“Demographic Trends of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the US reported to CDC” CDC, April 13, 2021 / Image: CDC


U.S. stock futures held steady, while European and Asian stocks advanced following earnings from companies including some of the world’s biggest banks. Goldman Sachs’ first quarter results topped Wall Street’s expectations and JPMorgan Chase also beat top- and bottom-line estimates. Investors said they are optimistic about the biggest American companies’ earnings and outlook for the rest of the year, given projections for a steep economic recovery. 

Muslims in many parts of the world marked the start of Ramadan on Tuesday, but an increase in coronavirus cases has put curbs on the holy month’s signature feasts and lengthy prayers in mosques. The Islamic Medical Association of North America announced that taking the vaccine does not “invalidate the fast during Ramadan as per the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars.” 

A study from March found that in the U.S., confidence is growing among those who feel they can safely attend religious services. About three-quarters of adults who normally attend religious services expressed confidence, up 12 percentage points from July 2020. 

Researchers launched a formal study to collect data about menstrual cycles and the coronavirus vaccine, which was not a side effect clinical trials checked for and is not included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine health check-in. Despite the lack of scientific evidence of a direct connection at this point in time, women have reported heavier and earlier-than-expected periods after being inoculated. 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on pause after six women developed a “rare and severe” type of blood clot, but some women have pointed out that one of the side effects of birth control, which also involves potential blood clotting, has been deemed a socially acceptable risk. The risk of blood clots from birth control is about one in 1,000 and there have been six cases of blood clots in women under age 50 among 7 million people who received the J&J shot in the U.S. 

Lawmakers in Italy fear the mafia is diverting vaccines away from the elderly and vulnerable, particularly in the south where they often exert control over health authorities. At least 1,000 suspected queue-jumpers are under investigation by various police forces and prosecutors in Italy. In March, Pope Francis urged people to fight organized crime groups such as the mafia around the world, warning that the criminals were using the pandemic to further enrich themselves. 

With the rollout of vaccines and the reopening of restaurants and offices comes the demise of stretchy pants and the transition back to “hard pants.” One stylist said the last month was her busiest month to date as people who have neglected their closets for the past year confront their full wardrobe again. She sees this opportunity as a time to embrace experimentation in one’s appearance and declutter clothes that have gone unworn.


Hurry, Time Is Running Out To Lock In The Benefits Of Remote Work – Forbes – 4/14/2021
More than 66 million U.S. residents already had been fully vaccinated and nearly twice that number, 112 million, had received at least one vaccine dose when I last checked, on April 11. With another 3 million doses being given daily at the time, small wonder many of us are chomping at the bit to get out and about again.

Scientists are using natural-language algorithms to predict Covid-19 variants – Quartz – 4/14/2021
The ability of scientists to successfully adapt Covid-19 vaccines for use against coronavirus variants of concern will turn in part on the ability to spot infectious mutations in the virus’s genetic makeup quickly. For that, a computer that comprehends human language may help.

Fast food over fine dining: What spending data tells us about the pandemic recovery – Vox – 4/14/2021
Recovery from the impacts of the pandemic varies widely by industry, according to new data from Earnest Research, which uses de-identified credit card, debit card, and mobile geolocation data to track spending and foot traffic at businesses in the United States. Even within a category like food or retail, there are winners and losers based on the particulars of the pandemic that made one type more or less popular than another.

More ‘Monster Walks,’ Fewer Water Fountains: How Two Cleveland Schools Stayed Open Through the Pandemic With Few COVID Cases and More Learning Opportunities – The 74 – 4/14/2021
Staff at St. Stanislaus elementary school in Cleveland have spent the school year constantly reminding students to keep masks up over noses, to keep safe distance, and sanitizing everything, including the Easter eggs given to the youngest students. They even had students do the “monster walk” – walking between rooms with arms stretched out in front of them to create social distance, and placed jugs of water in classrooms instead of water fountains.

Vaccine ads are working—particularly among Democrats – AdAge – 4/14/2021
The airwaves are teeming with messages aimed at convincing Americans to get vaccinated against COVID-19. But just how persuasive are those ads?


Aly-Khan Satchu @alykhansatchu 14 Apr Russia was the biggest source of tourists to Turkey last year, with 2.13 million people visiting despite coronavirus restrictions.Daily cases in Turkey, the highest in Europe, hit a record 55,941 on April 8. @bpolitics

Sky News @SkyNews 14 Apr Rachel Reeves says “we’ve got to be very cautious” when it comes to opening up to foreign travel.Live #coronavirus updates:

Kaitor Kay WANE 15 @kaitorkay 13 Apr Industry experts say if you want to travel in the next several months, book your ticket now, because once these low prices from the pandemic are gone, they won’t be coming back.

Benjamin Harvey @BenjaminHarvey 13 Apr EU government envoys will seek a common position today on “digital green certificates” to ease travel for those vaccinated or recently recovered from the coronavirus.

WJHL @WJHL11 13 Apr While government leaders have dismissed requirements for vaccine passports, local travel expert Kathy Kennedy told us this doesn’t prevent tourism businesses from requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof.


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