“The march of the coronavirus across America” The Economist, January 27, 2021 / Image: The Economist

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Federal health officials are calling for students’ return to classrooms, citing evidence that schools do not spark the same kinds of outbreaks that have been seen in nursing homes or factory floors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in-person instruction can be carried out safely as long as students and teachers wear masks and socially distance, even as January marks the most deadly month in U.S. battle against the coronavirus. The CDC cited numerous benefits of in-person schooling, arguing that students’ educational and developmental needs should take priority. 

Teachers unions across the nation are protesting a return to the classroom without first receiving the vaccine or more evidence that in-person schooling is safe. Chicago Public Schools told parents to keep their students home on Wednesday, the first day students were slated to return to the classroom, after the district reached an impasse with the Chicago Teachers Union over reopening conditions.

The U.S. will buy 200 million more doses of the coronavirus vaccines in an effort to speed up inoculation efforts, the Biden administration announced. The supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is expected to be available by the end of the summer and would be enough for 300 million Americans. The administration is also moving to temporarily speed up shipments to about 10 million doses a week. 

Videos on Facebook showing people who report disturbing side effects from the vaccines are gaining traction, reaching millions of views before fact-checkers can keep up. Lacking context or evidence that their claims are true, the videos have been shared by numerous conspiracy groups on the social media site. 

Philadelphia’s vaccination campaign is facing criticism after the city contracted a start-up to distribute the vaccines, resulting in chaos and concerning allegations that prosecutors say they are pursuing. Headed by a 22-year-old CEO and other leaders with minimal healthcare experience, the city cut ties with Philly Fighting COVID after issues arose over its data privacy policy, its sudden shift to for-profit status, and its failure to maintain testing sites. The instance underscores mounting allegations across the nation of vaccine misuse, including the arrest of an emergency worker in Florida in connection with the theft of coronavirus vaccine doses, just days after he was named the county’s “paramedic of the year.” 

Some residents of the northern regions of China were subjected to a new method for coronavirus testing that uses anal swabs. The method, which involves the insertion of a saline-soaked cotton swab into the anus, could be more accurate because traces of the virus can be found for a longer period of time in the anus, Chinese health officials say.

Global COVID-19 cases have surpassed 100 million as the European Union threatens to restrict the export of vaccines following growing tensions with drugmaker AstraZeneca. British lawmakers responded with the accusation that the E.U.’s threats amount to a blackmail campaign, escalating diplomatic tensions.

Survivors of Auschwitz are marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a virtual observance on Wednesday marking numerous warnings about the rise of hatred. Pope Francis cautioned listeners that warped ideologies can pave the way to the destruction of people and humanity, as was the case for 6 million European Jews and millions of others during the Holocaust.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

How to keep your professional network active during the pandemic – Fast Company – 1/27/2021
And while it might seem like social distancing, lack of professional events, and remote work make networking harder now, you might be surprised, says career coach Eliana Goldstein. “I think it’s one of the best times to network,” she says. People tend to have more flexibility in their schedules, and it’s easier to schedule a 15-minute phone call or video chat versus the pressure that they might feel to meet up for coffee or lunch if the pandemic wasn’t a factor.

Luck, foresight and science: How an unheralded team developed a COVID-19 vaccine in record time – USA Today – 1/26/2021
The liquid about to go into Haller’s arm was the culmination of years of research by a handful of scientists who, by virtue of incredible luck and incredible foresight, were prepared for one virus more than almost any other: a coronavirus. Had this virus come 10 years earlier – or even five – science would not have been ready.

How To Break The Covid-19 Groundhog Day Cycle – Forbes – 1/27/2021
Thankfully, we are not in a mystical time loop — but the Covid-19 lockdowns have had the effect of making it feel as though time was standing still. Why is that? It was Aristotle who concluded that time is the measurement of change. Many of us have not had the opportunity to experience or enact significant change during lockdown; hence, the feeling of time stretching on to create one endless day.

Seven ways to build a child’s resilience during the pandemic (and long after it ends) – The Washington Post – 1/26/2021
For many children across the United States, the pandemic is the first time they’ve had to deal with a disruption of this scale, and some are faring better than others. […] Although caregivers can’t always alter children’s circumstances or shield them from discomfort, they can offer a more enduring gift: tools to manage adversity.

How Much Did COVID-19 Affect The 2020 Election? – FiveThirtyEight – 1/27/2021
Enough time has passed since the 2020 presidential election that we can now ask: What effect did COVID-19, arguably the biggest event of the year — of the century, even — have on the election outcome? The answer to this question probably seems straightforward considering how abysmally Americans thought then-President Trump handled the pandemic. But the evidence we have points in many directions.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Julie Morgan @JulieMorganLAB 27 Jan Today on Holocaust Memorial Day we remember the victims of this most terrible event in European history. In previous years I’ve organised a vigil at the Senedd, but this year I hope to join the ceremony at 7pm which is open to all #LightTheDarkness

Caryn Lieberman @caryn_lieberman 27 Jan ‘It’s not as bad’: #Holocaust survivor compares the pandemic lockdown to one that was far worse on #HolocaustRemembranceDay and shares his message about a rise in #Antisemitism

Michael Dickson @michaeldickson 27 Jan Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert recovers from #Covid at 97: ‘I chose life and said “I can not give up, I have to carry on to fight”. That is what I promised myself, I would tell the world what really happened and I kept my promise.’ #HolocaustRemembranceDay

HOPE not hate @hopenothate 27 Jan “Some things are true. Some things happened. When it comes to the Holocaust, there is no room for ‘alternative facts’ or manufactured theories.” Read @JoeMulhall_ on how Coronavirus conspiracies are fast tracking Holocaust denial. #HolocaustMemorialDay

Daire Keogh @DaireKeogh 27 Jan The Holocaust began with words which demonized ‘the other’ and ended with the systematic massacre of 6 million Jews and millions of other ‘outsiders’ Today’s memorial is a reminder of why education must nurture #Empathy #HolocaustRemembranceDay

CONTENT FACTS

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