“Is COVID’s Impact Semi-Permanent?” – Seeking Alpha/ Source: IMF

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The average number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. reached the highest number to date as hospitals in many regions in the country report record levels of coronavirus patients, moving epidemiologists to liken this wave to a “wildfire” of widespread transmission.

The last hopes for a coronavirus stimulus package to be passed before the general election were placed on hold until the U.S. Senate reconvenes from a pre-election break that began Monday. A housing crisis is again looming with a national eviction ban expected to expire in January, meaning renters will be on the hook for missed payments. One report found that nearly 10,000 evictions were filed in five states since September despite the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s eviction moratorium.

While the Trump administration’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program has paid billions to help farmers through the pandemic since June, nearly 92% of farmers in Wisconsin received less aid than it costs to run an average dairy there for one month. The report underscores the expectations that nearly 54 million people in the U.S. could struggle to afford food during the pandemic. 

Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in to the Supreme Court at a White House outdoor ceremony, cementing a conservative majority for the first time since the 1930s. 

The high court on Monday blocked an effort in Wisconsin to extend the deadline for ballots for up to six days after Election Day. The case marked one of three before the Supreme Court that concerns the capacity of states to count mail-in ballots, which are on the rise during the pandemic. More than 62 million Americans have already cast mail-in votes.

Major producers of consumer goods such as Nestle, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble are reducing the size of food packaging and promoting lower-priced brands to weather the global recession. Unilever announced new variants of its budget shampoo in Latin America, while Nestle is incorporating smaller, single-use products in Indonesia.    

Numerous corn mazes and haunted houses have embraced the coronavirus pandemic this Halloween season, using the real-life pandemic to fuel theatrical fear. American pop culture has often turned to fearful entertainment during times of uncertainty, an odd contradiction that experts say helps people process uncomfortable events.

All-In Push for Vaccine in U.S. Raises Risk Virus Will Linger – Bloomberg – 10/27/2020
While the U.S. has committed more than $10 billion to develop new shots to fight Covid-19, about half of Americans say they are wary of taking them, according to a Gallup poll reported this month. Meanwhile, any shortfalls in the vaccine program could mean the country will struggle with the virus well into 2023, according to the London-based firm Airfinity Ltd.

Why the U.S. Can’t Replicate South Korea’s Impressive Economic Recovery – The Wall Street Journal – 10/27/2020
South Korea’s recession ended in the third quarter of the year with the economy growing 1.9% from the second quarter. The country’s commendable control of Covid-19 has helped—but like China, its pre-existing economic structure was also key. The real secret sauce for coming back from Covid-19 has been a mix of the two: getting the virus under control early, and benefiting from an existing export-heavy economic model.

Covid-19 expert Akiko Iwasaki fights a different virus: sexism in science – STAT – 10/27/2020
For nearly 10 hours on a recent Saturday, Akiko Iwasaki was feted at a virtual gathering celebrating her 50th birthday and the 20th anniversary of her Yale lab. Former and current colleagues showered her with gifts, reminisced about outings to bars, Six Flags, and campsites, and answered trivia questions (her favorite color is purple — Iwasaki is a huge Prince fan).

The problem with resilience as we know it – Qrius – 10/27/2020
Today, we have turned resilience into something that is performative. Motivational speakers talk about how they battle their struggles and how embodying ‘hard work, talent, and passion’ are factors that help them overcome these struggles. Happiness is treated as a goal emotion, the only acceptable and approved feeling to work towards. In reality, the human body is designed to experience a spectrum of emotions through the day in varying degrees.

What It’s Like To Be The Only Business Class Passenger On A Covid Era Flight – DMarge – 10/26/2020
Lewis Nathaniels, the man in question, was studying in Barcelona when Covid unfurled. By the time he had finished his thesis (in July), passenger caps introduced by the Australian government had sparked chaos among those returning from overseas. Airlines were bumping economy passengers left, right and centre, in some cases only taking 30 passengers per flight, and advising ticket holders to upgrade to business if they wanted to secure their spot.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Geet Jeswani @TweetingGeet 26 Oct “The current rules requiring doctors’ notes for emergency ballots effectively create a pay-to-play system for voters who are struggling to vote and stay safe in the middle of a pandemic.”

Salon @Salon 26 Oct The greatest risk, one expert said, is not when you’re actually voting in the polling place, but when you’re waiting in line.

Newsy @Newsy 26 Oct More Americans are turning to early voting or by mail due to the coronavirus pandemic

WebMD @WebMD 26 Oct The CDC has released new guidance for precautionary measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus at polls.

KSAT 12 @ksatnews 26 Oct With five days of early voting left in Texas due to the coronavirus pandemic, more than 40% of registered voters in Bexar County have already turned out before Election Day

CONTENT FACTS

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