“Coronavirus Maps: How Severe Is Your State’s Outbreak?” – NPR / Source: Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

New filings for jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 787,000 last week – the lowest total since the early days of the pandemic in March. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were expecting 875,000 and Thursday’s number reflects a decline of 55,000 from the previous week. Stock futures slipped as negotiations over another fiscal stimulus package dragged on in Congress. 

Shares of the electric-car maker Tesla rose more than 4.5% after the company posted a third-quarter net profit of $331 million, marking its fifth-consecutive quarter in the black. As coronavirus continues to impact air travel, Southwest Airlines posted its biggest-ever loss – revenue dropped 68% compared to a year earlier.  The airline recently asked unionized employees to take a 10% pay cut to avoid furloughs through next year.

The final presidential debate is happening Thursday, where the microphones will be muted to ensure each candidate can get his points across uninterrupted. While President Donald Trump and Joe Biden are spending millions to deploy algorithms and target potential voters with their messages, “the campaigns are more dependent on databases and math models than ever, in part due to the pandemic.” However, Thursday’s debate seems “unlikely” to veer into detailed tech talk, aside from the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google, despite technology becoming more relevant during the pandemic. 

Under the Trump administration, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has had fewer inspectors than at any point since the 1970s. Despite more than 1,000 meatpacking, food-processing and farming facilities reporting cases of COVID-19 and resulting in 269 deaths as of Oct. 15, OSHA cites only two: JBS and Smithfield Foods. Smithfield, where more than 1,200 employees contracted the virus, was only fined about $10 for each worker at the plant who fell sick. Critics say the agency has applied “scant oversight and negligible penalties” despite the outbreaks. 

Headlines tantalizing the idea that mouthwash can “inactivate” coronaviruses spread over the last week, following a new study that found coronaviruses that cause common colds – not the ones that cause COVID-19 – could be incapacitated in a laboratory when doused with mouthwash. Experts warned that Listerine is “not an antiviral.” 

Educational resources for children are emerging that allow them to learn to recognize news and information to trust. The News Literacy Project has a newsletter called the Sift, which takes the most recent viral rumors, conspiracy theories, hoaxes and journalistic ethics issues and turns them into timely lessons with discussion prompts. 

Salem, Mass., the witchcraft capital of the U.S., is urging tourists to avoid the town on Halloween. Though the holiday typically marks a boost to the city’s economy, Salem is taking steps to repel crowds as coronavirus grips the country. A popular costume during Halloween, witches typically don broom sticks. The association dates back to 1451 and likely stems from a pagan fertility ritual in which rural farmers would leap and dance with pitchforks or brooms to encourage the growth of their crops.

As Covid-19 intensifies, shortages of staple drugs may grow worse – STAT – 10/21/2020
Across the U.S. and Europe, 29 out of 40 drugs used to combat the coronavirus are currently in short supply. And those shortages are expected to grow even worse as the number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in the coming winter months, according to a new report by the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Many Small-Business Employees May Be Close To Losing Health Insurance – Forbes – 10/22/2020
“Given the dire economic times, one of the first things you’d expect small businesses to do is to slash some employee benefits,” says Dafny, the Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration. “So I was surprised we only saw a small reduction in the percent offering coverage, from 60 percent to 57 percent.”

Commentary: Help Is Out There for COVID ‘Long Haulers’ – US News & World Report – 10/22/2020
Many medical providers have not received training on how to diagnose or treat the types of complex multiorgan disease triggered through the disruption of immune, endocrine, nervous and cardiovascular systems. Moreover, this lack of training has perpetuated  the stigma that ME/CFS and similar conditions are not real. 

How to Tell Your Family You’re Not Coming Home for the Holidays – VICE – 10/22/2020
In some families, it might make sense to say something a little sooner—e.g., “I’m thinking about not coming home this year.” If they seem like the type who wants to emotionally prepare for something for a while, go for it. If, on the other hand, they are likely to badger you about it every day for two months, hoping to change your mind because the decision hasn’t been “officially” “made” yet, it’s fine to wait until you’re 100 percent sure. 

Hospital Bills For Uninsured COVID-19 Patients Are Covered, But No One Tells Them – NPR – 10/22/2020
TriStar, like most major health systems, participates in program through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in which uninsured patients with COVID-19 have their bills covered. It was set up through the pandemic relief legislation known as the CARES Act. But TriStar doesn’t tell its patients that upfront. Neither do other hospitals or national health systems contacted by WPLN News.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Jamie Stelter @JamieStelter 22 Oct “Will we ever view our homes the same way again? Can we ever unsee the need to work from home and where we would do it?” I have had so many of these conversations lately and @weareyourfek sums it up beautifully for @voxdotcom

Will Hazell @whazell 22 Oct ICYMI: Students phoned during coronavirus contact tracing are sometimes “in bits” and suffering “meltdown”, a worker for NHS Track and Trace has revealed @theipaper

IEDM – MEI @iedm_montreal 21 Oct 46% of people aged 18 to 24 are reporting “symptoms of generalized anxiety or major depression.”23% of young adults reported “major financial losses linked to the pandemic.” 31% reported a job loss.

The US Sun @TheSunUS 21 Oct Fears prisoners will be released with dangerous mental health issues after #Covid rules hindered rehab

WJCL News @WJCLNews 22 Oct 5-year-old Georgia boy writes book to help kids battle the stress of the coronavirus pandemic

CONTENT FACTS

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