Municipal health workers travel on a boat along the Solimoes river banks, where Ribeirinhos (river dwellers) live, to administer the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine for the coronavirus, in Manacapuru, Amazonas state, Brazil, February 1.


The S&P is poised to have its best week since November, thanks to investors’ bets on the latest coronavirus relief package boosting the economy. Global shares rose for a fifth day to near-record highs as the U.S. dollar and oil topped recent milestones. The U.S. economy added 49,000 new jobs in January, signaling an ongoing fragile labor market despite a small rebound from December.

Markets were bolstered by the Senate narrowly passing President Joe Biden’s relief package 51-50, marking Vice President Kamala Harris’ first tie-breaking vote. The bill will return to the House for another vote Friday for representatives to agree on the Senate’s language. Democrats will craft a final bill that can pass without Republican support, though the White House and moderate Democrats say they want the final product to be bipartisan. 

New U.S. coronavirus cases dropped nearly 50% since the national average peaked Jan. 8. However, cases are still roughly double the number of cases at the peak of Summer’s second wave. Daily deaths in the U.S. remain over 3,000 a day, pushing the total death count over 450,000 Thursday.

Johnson & Johnson filed for emergency use authorization approval for their single-dose vaccine. Unlike Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines, the 66% effective Johnson & Johnson vaccine can be stored for up to three months at 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to standard vaccine distribution channels. The FDA announced plans to meet at the end of February to review the request. 

Black food service workers earned fewer tips and faced more retaliation when enforcing social distancing and mask rules than their white counterparts, according to a new report. Black workers in general have fared worse during the pandemic-induced recession, seeing an unemployment rate of nearly 10%. Nearly nine in 10 black tipped workers saw a decline in tips by 50% or more, compared to nearly 80% of workers overall.

With more than 12 million women losing jobs during the pandemic and just over 2 million leaving the workforce altogether, women are fighting for a basic income for mothers. “The Marshall Plan for Moms” calls for a $2,400-a-month stipend for women to compensate for unpaid, unseen labor. The proposal also outlines policies around family leave, increased funding for childcare and pay equity.

Seed companies are struggling to keep up with demand as gardeners plan their spring plots. Demand skyrocketed in recent weeks as gardeners plot their landscapes, leaving some companies to restrict orders until supply can stabilize. COVID-19 gardens grew in popularity in 2020 as more consumers worked from home and wanted to grow their own food.

A California Nurse is carrying on the family tradition of caring for patients during a pandemic. Sigrid Stokes was inspired by her mother’s work in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic at just 14 years old, leading Stokes to become a nurse and administer vaccines a century later.


AstraZeneca’s vaccine is poised to become the leader in most of the world – Quartz – 2/5/2021
Although AstraZeneca’s vaccine has lower stated efficacy than Pfizer or Moderna’s, there are several reasons why it’ll play such a major role in the eventual end of the pandemic. The vaccine is cheaper to produce and purchase—at $4 a dose, compared to about $20 per dose for Pfizer and $10 to $50 for Modena. And, just as crucially, it’s easier to transport and deliver, as it doesn’t have the cold-storage requirements of the mRNA vaccines.

Companies May Regret Jumping On The Remote Work Bandwagon – Forbes – 2/4/2021
To what extent, for example, were they spurred by the impact of the shift to remote work and how much by the impact of operating in an economic crisis? Many workers may have performed well in 2020 not because they worked from home but because the sense of urgency around completing tasks was elevated by many companies’ dire financial conditions.

Seeking human kindness: why you’ll need to invest in trust to survive the future – The Drum – 2/5/2021
Brands can no longer afford to be silent on issues of purpose. To be relevant, we have to take a stance. And to be liked, we have to tell the truth. And the truth is not negotiable, and it can never be faked (and trust me, many have tried). Above all, it has to be true. From brand to business strategy, everything has to align behind a higher purpose.

How Does a City Host a Super Bowl in a Pandemic? – New York Times – 2/5/2021
“Thank God it’s in Tampa,” Kim Catalone, 51, declared on Wednesday night as she watched a Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game with a friend at the Pint and Brew bar downtown. “Thank you, Gov. Ron DeSantis, for having Florida open to tourism and allowing such a wonderful experience to happen.”

How Covid could be the ‘long overdue’ shake-up needed by the aid sector – The Guardian – 2/5/2021
This year one in every 33 people across the world will need humanitarian assistance. That is a rise of 40% from last year, according to the UN. More than half of the countries requiring aid to help deal with the coronavirus pandemic are already in protracted crises, coping with conflict or natural disasters.


Lisa McCormick (She’s one of Us!) @LisaMcCormickNJ 4 Feb The coronavirus pandemic is getting worse not better, our economy faces lows unseen since the Great Depression, and our recovery is the most unequal on record – especially for Black and Latino Americans. Our country desperately needs relief.

1Hood @1hood 4 Feb A national eviction moratorium isn’t enough. To address the coronavirus housing crisis, the federal government must arm cities with good data about where tenants are being evicted via @citylab

DealBook @dealbook 5 Feb Layoffs have shifted from temporary to permanent as the pandemic has dragged on, @jeannasmialek writes. Everything from conference centers and hotels to tollbooths are downsized or streamlined.

SeattlePI @seattlepi 4 Feb ICYMI: Mobile coronavirus vaccination teams in Seattle will begin vaccinating people living in congregate permanent supportive housing and affordable housing buildings this week.

Joe Morelle @RepJoeMorelle 4 Feb We need decisive action to curb the deep, long-term effects of COVID-19. By raising the minimum wage and providing direct payments, we can help ensure families across the country emerge more secure, strengthen our economy, and revitalize our workforce.


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