8 percent was the largest in modern history.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

AFP news agency @AFP 13 Oct Map of eastern Australia showing the Great Barrier Reef.Aside from its inestimable environmental value, the 2,300-kilometre-long reef was worth an estimated $4 billion a year in tourism revenue for the Australian economy before the coronavirus pandemic@AFPgraphics

Earle Kimel @earlekimel 14 Oct Peru reopens Machu Picchu for a Japanese tourist who waited for seven months amid coronavirus pandemic – The Washington Post

Andy Street @andy4wm 14 Oct Critically we must also see support for similar sectors, such as live events and business tourism, that are not forced to close by law but are unable to operate effectively due to coronavirus restrictions.

WJZ | CBS Baltimore @wjz 13 Oct The tourism industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, which for a local tour guide, business isn’t so great. But instead of sitting around, he took his talents online.

Businessweek @BW 13 Oct As it fires 28,000 workers, Disney’s Covid-slammed theme parks have become anything but fun

CONTENT FACTS

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