“Vaccines alone will not halt the raging U.S. pandemic, modeling shows.” – The New York Times / Source: The New York Times

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stock futures edged higher after major indexes hit records a day earlier and investors prepared for blue-chip earnings. Oil prices fell as hopes of rapid approval of a new U.S. economic stimulus weakened and mounting new coronavirus cases raised questions over the pace of any recovery.

The global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases climbed to 99.8 million on Tuesday as Minnesota officials announced Monday they have identified a person infected with a highly transmissible variant of the coronavirus that has been spreading in recent weeks in Brazil, marking the first report of the variant in the U.S.

As reports emerge across the country of health facilities discarding unused or spoiled COVID-19 vaccines, some state governments are failing to track the wastage, as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts say waste reporting is essential during a vaccination campaign to encourage the careful handling of viable doses and to identify potential problems in the shipping and cold storage operations. One county in Washington state has not wasted a single vaccine dose, attributing the feat to experience in triaging and managing disasters, like wildfires. A new survey found a higher interest in getting vaccinated, with now half of the respondents saying they want to take the vaccine as soon as they can get it, however just 12% said they had made any action to get the vaccine, like make an appointment or sign up.

The particulars of COVID-19 vaccine storage has left some health care workers with an unforeseen ethical dilemma – allow a lottery of non-priority patients to jump the vaccination line, or let unused and expiring doses go to waste. New York recently expanded its vaccine pool by 3.2 million people after a lack of eligible candidates forced workers to toss spare doses. 

Immigrants have been identified as some of the most difficult people to reach during America’s vaccination campaign due to factors like illegal status, language barriers and general hesitancy toward receiving a newly-approved shot. Latinx immigrants, in particular, make up a large portion of the workforce industries where they have a significant risk of exposure. In New Jersey, Hispanic people account for more than a quarter of the state’s coronavirus cases, despite only making up 18% of the population. Of the vaccination doses administered as of Friday, only 5% were to Hispanic or Latinx people. 

As more events are being held virtually, officials noted that sign language’s visibility has been boosted. Sign Language interpreters are featured during important announcements about the coronavirus and during major events like the Inauguration. The Biden administration is adding a sign language interpreter to its daily press briefings in an effort to be more inclusive and accessible. 

Rioters in the Netherlands attacked police and set cars and bikes on fire to protest a curfew introduced over the weekend – one of the toughest measures introduced by the Dutch government since the start of the pandemic. The curfew was in addition to existing lockdown rules, including widespread work-from-home orders, mask wearing and social distancing. 

In Mexico, officials decided not to impose “coercive” measures, meaning no curfews, arrests or fines. One coronavirus czar said Mexico had already lived through 70 years of authoritarian rule. The country’s official death toll from the coronavirus passed 150,000 Monday following a surge of infections in recent weeks. 

A network of libraries in Michigan surpassed one million checkouts of digital materials in 2020 and a New York library is reaching rural residents by circulating library materials through the mail, free of charge. The revived interest in these evolved tactics comes after the circulation of libraries’ physical materials fell from 6 million checkouts in 2019 to 4.4. Million in 2020.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

3 ways communication will change after the pandemic – Fast Company – 1/26/2021
Much has been written about how work has changed since the start of the pandemic. We’ve all read plenty about adjusting to virtual communication and how work hours have become undefined. Even the workweek has shifted (note that I’m writing this on a Saturday).

Universities have thrived despite past disruptions and could grow even stronger after COVID-19 – The Conversation – 1/26/2021
Universities are integral to public policy. Never before have institutions of higher education been so influential and powerful in the lives of families, communities and in the state. At the same time, universities have never faced the intense pressure they do at the moment.

Testing Requirement Is the Latest Curveball for the Travel Industry – The New York Times – 1/26/2021
Over the next several weeks, nearly every member of the Los Cabos tourism industry came together to create a testing plan that allows people heading to the United States — and that includes returning American citizens — to get a coronavirus test at almost every hotel in the area.

Why more countries need covid vaccines, not just the richest ones – MIT Technology Review – 1/26/2021
The global vaccine rollout is full of glitches, shortages, and problems, but not every country faces the same challenges. Evening out those inequalities to make sure poorer countries are included in the vaccination race isn’t just the ethical thing to do: it’s good for rich countries, too. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the entire global economy depends on poorer countries getting residents vaccinated.

Remote workers are flocking to Hawaii. But is that good for the islands? – The Guardian – 1/26/2021
The newfound freedoms of remote working have prompted a wave of people to flee the US mainland for the Hawaiian islands. While the total number of relocatees is unknown, signs point towards a major influx. Real estate agents say demand has reached a fever pitch.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Skip Rutherford @JLRIII 25 Jan Research cited by @washingtonpost concluded America’s economic collapse came before shutdowns were imposed. People voluntarily stayed home scared of coronavirus spread. In spite of some being “Ready for Business” mishandling the virus response cratered the economy.

Cassandra Vinograd @CassVinograd 26 Jan Moves by wealthy nations to buy up the supply of coronavirus vaccines could cost the global economy trillions of dollars in losses, according to a new study funded by the International Chamber of Commerce.

Paul Hannon @PaulHannon29 26 Jan The world economy is gearing up for a strong recovery from the coronavirus pandemic after shrinking considerably less than initially feared last year, the IMF said. But it warned that the outlook remains uncertain.

World Economic Forum @wef 25 Jan From COVID-19 to Brexit, this is how uncertainty effects the global economy #economics #uncertainty

Justin “Rabbit Hole J. Cole” Coleman @DemopJ 26 Jan “Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff has floated the idea of Germany suspending rules to prevent the government running up new debt for several years as Europe’s biggest economy digests the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

CONTENT FACTS

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