WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Every American should have access to a coronavirus vaccine by the second quarter of 2021, a top U.S. health official told media outlets over the weekend. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer could be available “within days” after its approval, suggesting that could be by the end of the week. Moncef Slaoui, the head of the White House’s vaccine development program, added that as many as 24 million people could receive the vaccine by mid-January. Residents of long-term care facilities and health workers would be first in line to receive the vaccination. To prepare for quick administration, CVS Health is pleading with customers to help the company find enough pharmacists, nurses and pharmacy technicians.
Experts say they expect Americans’ attitudes about receiving a coronavirus vaccine to shift from hesitancy to urgency as it becomes more available. While nearly half of the adults surveyed in recent months said they do not intend to be inoculated, public health experts say that reports of effective vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna and an emphasis on science-based solutions will likely reverse that uncertainty.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. hit another record high on Sunday at 101,487 patients in U.S. hospitals. Following a record 30,000 new cases in the state, California imposed its strictest lockdown order yet, banning private gatherings of any size and shuttering all but critical infrastructure and retail operations.
Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal attorney and the former mayor of New York City, is in the hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. Giuliani was admitted to Georgetown University Medical Center on Sunday and tweeted his appreciation for prayers and well wishes later in the day.
U.S. lawmakers are set to release a $908 million relief bill on Monday attached to a larger government spending bill. The proposed package would provide about $300 in additional federal weekly unemployment benefits but not another round of $1,200 stimulus checks for most Americans.
The U.K. will roll out its COVID-19 vaccine to the public on Tuesday. Doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech shots, which gained emergency approval from regulators last week, will first be administered to frontline health workers, care home workers and people over 80 years old. The rollout comes as Brexit trade talks sputter among negotiators with the UK and the European Union. Monday marks about 48 hours before time runs out to reach an agreement and avoid severe economic disruption before the year’s end.
Dramas, online monologues and TV plays based on the coronavirus pandemic continue to emerge in popular culture as the public wrestles with its unique challenges. One play, titled “The Battle of Corona V,” mixes surrealism and satire to explore what audience members have been feeling up to a new juncture in the pandemic: when an end is in sight.
How to prepare your inbox and home office for a fresh start in 2021 – Fast Company – 12/7/2020
To optimize your efficiency and effectiveness in your home “office,” set up your productivity zones. To determine your zones, identify the primary activities in your job. Then determine the optimal conditions for you to complete each activity. And, finally, select the place or space in your home or home office that will best support each activity.
The secrets of couples thriving right now in the pandemic – CNN – 12/7/2020
“In conjunction with cutting out our previous vices and introducing a new obsession, I think it’s made our bond much stronger and our love much deeper,” Lane said. “It’s made me realize that I want him as my long-term partner even more so because we can get through really stressful experiences and feel great afterwards.”
WHO looks at giving Covid-19 to healthy people to speed up vaccine trials – The Guardian – 12/7/2020
The World Health Organization is holding discussions on Monday about the feasibility of trials in which healthy young volunteers are deliberately infected with coronavirus to hasten vaccine development – amid questions over whether they should go ahead given the promising data from the frontrunner vaccine candidates.
The bubble kept the NBA safe from the coronavirus. The real world will be much tougher. – Washington Post – 12/7/2020
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association took many lessons from their bubble experiment at Disney World this summer, but the most important was a humbling admission: There is no perfect solution to the coronavirus pandemic for an American professional sports league.
Research reveals how airflow inside a car may affect COVID-19 transmission risk – ScienceDaily – 12/7/2020
The study, by a team of Brown University researchers, used computer models to simulate the airflow inside a compact car with various combinations of windows open or closed. The simulations showed that opening windows — the more windows the better — created airflow patterns that dramatically reduced the concentration of airborne particles exchanged between a driver and a single passenger.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
The Washington Post @washingtonpost 6 Dec Your firepit can be a respite during this coronavirus winter. Here’s how to use it safely.
Jim Roberts @nycjim 6 Dec Dr. Deborah Birx on the winter #coronavirus surge: “This is not just the worst public health event. This is the worst event that this country will face, not just from a public health side.”
TIME @TIME 6 Dec Is there any safe way to socialize inside this winter?
Thangam Debbonaire @ThangamMP 7 Dec This winter, Covid-19 has made rough sleeping more desperate than ever. Shelters have less space because of social distancing and homeless services are feeling the pinch.Sign our petition
Mental Health Fdn @mentalhealth 7 Dec We may have new challenges – the dark nights, the prospect of a different kind of Christmas etc. – but we also have the valuable lessons we learned during lockdown & a much greater understanding of the virus and how it can be treated. Read more
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