The Masters – Augusta National Golf Club – Augusta, Georgia, U.S. – November 11, 2020 Dustin Johnson of the U.S. tees off on the 3rd as England’s Paul Casey takes a photograph in the background during a practice round REUTERS/Brian Snyder

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. stock futures climbed, pointing to a second week of gains as economically-sensitive sectors like energy and banks remain some of the week’s best performers. The U.S. has the highest coronavirus case tally in the world at 10.6 million and counted a record of 163,405 cases on Thursday. Officials and scientists warn the surge in cases is being driven by “casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe,” including dinner parties, game nights, sleepovers and carpools. 

New research from an international study explains COVID-19 patients with life-threatening illness have antibodies that disable key immune system proteins called interferons, which could reveal why certain patients get much sicker than others. Instances like a previous case of life-threatening pneumonia developed autoantibodies, which attack the body itself and were not found in nearly half of people with mild or asymptomatic infections. 

While Pfizer makes strides toward a vaccine approval, states are grappling with distribution plans, especially in rural areas. Incredibly difficult to ship and store, the vaccine is administered in two doses given 28 days apart and must be stored at temperatures of about minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit – about the temperature of the South Pole on a winter day. Health officials still don’t know how to get the ultracold doses to critical populations living far from cities, and whether smaller towns can administer that many doses quickly or maintain the ultracold temperatures. 

China’s two biggest vaccine companies have already begun inoculating hundreds of thousands of mostly state workers in a bid to get a head start in the race to develop the first viable coronavirus vaccine. However, some are concerned the vaccinations will give people who’ve had them a sense of invincibility that is not warranted. 

Roughly 80% of Texas county jail inmates who have died after contracting the coronavirus were in pre-trial detention and had not been convicted of any crimes, a new report shows. Texas has surpassed 1 million coronavirus cases and more people have contracted the coronavirus in Texas prisons than any other prison system. 

Between March and May, prison populations dropped an average of 8% and jail populations decreased by about 30%. However, the American Civil Liberties Union has filed more than 50 cases aimed at freeing people from prisons, jails and immigration detention centers with little success largely because a 1996 law limits inmates’ ability to sue. 

Cigarette sales in the U.S. have not been as sharp as expected, despite the World Health Organization finding a “statistically significant association between smoking status and primary endpoints of admission to Intensive Care Unit” in COVID-19 patients. Some have found their vice in bingeing, ghosting, doomscrolling and impulse shopping, while others have turned to smoking in an effort to break up the monotony of the day during quarantine. Turkey recently announced a ban on smoking in public spaces in an effort to prevent further spread of the virus. The country reported a spike of nearly 2,693 cases on Wednesday. 

Measures to weather the coronavirus are transforming dive bars – establishments typically beloved for their dankness – by bringing them to light. Many have moved their bar stools and high-top tables outside, a stark contrast to the usual dark, poorly-ventilated bars, and in some instances, the once sticky tabletops are now being sanitized by UV-C lights. 

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

These masks change color when you’re wearing them correctly – Fast Company – 11/13/2020
The science shows that face masks are a key tool in mitigating the COVID crisis. But their effectiveness depends in part on how well they fit, and it can be hard to tell if you have done it right when you put it on. A new mask helps you know, by using sensors that send data to a smartphone app that change the color of heat-sensitive dots when the mask is properly positioned.

How can we avoid more lockdowns? – Qrius – 11/13/2020
Many countries are still trying to contain dangerous epidemics, and several have had to implement further economically damaging lockdowns. But why is the virus still spreading after months of the basic public health message of hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing?

How The 1918 Pandemic Haunted My Family For Generations – WBUR – 11/13/2020
In 1918, between 40,000 and 50,000 people lived in Chelsea, a city of two square miles. The virus, brought by sailors to a ship docked in Boston Harbor, then to the Chelsea Naval Hospital, had free rein in the city of immigrants, of the working poor. They were crammed into those triple-decker buildings close enough to shimmy up, back against one building and feet on the other, as my sister and her friends would do decades later.

Vaccines on the horizon, but ‘normal’ is still far off for colleges – Inside Higher Ed – 11/13/2020
Although an available vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, appears closer on the horizon now than it did last spring, medical and public health experts say it may not be an easy fix for the problems facing colleges and universities. Additionally, whether colleges and universities will be able to inoculate their student bodies themselves is still unclear.

The enormous privilege of choosing to travel during a pandemic – Quartz – 11/13/2020
The holidays are going to look very different this year. As the US approaches the Thanksgiving holiday at the end of November, and the world anticipates a swirl of end-of-year celebrations, Covid-19 cases are reaching an all-time high.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

CBS Evening News @CBSEveningNews 13 Nov ONE-BLOCK PARADE: This year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will look a lot different due to coronavirus. Balloons and floats will forego the long trek through the city and parade for just one block, and without a live audience.There will also be pre-taped performances.

Block Club Chicago @BlockClubCHI 12 Nov Chicagoans should cancel their Thanksgiving plans now to slow the deadly coronavirus surge, city officials pleaded Thursday.

The News with Shepard Smith @thenewsoncnbc 12 Nov 50 million people are expected to travel for Thanksgiving this year — that’s down about 10% from last year. As coronavirus cases surge, the CDC reports that staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others.

Eric Feigl-Ding @DrEricDing 12 Nov BREAKING—Our entire country, from coronavirus pandemic. Another new all-time record 150,000 cases today. Thanksgiving holidays are coming w/ risky indoor gatherings. Try to keep outdoors. But if you must indoors—you must mask!! Premium masks if possible. #COVID19 is airborne.

CNN @CNN 12 Nov Planning to visit or host family for Thanksgiving? If you want to avoid passing coronavirus on to them, you need to quarantine for 14 days — and that starts today

CONTENT FACTS

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