WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Stock futures edged higher Tuesday, pointing to muted gains as tech shares steadied. Investors largely expect stocks to rally this year as the vaccine rollouts and new government spending aid in an economic recovery. Following the violent rioting at the U.S. Capitol last week, a second lawmaker tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering in place with lawmakers who refused to wear masks.
As coronavirus continues to surge across the country, what is believed to be the first known case among primates occurred at a San Diego zoo. Several gorillas tested positive for COVID-19, likely contracting the virus from a member of the park’s wildlife care team.
Moderna said immunity from its vaccine should last at least a year. The drugmaker said it expects to deliver between 600 million doses and 1 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021 and forecasts vaccine-related sales of $11.7 billion for the year. States across the U.S. are opening COVID-19 vaccine “megasites” at stadiums, fairgrounds and convention centers in an effort to ramp up distribution of the shots. Nearly 9 million people – less than 3% of the U.S. population – had received the first dose of the vaccine as of Monday.
Mathematicians are playing a crucial role in figuring out the best strategy for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. They are currently trying to help public health officials decide if it makes sense to use a single dose of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine to extend the limited supply, even though the vaccine has only been tested using a two-dose regimen.
The Trump administration is moving forward with three back-to-back executions this week, despite two of the condemned prisoners being sick with COVID-19. Regardless of the outstanding legal obstacles in all three cases, the executions remain on the calendar, preceded by 10 executions that have been carried out since July. Some critics say the unprecedented body count is exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened countless people connected to the executions, including defense attorneys and lawyers.
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell more than 10% in 2020, marking the largest drop in emissions in the post-World War II era. The economic fallout from the coronavirus resulted in a sharp drop as big emitting sectors like transportation, power and industry were hit. The drop means the U.S. would outperform its pledge made under the Copenhagen climate accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
COVID-19 vaccines, which must often be stored at well-below freezing temperatures, are finding makeshift homes as governments figure out cold-chain logistics. The Philippines is preparing cold storage for vaccines, with the government telling industry groups with facilities for storing meat and fish to be ready to help in keeping the shots. In the U.S., Dippin’ Dots, a company that manufactures pelletized ice cream, also operates freezers that get as cold as -122 F. The company has received inquiries about using their facilities to store doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Colleges spent millions on COVID-19 expenses this fall, even as sources of income shrank, data show – Inside Higher Ed. – 1/12/2021
Half of the APLU respondents lost between $1.1 million and $13.5 million in tuition and fees revenue this fall when compared to previous fall numbers. Room and board declines were much higher: 50 percent of respondents lost between $4.3 million and $28 million in room and board revenue compared to last fall, according to the survey data.
Poor gut health connected to severe COVID-19, new review shows – EurekAlert! – 1/12/2021
Many recent studies have found reduced bacterial diversity in gut samples collected from COVID-19 patients, compared to samples from healthy people. The disease has also been linked to a depletion of beneficial bacterial species – and the enrichment of pathogenic ones. A similar imbalance has been associated with influenza A infection, though the 2 viruses differ in how they change the overall microbial composition.
Now Yelp’s users get to report on COVID-19 safety measures – Fast Company – 1/12/2021
Confronting these issues involves Yelp inserting itself into inherently touchy territory. And if a business’s COVID-19 compliance report card is iffy, it may be more upset with the company than with the users who provided the data behind the scores.
How the pandemic will shape the workplace trends of 2021 – World Economic Forum – 1/12/2021
Remote workers, grateful to still have jobs, also reported a gnawing sense of survivors’ guilt. Overwork was one way of expressing this guilt. Many felt working extra hours might secure their job. In April 2020, I joined other academics researching work-life balance on a project called eWorkLife. The research data revealed increases in working hours when it wasn’t obvious when the working day ended.
Delaying second COVID-19 vaccine doses will make supplies last longer but comes with risks – The Conversation – 1/11/2021
Although evolution of vaccine resistance is considered very rare because of effective and rigorously developed vaccines, mathematical modeling suggests that a resistant virus can readily arise if immune response is too weak to destroy all the viruses in the host. Rushed and ineffective vaccines can produce antibodies that fail to recognize and bind viruses poorly, which can do more harm than good.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
USA TODAY @USATODAY 11 Jan Bars in Tuscaloosa had lines of people packed together — with scarce face masks — before the College Football Playoff championship.
Oskar Garcia @oskargarcia 12 Jan The Tuscaloosa mayor said last week the city was in as bad a spot with the coronavirus as ever: “When your hospital has four available I.C.U. rooms left, that’s as serious as it gets.” @Gillian_Brassil
Dan Wolken @DanWolken 11 Jan To understand if the college football season was worth it, you can’t just see it through the eyes of Alabama and Ohio State. It’s far more complicated than that via @usatoday
Zora Suleman @ZoraSuleman 12 Jan Alabama wins national title 52-24 over Ohio State, the game was held at the Hard Rock stadium in Florida in front of around 15,000 it has a capacity of around 65,000 – so fans cld socially distance. Back home in Alabama it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a #coronavirus spike
Jerome Adams @JeromeAdamsMD 12 Jan How can you be a team player and help 🇺🇸 win the fight against #COVID19? Take preventive actions and get your vaccination as soon as it’s offered! Together we can beat #coronavirus. #NationalChampionship
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