“AMERICA IS REOPENING. BUT HAVE WE FLATTENED THE CURVE?” – Johns Hopkins University of Medicine

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Weekly jobless claims fell last week to 712,000, beating economists’ expectations. Though the claims remain well below the pandemic peak of 7 million in March, the weekly totals continue to represent three times the pre-pandemic average. Stock futures were steady after the S&P 500 closed at another record and the Dow logged a small gain. More than 100,000 people are currently hospitalized across the U.S. with COVID-19 – never before had the number of hospitalized coronavirus patients surpassed 60,000. 

Evictions are tied to an increase in coronavirus cases and death, a newly published study shows. Forty-three states put in eviction moratoriums starting in March and April, though 27 of them ended in the spring and summer. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ordered a national stop to evictions, but it doesn’t cover everyone and is set to expire at the end of December. Advocates are pressing President-elect Joe Biden to sign a new national eviction moratorium on his first day in office. 

Dry ice could be the solution to storing the Pfizer vaccine without having to buy expensive freezers. Most common vaccines can be stored in temperatures akin to those found in regular refrigerators or freezers, but the Pfizer vaccine must be stored at negative 94 degrees Fahrenheit – a temperature that requires specialized freezers not available at many doctors’ offices. Freezers are still being sought after, much like ventilators were during the early months of the pandemic and producers are hoping they can meet the surge in demand. 

A French scientist was the first person to convert carbon dioxide into its solid form in 1835 and since then, it’s been used in factories of all kinds, from those that make shoes to those that make frozen waffles. On Broadway, at Halloween parties and in high-school auditoriums, dry ice has also been used to make theatrical “smoke.” 

It is estimated that there will need to be about 12 billion doses of the coronavirus vaccine globally to protect everyone. In the U.S., state governors will ultimately make the final decision on who will receive the first doses of the vaccine in the coming weeks, most likely based on recommendations from the CDC – healthcare workers and residents at long-term care facilities. Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush said they will take a coronavirus vaccine once one is available and may film it to build confidence about its safety. 

Some of the top dog and cat names of 2020 include coronavirus-related monikers, according to a pet insurance company. Since the pandemic’s genesis, people have been giving their pets names like Rona, Covi and Fauci.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

Misinformation on social media fuels vaccine hesitancy: a global study shows the link – The Conversation – 12/3/2020
We saw that in countries where social media is used to organise offline action, more people tend to believe that vaccinations are unsafe. We also found that foreign disinformation campaigns online are associated with both a drop in vaccination coverage over time and an increase in negative discussion of vaccines on social media.

Covid-19 Disbelief Saddles Health-Care Workers With Another Challenge – Wall Street Journal – 12/3/2020
“We see what is happening—and then to reconcile that with some of the disbelief that you run into is very hard,” Dr. Schulte said. “It’s a parallel universe.” Covid denial, as some health-care workers call it, can take forms ranging from a belief that Covid-19 is no more serious than a routine cold, or a belief that face masks aren’t effective at slowing the spread, to the idea that the pandemic is an elaborate hoax.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused a surge in demand for contactless payments, accelerating the shift from cash to digital options – CNBC – 12/3/2020
Millennials are the ones leading the charge toward a cashless future. A report from Experian in 2019 revealed that 1-in-10 millennials use their digital wallet for every purchase. Pew Research also found that about 34% of adults under the age of 50 make no purchases in a typical week using cash.

Everyone thinks COVID-19 destroyed the office. But that’s not the whole story – Fast Company – 12/3/2020
Nationally, demand for office space in October was down more than 56% compared to February, before the pandemic, according to data from VTS, a commercial real estate leasing and asset management platform. That’s up from the lowest point in May, when demand was 84% lower than before the pandemic.

Who Got Rescued? – New York Times – 12/3/2020
Ted’s Montana Grill, T.G.I. Friday’s and P.F. Chang’s were among those that each received the maximum of $10 million, after the industry successfully lobbied to make large chains eligible for aid aimed at small businesses.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

News 8 WROC @News_8 3 Dec The latest contact tracing data shows 70% of new cases come from homes and small gatherings.

NBC 7 San Diego @nbcsandiego 3 Dec A Staten Island bar that declared itself an “autonomous zone” and publicly went against New York’s COVID-19 restrictions has been shut down, and one of the owners arrested.

Andrea Catsimatidis @AJ_Cats_ 3 Dec The bar owner who opened his business, declaring it an “autonomous zone”, was just arrested. Welcome to NYC where you can get arrested for opening a business but not for looting one!

WALB News 10 @WALBNews10 3 Dec The tavern is in an area designated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an orange zone because of spiking COVID-19 rates and was not supposed to be serving customers indoors.

Donie O’Sullivan @donie 2 Dec Forget about the monolith. The ongoing drama with the bar declared an “autonomous zone” is the story to follow.

CONTENT FACTS

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