WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
U.S. stock futures climbed Tuesday, signaling that major indexes could notch record highs in their first trading session after the Presidents Day holiday. Frigid temperatures across the country have injected new momentum into the rally in energy markets – natural-gas futures rose 6.5%. Vaccine distribution sites in states and cities have been slowing down due to the swath of winter storms that have left more than a third of the continental U.S. with below-zero temperatures.
Facing allegations that the state under-reported the number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that everything reported accurate, albeit delayed. Cuomo admitted the lack of transparency created a void filled with skepticism, cynicism and conspiracy theories, but stopped short of a full apology. ProPublica published a story Feb. 12 that detailed how hundreds of COVID-19 deaths among New York’s nursing home residents still had not been formally acknowledged by Cuomo’s administration.
AARP found that nursing home deaths are continuing to surge across the country. Data showed roughly 1 in 51 residents died from coronavirus over the four-week period from Dec. 21 to Jan. 17, with a total of 19,299 deaths reported.
Peru has joined developing nations from North Africa to the Andes in counting on China for help with the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines developed in China hold the solution to a massive problem: How to inoculate populations after bigger and richer nations have pushed them to the back of the line for the more reliable vaccines developed in the West. Zimbabwe received its first 200,000 coronavirus vaccines, donated by the Chinese government. The donation is one of China’s first shipments of vaccines to Africa after deliveries to Egypt and Equatorial Guinea.
Some small European governments have turned to China for vaccines after hiccups in the procurement of Western vaccines – a trend that could increase China’s influence in the region as it campaigns itself as a reliable ally in fighting the coronavirus.
Many people who have filed workers’ compensation claims following COVID-19 infections are being denied. Rejected claims from office employees, front-line workers and airline staff suggest it’s difficult to prove where infection occurred and that returning to the workplace prior to widespread vaccination could present more issues.
A tiny, poor nation with less than 350 physicians for a population of around 760,000 saw its very first coronavirus-related death in January amid a world where millions of lives have been lost. In early January 2020, Bhutan was moving swiftly and astutely, its actions “firmly rooted in science.” One local journalist said the very closeness that sometimes elicited “small society syndrome” was what kept the country together – and some critics say there’s a lesson to be learned for more affluent nations.
How the winter surge changed COVID disparities – Axios – 2/16/2021
The Midwest has a higher white population than regions hit earlier on in the pandemic, particularly the South and the Sunbelt. For the first time during the pandemic, counties with the highest white populations saw the most deaths, according to an analysis done by Jorge Caballero, a clinical instructor of anesthesia at the Stanford School of Medicine.
During Covid-19 pandemic, overdose deaths reached new heights – STAT – 2/16/2021
Overdose deaths had fallen in 2018 for the first time in years. But the spread of fentanyl began to erode those gains, and now the pandemic has severely undercut efforts to control the opioid epidemic; with public health officials focused so heavily on the coronavirus, suffering and death due to substance abuse has largely fallen off the radar.
What are the implications of countries like Tanzania not vaccinating against Covid-19? – Quartz Africa – 2/16/2021
Even those who live in areas where the population has already been vaccinated would not be totally protected against the virus if the virus mutated elsewhere. With the interconnectedness of countries and regions around the world, no single population lives in total seclusion. No particular population is safe unless all populations are safe.
10 words and phrases to stop saying in 2021 – Fast Company – 2/16/2021
When you choose words such as “should,” you suggest an obligation or burden, says Short. “We usually say this to ourselves,” she says. “For example, ‘I should do this.’ ‘Have to’ is similar. Instead, use the phrase ‘I get to.’ It comes from a place of gratitude for the effort and moves away from the burden.”
The coronavirus is here to stay — here’s what that means – Nature – 2/16/2021
In January, Nature asked more than 100 immunologists, infectious-disease researchers and virologists working on the coronavirus whether it could be eradicated. Almost 90% of respondents think that the coronavirus will become endemic — meaning that it will continue to circulate in pockets of the global population for years to come.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Carissa Lawson @CarissaLawson 16 Feb *7* new #coronavirus variants?
Stefanie Iris Weiss @EcoSexuality 15 Feb @GovRonDeSantis The UK variant, 70 percent more deadly and more transmissible, is spreading like wildfire around Florida, with more than double the cases of any other state, and yet you refuse to help counties control it with the best tool they have: masking.
Men’s Health @MensHealthAU 16 Feb A breakdown of what the hell the Aussie coronavirus strain is
Cianna Reeves @ciannareevestv 15 Feb BREAKING: The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed the first case of a COVID-19 variant strain in a Mississippi resident.
MIT Technology Review @techreview 16 Feb The toilet flushes of millions of people can track the rise of dangerous new strains of the covid-19 virus.
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