“The Virus in Three Charts” – The New York Times / Source: The COVID Tracking Project

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stock futures ticked up ahead of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Tuesday deadline for Congress to reach an agreement on a coronavirus relief package to support American households. This morning marks a stark departure from last night, as the Dow finished sharply in the red after swinging between highs and lows. Up 28% year-to-date, the Nasdaq Composite has made up more than half the ground it lost in September. 

A higher stock market going into the election – a rarity – typically signals the incumbent president or their party would win the election, but that may not be the case this time. Stocks that would do better under former vice president Joe Biden have outperformed. 

Hospitalizations are on the rise in 41 U.S. states, a new analysis shows, and are at or near their all-time peak in 16. Over 40.4 million people globally have been diagnosed with COVID-19, though testing shortages and unreported cases still persist. Dr. Anthony Fauci warned the world is not yet “on the road” to ending the pandemic. 

A new poll found that seven in 10 Black people believe that people are treated unfairly based on race or ethnicity when seeking medical care. The poll also revealed that 66% agreed the federal response to the outbreak would have been stronger if white people were more largely affected. If white people faced the same risks from coronavirus as Black people, 58,000 more would have died during the first wave of the pandemic. 

In the South Bronx, health experts have attributed increased health issues to the effects of environmental racism – the intentional racial discrimination in infrastructural and environmental policy making. This typically equates to deliberate targeting of Black and Brown communities in deciding where to place roadways, toxic waste facilities and industrial and commercial sites. In neighborhoods in the South Bronx, home to almost a dozen Transfer Stations, the New York City Department of Education statistics show child asthma emergency room visits are nearly twice and triple what they are citywide. 

Rural areas are also not immune – a small town on the east bank of the Mississippi River, Reserve, is surrounded by a dozen petrochemical plants that provide jobs while also releasing potentially harmful toxins into the air. The 100-mile stretch between New Orleans and Baton Rouge is known as “Cancer Alley” for its clusters of plants. In Reserve, which is mostly Black, its Parish, St. John the Baptist, has consistently ranked among the top 30 U.S. counties with the highest COVID-19 death rates. Seven of the top 10 have populations where people of color make up the majority, and more than 11% of residents in the top 20 counties don’t have health insurance. 

Students across the country are marching in protest of distance learning in an attempt to bring awareness to the challenges the learning model presents. In some areas, parents have joined students in holding up signs with messages that read “S.O.S. Save our Schools,” as they express their desire for the return of on-campus learning five days a week. Some parents are concerned their children are not getting a proper education through remote learning.

America still remains in the middle of a big experiment as some schools navigate the pandemic. Though the reopenings haven’t led to an explosion in cases, many schools haven’t fully reopened yet, resulting in inconclusive data. There have been an estimated 52,000 cases in K-12 schools as of Oct. 15. 

Retail space is in jeopardy as the pandemic has made it more difficult for property owners to meet their mortgage payments, raising the specter of widespread downgrades, defaults and eventual foreclosures. The U.S.’s largest cinema chain AMC is making its screens available for private hire, allowing groups of up to 20 people to watch a film without sharing an auditorium with strangers. The news comes after Regal’s announcement it would be temporarily closing its doors in the U.S. and the U.K.

Study: coronavirus immunity could last up to 7 months – World Economic Forum – 10/20/2020
One of the most significant questions about the novel coronavirus is whether people who are infected are immune from reinfection and, if so, for how long. To determine the answer, researchers studied the production of antibodies from a sample of nearly 6,000 people and found immunity persists for at least several months after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

How do we rebuild trust in transport? – Fast Company – 10/19/2020
Seven months after the United States declared COVID-19 a national health emergency, subway ridership across the country remains 36% below last year’s level. According to Apple Mobility Trends (an imperfect, but commonly accepted measure of commuters’ intentions) public-transport ridership around the globe remains deeply depressed due to fears of contagion.

Why a fast-tracked Covid-19 vaccine will still be safe – Coda Story – 10/20/2020
With more than 20 Covid-19 vaccine trials happening around the world, scientists are working flat out to find a preventative measure for coronavirus, which could put an end to the wave of lockdowns, deaths, and hospitalizations gripping our world. 

Viral Video: Japanese Supercomputer Shows How Coronavirus Spreads In A Dining Setting – Forbes – 10/19/2020
Japanese researchers from Kobe University and the research giant Riken tasked Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to model how the coronavirus spreads in a typical dining situation. The simulation shows the emission and flow of aerosol particles when four people are sitting a table and speaking without masks on.

The Pandemic Lessons From MLB’s Surprisingly Successful Season – Intelligencer – 10/20/2020
The whole thing is dystopian, for sure — watching a baseball manager yanking his mask up and down while he screams obscenities at an umpire (obscenities we can now all hear at home) is a pandemic-baseball vision that won’t soon leave my mind — but it is, in fact, baseball. Major League Baseball’s 2020 season is 4-7 games away from being completed, and that is a remarkable achievement that shouldn’t be overlooked.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

CNBC @CNBC 20 Oct Dr. Scott Gottlieb: U.S. about ‘a week away from a rapid acceleration’ of coronavirus cases

Lindy Washburn @LindyWa 19 Oct The second coronavirus wave is here in NJ. Here’s why it’s different than last time. More cases, fewer deaths; spread through private gatherings. via @northjersey

Newsweek @Newsweek 19 Oct Sweden, which refused lockdown during COVID first wave, imposes restrictions as cases soar

Barbara Lee @BLeeForCongress 19 Oct As coronavirus cases surge around the nation, scientists are expecting a second wave coming shortly. It’s clear we need bold leadership and more relief for struggling Americans during this time.

CBS News @CBSNews 20 Oct Surge in coronavirus cases puts strain on Wisconsin hospitals

CONTENT FACTS

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