“A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air” – El País

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The U.S. economy expanded at a record 33.1% pace in the third quarter, recovering much of the second-quarter plunge in GDP as businesses reopened from local shutdowns. Economists say the surge is largely temporary and that continued recovery will be more modest and choppy as virus outbreaks gain pace. U.S. weekly jobless claims fell to 751,000, a larger-than-expected decline.

Wall Street’s futures traded higher on Thursday due to sizable selloffs of Big Tech shares ahead of their third-quarter earnings reports. Twitter, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google parent company Alphabet are all slated to report on quarterly earnings Thursday afternoon.

Tech earnings come one day after the CEOs of Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet defended their role in public discourse to U.S. senators during a hearing on Wednesday. The hearing ended with little discussion of how to move forward with Section 230, a law that protects tech platforms from their users’ posts and allows them to moderate or remove discussion on their platforms.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled to allow Pennsylvania and North Carolina to accept absentee ballots after Election Day, rounding out the last of the high court cases spurred by mail-in voting during the pandemic. Local lawsuits have been filed by the hundreds this election year by both Democrats and Republicans to address procedure changes during virus outbreaks, although legal experts say they have also stemmed from simple misunderstandings or disagreements that ballooned into “ armies of lawyers” for both presidential candidates’ campaigns. Experts in global conflict warn that conditions in the U.S. are ripe for violence and conflict. Because election results may not emerge immediately, they say protestors and extremists from either political party are more likely to collide.  

Hundreds of polling places in Iowa have been closed since the 2016 election due to coronavirus outbreaks, a reduction that will affect 30% of the registered voters in a swing state. Reports have found the reduction of polling places in other parts of the country has been more modest, with local officials hoping that early voting and mail-in ballots will reduce any anticipated issues.

Germany and France have announced new four-week lockdowns to slow the spread of surging COVID-19 cases in their countries. Germany’s lockdown will shutter restaurants, bars, and other “leisure” institutions, while France will require a certificate to continue to move through the country. Those new restrictions come as Austrialians living in Melbourne emerged on Wednesday from one of the world’s longest and more severe lockdowns, at 111 days.

Officials with Major League Baseball are investigating how one of its players was infected with COVID-19, piercing the “playoff bubble” carefully implemented by the league leading up to the World Series. Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Game 6 of the World Series after receiving a positive result. The Dodgers went on to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday in their first World Series win since 1988.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

How to get your flu shot in the US – Quartz – 10/29/2020
All kinds of healthcare providers can provide vaccinations; each state has their own laws about exactly which providers can supply vaccines. But broadly, people ranging from nurse practitioners, midwives, physician’s assistants, medical assistants, and vocational nurses can give vaccines.

A mutated coronavirus strain causes most new COVID-19 infections in Europe and was spread within the continent by tourists, scientists say – Business Insider – 10/29/2020
The majority of new COVID-19 cases in Europe stem from a mutated strain of the coronavirus that has been traced back to Spain and was spread across the continent over the summer by tourists, scientists said in a report Thursday. The variant most likely originated in farm workers in northeastern Spain, where it was first recorded in June, they said.

Analysis | What school looks like now — in striking pictures from around the world – Washington Post – 10/29/2020
Millions of children in the world’s poorest countries have not been back to school since the pandemic started and aren’t expected to ever return, especially girls. In the United States, concerns are highest for the neediest students, those who live in poverty, have special needs and are English Language Learners — but month after month of disrupted education will affect every child.

How to Build Back Greener After the Pandemic – Bloomberg – 10/29/2020
European officials have seized on one in particular—mending battered economies in a way that also tackles global warming, or “building back greener.” But how to turn those words into action? Bloomberg renewables reporter Jess Shankleman reports from London on the policies that may bring that dream to fruition, and the sobering realities of trying to do so during a pandemic.

It may be time to reset expectations on when we’ll get a Covid-19 vaccine – STAT – 10/29/2020
On Tuesday, front-runner Pfizer revealed in an earnings call that the first interim analysis in its Phase 3 clinical trial has not yet occurred. That means there hadn’t yet been enough Covid infections among the trial participants to take a first stab at analyzing whether the people randomly assigned to receive vaccine were infected at a lower rate than people who were assigned to get a placebo injection.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Naomi Starkman @NaomiStarkman 28 Oct ‘There’s no way this is going to end well.’ The coronavirus is devastating Indigenous communities, long shut out of food supply chains and infrastructure development.@FNDI303 @CivilEats

Invisible People @invisiblepeople 28 Oct Horrifically, the US census bureau is attempting to undercount tribal communities (yet again), this time using Coronavirus as an excuse. Learn what opportunities tribes will miss out on due to this negligence

19thnews @19thnews 28 Oct Arizona has at least 22 federally recognized tribes.In a year where voting access on reservations and in Native American communities has been further complicated by the pandemic, these Native women are leading the way for change.New from @AmandaBecker

Russell Contreras @RussContreras 28 Oct Wingate Hotel in Montana turns away Native American residents, citing COVID-19 policy #native via @USATODAY

Emily Ramshaw @eramshaw 28 Oct Native American women in Arizona are leading the way for voting access on tribal reservations, in communities long beset by voter suppression and newly impacted by the deadly coronavirus. Must-read by @AmandaBecker

CONTENT FACTS

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