WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Stock futures edged higher, suggesting that major benchmarks may extend their rally after closing at records the previous day. The highs are likely fueled by bets that fiscal aid will speed up a vaccine-led recovery in the economy.
Skepticism surrounding coronavirus vaccines is lessening, according to fresh data. The portion of people saying they are now likely or certain to take the vaccine has grown from 50% this summer to more than 60% and in one poll 73%. These figures approach what some public health experts say would be sufficient for herd immunity. The support likely stems from high efficacy rates in trials and images of real people getting the shot.
Two staffers in every House member and senator’s personal offices are now eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, according to Congress’s attending physician. House members and senators have begun receiving the first of two coronavirus vaccine shots earlier this month. Kentucky’s agricultural commissioner declined an offer to be vaccinated, saying that politicians shouldn’t “leapfrog” in front of others. Instead, Ryan Quarles said he would rather his early access vaccine be given to a high-risk individual.
In Chicago, more than 20,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered to health care workers, but data shows those in white communities were more likely to get their vaccinations than workers from the South and West sides. One doctor attributes the discrepancy to mistrust, even among those in the healthcare field. The fewest vaccinations in the city remained in neighborhoods with lower-income levels and the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the city.
The first coronavirus epicenter in the U.S. – a nursing home in Kirkland, Wash. – has begun receiving the vaccine. The state department of health reported 46 people linked to the nursing home died of coronavirus.
California’s prison system has seen a system-wide rise in COVID-19 infections recently, parallelling the surge in coronavirus cases across the state. Nearly 9,500 people in the state’s prisons have COVID-19, sparking renewed calls for the early release of thousands of prisoners. There have been outbreaks at more than 850 jails and prisons in the U.S., putting many of the over 2 million people incarcerated at risk of infection.
Sports, which once served as a welcome distraction through pain or trauma, have merged with bigger problems as coronavirus affected athletes the same as everyone else. Even as games returned, television ratings were down almost across the board. Dan Patrick, the host of a nationwide radio program, said he has never been so exhausted, after finishing a segment filled with not just sports, but health, safety and science. Patrick hopes as things return to normalcy, the industry can evaluate how it can evolve.
Why the WHO is urging vaccinated travelers to take coronavirus precautions – Axios – 12/29/2020
Swaminathan was asked whether international travel without quarantine would be possible after mass coronavirus vaccinations. “I don’t believe we have the evidence on any of the vaccines to be confident that it’s going to prevent people from actually getting the infection and therefore being able to pass it on,” she said.
Retailing’s Tumultuous Year Began Before the Pandemic – New York Times – 12/29/2020
“It felt like I had a gun pointed at me,” he said. “The folks I always dealt with at Nordstrom were always very transparent, and I can only surmise that they were looking at how to position themselves to get through this period — and I was collateral damage.”
How Covid-19 Changed the Housing Conversation in 2020 – Next City – 12/29/2020
In June, as Next City reported, the common council in Ithaca, New York, “approved a resolution requesting ‘that the New York State Department of Health authorize the Mayor to forgive via executive order three months of all residential and small-business rent payments and additional fees which are due through June 2020.’”
In a Pandemic, Medical Illustrators Made Science Accessible – Wired – 12/29/2020
Veronica Falconieri, an illustrator who does work for companies like Genentech and researchers at Oxford University, took a different approach when designing images for Scientific American. She envisioned the virus’s eponymous spiky crown as a fiery orange, reminiscent of the corona around the sun. “That was mostly just an artistic decision,” she says.
Why getting COVID-19 vaccines to rural Americans is harder than it looks, and how to lift the barriers – The Conversation – 12/28/2020
The current vaccines’ cold storage requirements and shipping rules mean many rural hospitals can’t serve as vaccination distribution hubs. That can leave rural residents – about 20% of the U.S. population in all – traveling long distances, if they’re able to travel at all.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Evarist Chahali @Chahali 29 Dec NHS boss warns ‘we’re back in eye of storm’ as number of hospital patients tops first peak
4 News Now @kxly4news 29 Dec At one Los Angeles hospital there are five tents outside, one serving as a waiting room. So many patients are coming into Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital some are being put in the gift shop, a chapel or a conference room.
Melissa Pamer @mpamer 28 Dec Rosary Castro-Olega, a retired nurse who came back to work during the pandemic and was killed by COVID-19, is remembered by her twin sister Rosalie, also a nurse. “Filipino by blood but Mexican by birthplace, because it’s East L.A,” Rosalie says
The Times @thetimes 29 Dec Record numbers of children and young people are being admitted to hospital with eating disorders as they struggle to cope with Covid-19 lockdowns
The Virginian-Pilot @virginianpilot 29 Dec Columnist Lee Belote almost finished 2020 without getting COVID-19. And then it happened.”I had a false sense of security and a misguided teenage sense of invincibility,” she writes, explaining she always wore her mask and washed her hands.
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