Travelers wearing protective face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reclaim their luggage at the airport in Denver, Colorado, U.S., November 24, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Countries with the wealthiest economies have received 40% of the world’s vaccinations so far, although they account for just 11% of the population. The U.S. now has 24% of the world’s vaccinations but makes up 4.3% of the population.

In Mississippi, one of the first states to open vaccine eligibility to all adults, tens of thousands of vaccine appointments are now open and unused every day. While the abundance of slots is good news for supply, health experts worry the unused appointments indicate a high number of people reluctant to get inoculated.

Cases of the COVID-19 variant first detected in Brazil are rising in the U.S., according to data from the Centers for Disease Control. The more contagious B.1.1.7 variant that originated in the United Kingdom now accounts for 27% of all cases in the country. Scientists say that existing and emerging variants will define the next phase of the pandemic as the U.S. races to inoculate its population. 

Out of more than 700,000 people fully vaccinated in Oregon, 168 tested positive for COVID-19 and three died. Public health experts say those breakthrough cases total a very small proportion of the total number of fully vaccinated patients, and that many of them were asymptomatic and tested for other reasons.

A coronavirus patient in Japan has become the first person to receive a living donor lung transplant. The 11-hour procedure removed lung segments from the patient’s son and husband after her organs failed due to the coronavirus. The woman is in recovery, and surgeons hailed the procedure as a mark of new hope and another option to treat severe lung damage.

A global trends report released by U.S. intelligence officials on Thursday forecast a bleak post-pandemic future, predicting global destabilization to follow the pandemic in addition to heightened risks from climate change and an unsettled political climate. Analysts said the pandemic worsened wealth gaps, bringing some policymakers to call for more ambitious efforts to repair wealth inequalities between Black and white Americans.

Americans were mostly reluctant to take PTO during the pandemic year, but the rise of vaccinations is giving way to a summer in which American workers may finally embrace vacation days. On the flight-finding site Kayak, searches for summer travel have been rising as much as 27% every week since early March, while Priceline.com reservations to Mexico are up 230% from 2019.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

Why Your Small Business Should Apply For A PPP Loan Right Now – Forbes – 4/8/2021
The Paycheck Protection Program has had its ups and downs since it was introduced a year ago. An inequitable rollout that, perhaps inadvertently, favored companies with deeper pockets and existing ties to the financial industry crowded out smaller shops. 

4 Principles for Reopening the Economy – The Atlantic – 4/9/2021
America has entered a confusing stage of the pandemic. It is vaccinating its citizens at an impressively fast clip. COVID-19 cases have come down precipitously since the start of the year. The daily number of new infections is less than a quarter of what it was at its peak in mid-January. But the pandemic is not yet over. 

Covid-19: a disaster five years in the making – The BMJ – 4/9/2021
We live in extraordinary times in global health. Through two decades of the United Nations’ millennium and sustainable development goals, the number of childhood deaths from measles and some other vaccine preventable infections has fallen by as much as 87%.

Scientists work toward an elusive dream: a simple pill to treat Covid-19 – STAT – 4/9/2021
The world has vaccines that can prevent most cases of Covid-19. It even has drugs that can help with the most serious symptoms of the disease. Now what it needs is a Tamiflu for SARS-CoV-2.

COVID Racial Disparities Loom Large in Rural Counties – PEW – 4/9/2021
In the early days of the pandemic, Greenwood, Mississippi, native Jackie Hawkins, a long-time rural public policy expert, expected that rural people of color would be hurt at higher rates than their urban and White counterparts.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Evening Standard @standardnews 9 Apr Plans to “safely and sustainably” resume travel will be reviewed at the end of June but travel firms have criticised the expensive Covid tests travellers will be expected to take. Follow our LIVE blog for the very latest news and updates 

Victoria Bryan @vl_bryan 9 Apr Increasingly looking like another lost summer for Europe’s #airlines and #tourism companies. #coronavirus #travel

Ingrid Miley @ingridmileyRTE 8 Apr Another take on vaccine passports … Coronavirus: WHO urges against COVID-19 vaccine passports, even for international travel

Zoe Tabary @zoetabary 8 Apr Fake coronavirus vaccine passports are being sold online for “peanuts” in a fast-growing scam that has alarmed authorities as countries bet on the documents to revive travel and their economies@UmbertoBacchi reports

WSBT @WSBT 8 Apr The planning for both airlines started before the coronavirus pandemic hit, but they are starting up just as long-homebound Americans look to break out and travel like it’s 2019 again.

CONTENT FACTS

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