“Tracking covid-19 across the world” – “The Economist / Sources: Airfinity; Johns Hopkins University, CSSE; Our World In Data; United Nations; The Economist


New jobless claims rose to 744,000 last week, reversing a downward trend as other economic indicators improved. In an effort to ward off a debt crisis in the developing word, the G20 group of the world’s largest economies extended temporary debt relief for low-income countries enduring the economic uncertainty of the pandemic. Germany and France signalled support for a global minimum tax proposed by the U.S. that would help tackle tax avoidance after the pandemic.

Companies are planning to give their employees greater flexibility on when and where they do their jobs, according to a new U.K. survey, indicating work from home will likely remain after the pandemic. Real estate in many U.S. cities face a potential threat as office vacancies climb to their highest levels in decades. The impact of remote learning on working parents, especially working mothers, shifted how executives view benefits packages for their employees, leading to permanent changes for many.

The highly infectious variant of the coronavirus first identified in Britain became the most common source of new infections in the U.S., the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday. A recent Japanese study found the British  variant to be 1.32 times more infectious than the original virus. The U.S.’s daily rate of new cases rose over the last four weeks, with over 16,0000 currently confirmed cases stemming from the B.1.1.7 variant.

Brazil and India are breaking records in new cases and deaths and the two countries became the worst-hit hot spots. Brazil’s death daily toll passed 4,000 in a day for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, bringing the world’s second highest total death toll – behind the U.S. – to 337,000. India is in the throes of an emerging second wave, reaching the highest number of new cases in the country since October. Iran set a new infection rate record for the third day in a row as the country confronts a severe surge following the Persian New Year holiday.

While many historians doubt that new “Roaring ‘20s” will emerge following the end of the pandemic, everyday people are calling for an exuberant decade following a stressful pandemic year. But not all parties are raging just yet, as the Mexican piñata industry continues to struggle after a year of social distancing and lockdown orders. Some piñata artists are seeing an increased demand for coronavirus-inspired designs, a cathartic purchase for many buyers.


These organizers are fighting to make sure non-English speakers get vaccinated, too – Mic – 4/8/2021
“As of this week, the state’s phone pre-registration system now features an expanded phone menu with multiple languages for callers to choose at the beginning of the call. Options 2-6 (Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese) are said in that language. Option 8 is for other languages,” Aquino explained. “All but two counties in the state currently use the state’s centralized system.”

Why Students Are Logging In to Class From 7,000 Miles Away – New York Times – 4/8/2021
Others have temporarily left the country to care for sick relatives, and some have told principals and teachers that they sent their children abroad because they needed help with child care to continue working at jobs that cannot be done from home.

This calculator tells you how much your remote work is reducing your company’s emissions – Fast Company – 4/8/2021
Unsurprisingly, commutes do matter: In a 500-person office in Houston, for example, if almost everyone who normally drives alone to work suddenly begins working from home, workplace emissions could drop 58%, and the company’s total emissions might fall by 9%. But the details make a difference.

You don’t get an invite to these weddings unless you’re vaccinated – MIT Technology Review – 4/8/2021
The two couples—Niemer and Backstrom, Hutchinson and Burton—were lucky: They were able to use a connection to find a person on short notice at a relatively low cost to monitor their wedding. But for couples who don’t find such a monitor adequate nor have healthcare connections, “private covid concierge testing” is now a service you can buy in for your big day.

In the Covid-19 vaccine push, no one is speaking Gen Z’s language – STAT – 4/8/2021
“If I am being honest with you, I probably clicked those tags once back in April of last year and never clicked them again — it’s annoying,” Palau said. Palau isn’t alone — in interviews with more than half a dozen other young people around the country, nearly all said they weren’t opposed to vaccinations — they just couldn’t find information tailored to them.


SAM KESTENBAUM @skestenbaum 8 Apr “The coronavirus has made opportunists out of many people, like… those who cheated recipients out of their stimulus checks. Now scammers have latched onto the latest profit-making initiative: the little white cards that provide proof of shots.”

FoxNashville @FOXNashville 7 Apr TRACKING CRIME RATES: Homicide rates in many U.S. cities remained elevated through early 2021, a distressing trend that began before the coronavirus pandemic struck.

IRStaxsecurity @IRStaxsecurity 7 Apr Criminals have been working hard to trick you and steal your Economic Impact Payments. This third time around, #IRS urges you to stay alert #COVIDreliefIRS

CeFaan Kim @CeFaanKim 7 Apr Undercover NYPD makes first Hate Crime arrest in Chinatown. Cops say yesterday inside a nail salon 50-year-old Sharon Williams verbally harassed workers (“you brought coronavirus to this country”), physically threatened them… #StopAsianHate #StopAsianHateCrimes 1/3

Rolling Stone @RollingStone 8 Apr You do NOT need a Social Security number or insurance to get a free Covid vaccine and other common false barriers to look out for @propublica.


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