Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

  • Previous coverage - all of our posts in this ongoing series.
  • Coronavirus status page - learn how to prepare for possible spread to your area. Scenarios, shopping lists, background info and everything else you need, all in one place.

Key developments for Tuesday, December 8, 2020

California water futures are being traded on Wall Street. Because of scarcity.

Iran’s making good on its promise to ramp up its nuclear program as more centrifuges are added:

A small to moderate CME is going to hit the US tomorrow during the later half of the day. Although northernmost states might get an aurora, it’s not likely to be a major space weather event. No need for Faraday cages.

There are over 68.5 million global COVID cases.  The world has gained over 4.4 million cases since last week. There have been over 1.5 million deaths. There are over 15.5 million cases in the US—up by over 1.3 million in a week. There have been over 293,000 deaths in the US. Over 2,500 have died in the US since yesterday. The US gained over 182,000 new cases in the last 24 hours. India is second in the world in number of cases, with over 9.7 million. Brazil is still second in the world in number of deaths, with over 178,000.

Pandemic-induced online shopping demand is so great that UPS put limits on GAP and Nike deliveries. Online shopping surged 40% or more over baseline in the week after Thanksgiving, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Tyson is accused in a lawsuit of suppressing knowledge of COVID spread in its facilities in the Spring. Supervisors were reportedly commanded to lie about known outbreaks in the plants. Over 1,000 workers were infected.

Initial number of Pfizer roll-out doses are going to be fewer than anticipated:

The US has already ordered 100 million doses (enough to fully vaccinate 50 million people), but apparently we had the option to order more, and DIDN’T.

Until enough folks are vaccinated to drop R to <1, there’s still risk to those who are vaccinated. We’re all eager to resume our regular activities, but it might be wise to wait it out a little even after you get your jab(s):

More and more US hospitals will have to begin rationing care now. Hospitalization rates are dropping even as COVID test positivity rises because admission criteria are becoming more stringent in order to conserve beds/staff. As the capacity to care for patients gets increasingly constricted, COVID fatality rates will rise and all-cause mortality will rise.

California continues to experience wildfires into December (which is news enough in and of itself). Those facing forced evacuations are getting the additional bad news that because of COVID, public shelters can’t be utilized. Evacuees can only turn to hotels or friends/family.

Global GDP is dropping and will continue to drop through the next year. The US and UK are likely to have a harder time rebounding than some Asian markets because there’s a larger manufacturing base in Asian countries.

COVID is the leading cause of death in the US right now:

Estimate your place in the vaccine line (it’s a bit of speculation, but it’s kinda fun to play with).

The FDA will hold hearings on the emergency use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on Thursday. This is great news, and they’re likely to be approved… but I can’t help but think of all the people who will die in the future because these hearings weren’t done yesterday or today. How many lives? 4,000? 6,000? 10,000? What bureaucratic process could possibly justify any delay at all? How many people would be saved by an additional few days of vaccine availability?

The UK approved the Pfizer vaccine on December 2, 2020.





    • Cia

      I spent an hour reading all the articles linked, they’re all very interesting. Thank you!

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