COVID-19 Weekly Update – April 28th 2021

A year into the pandemic, and we’d all like to see it behind us. But there are disquieting signs that the virus may part of our lives for longer than we want. The longer the virus can spread through a non-immunized population, the more chances it has to mutate into strains that are more contagious or more dangerous. Although vaccination rates are still far below what is needed to slow…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – April 7th 2021

Rapid vaccine rollout across the U.S. is helping the economy here recover months ahead of European economies, as a Reuters study of data across many platforms shows. Bookings on OpenTable show that the U.S. is gradually returning to nearly normal, while those in Europe are still flatlining. Air travel is increasing, and commercial activity is also improving, especially as stimulus payments hit bank accounts. I am so grateful to have…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – March 17th 2021

Eventually, epidemiologists hope that the coronavirus will become a seasonal pathogen, not much worse than the flu. But the path to that state is not a straight line, as this article in Stat describes, breaking the continued pandemic into short-, middle- and long-term phases. With vaccines steadily reaching more people, most agree that we are at least approaching the end of the “crisis” phase. Over the short-term, we may see…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – March 10th 2021

Today could be the day! Congress is expected to vote on the 1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill today, Wednesday March 10th, just before the expanded unemployment insurance benefits end.  As per the Associated Press morning wire : A dominant feature of the bill is initiatives making it one of the biggest federal thrusts in years to assist lower- and middle-income families. Included are expanded tax credits over the next year for children,…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – March 3rd 2021

Congratulations! You got the COVID vaccine! I have an appointment for my first shot for this afternoon due to an underlying condition.  Now what should you/we do?  As an article in The Atlantic describes, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, but “When deciding what you can and can’t do, you should think less about your own vaccination status, and more about whether your neighbors, family, grocery clerks, delivery drivers, and friends are…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 24th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t the first to sweep the globe, nor is it likely to be the last one. Throughout history, pandemics have shaped our world, as this historic lookback in the Washington Post explains. One such plague likely contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire, when disease –likely measles and smallpox – swept through the ancient world and killed 5 million people over 15 years. The Black Death…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 17th 2021

Keeping people safe in the pandemic requires a comprehensive approach, as explained by Aaron E. Carroll, a pediatrics professor at Indiana University. By taking the pandemic seriously, “far from posing a risk to its host city or town, a university could become—by supplementing behavioral measures such as masking and social distancing with widespread surveillance testing—a model for detecting and suppressing the virus.” By the time IU’s 87,000 students return to…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – February 10th 2021

Although most of us have not been able to travel for much of the last year, that didn’t stop The Guardian from hosting a travel photography competition. Stunning landscapes, colorful marketplaces, and chance photos that capture an unforgettable moment are all among the winners in the many categories. We may not be able to travel safely yet, but we can at least travel in our imaginations. I am glad to…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 27th 2021

For many of us, it was our networks that helped us get through the last year. That was one of the lessons that Ivan Meisner, founder of BNI, an international business networking group learned from 2020. He also learned the value of limiting exposure to bad news by picking up what he needed to know from news apps. One business owner struggled with the stress of working from home while overseeing remote…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – January 13th 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic may have an economic impact far beyond last year and the next two or three. A recent report by the World Bank projects global economic growth to slow to 1.9% per year from 2020-2029. Prior to the pandemic, growth was projected to be 2.1%, down from 2.5% over the previous decade. Investments in infrastructure, diversifying economies and supporting the employment of women may help to mitigate or reverse that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 23rd 2020

Hoping that you are busy, making holiday plans, while scanning the news about the COVID-19 Relief Bill we’re keeping this issue extra short. Just in time for Christmas, Jupiter and Saturn appear in close alignment this week, forming what some have called a ‘Christmas Star.’ The last time this happened was in the spring of 1226, when Notre Dame cathedral was under construction. Their closest connection will be on the Winter’s…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – December 2nd 2020

After months of only bad news about the spread of COVID-19, recent announcements of successful trials of three different vaccines bring a sense of optimism that the return to “normal” is on the way. Pfizer was first, and chartered flights bringing the vaccine to the U.S. from Belgium began on November 27. By mid-December, people may begin receiving that vaccine. A vaccine by Moderna has also completed trials and that…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 25th 2020 & Wishing You a Safe Happy Thanksgiving

One of the positive side effects of the pandemic has been reduced traffic on interstate highways. A group of amateur race car drivers decided to take advantage of the empty roads to revive the “Cannonball Run,” a highly illegal endurance race from Manhattan to Los Angeles. The object of this race is to make the run faster than anyone else. Teams plan for months, fine-tuning routes to consider traffic light…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 11th 2020 – Remembering Our Veterans!

To all veterans of all branches, we thank you for your sacrifice, your bravery, and the example you set for us all. In short, thank you for your service! To all those who have served, and those who continue to serve… Happy Veterans Day! The pandemic hasn’t hit everyone equally economically, as this article in the Wall Street Journal explains. Manufacturing has largely recovered, but occupations that require face-to-face interaction, such…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – November 4th 2020

When the novel coronavirus hit last winter, doctors were unsure of the most effective treatments. But as the pandemic has continued, doctors are learning, as the fatality rate continues to drop, the best way to survive COVID-19 seems to be to delay catching it, as this article in The Atlantic describes. According to a study cited in the article, the fatality rate in New York City was 25.6% back in…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 21st 2020

Lately, economists have been talking about a “K-shaped” recovery from the current recession. As this article in The Conversation explains, this kind of recovery happens when different parts of the economy recover at different rates. White-collar workers who can more easily work remotely may have an easier and faster path to recovery than blue-collar and service workers who must be physically present to do their jobs. Moving forward is the…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 14th 2020

Prior to COVID-19, models of what could happen during a pandemic overstated the possible global death toll, but understated the potential hit to GDP. But as a series in The Economist explains, our current pandemic may have lasting impact. The impacts of shutting down schools for months at a time may persist for decades. Governments around the world are issuing debt at levels never before seen to finance support for…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – October 7th 2020

Fall is here, and with it, the beautiful colors of the season. Hikes and drives to see the colors are still something we can do, despite COVID-19, as this guide in the New York Times reminds us, with pictures and suggestions across the country. The Berkshires in Massachusetts, Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park, West Virginia’s Spruce Knob, Maine’s Grafton Notch, Percy Warner Park and Radnor Lake near Nashville, and Guanella…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 30th 2020

With our normal routines turned upside down, people have found as many ways to cope with the pandemic as there are neighborhoods. I love the section of the New York Times showing a series of postcard vignettes of neighbors coming together to connect and help each other, check it out. In Los Angeles, a family picks citrus fruit from trees in their neighborhood, sharing the bounty with the owners of the trees…  Read more

COVID-19 Weekly Update – September 23rd 2020

Sleep is as close to a panacea as we are likely to get in our lifetimes: it helps us recover from injuries and illness, plays a vital role in memory formation, and helps keep us healthy. Disrupting our sleep has an adverse impact on nearly every system in our bodies. So it’s perhaps not surprising that a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that unemployment disrupts…  Read more

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