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COVID-19 Update, December 7, 2020: Pandemic Fatigue

It's been a long time since March and the strain is showing. The coronavirus is running rampant through the US, ravaging small towns and putting most of California under lockdown. No word yet from Congress about urgently needed stimulus. And bad behavior abounds, including a bar owner from Staten Island who tried to run down a sheriff who was enforcing social distancing restrictions. No wonder so many healthcare workers and health experts are feeling dejected. And the holidays are coming, with their potential to cause more spread. At the same time, the incoming presidential administration is moving forwarding, announcing staff and planning vaccine distribution protocol. The moment to hold tight is now.

The latest:

"The pandemic is us:" The US concludes its worst week yet in the pandemic, with 226,000 new COVID-19 cases on Friday: tinyurl.com/y3rwxm3y. It took the US 100 days to reach one million infections: now the country just added one million new cases in five days: tinyurl.com/yyy6n6kv. Vaccine 101: A simple cheat sheet to help you battle misinformation about the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y5v9jg26. As the numbers skyrocket, the government presses an ambitious timeline for vaccine distribution: tinyurl.com/y264g5da.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask whenever you are outside your home, even in indoor environments: tinyurl.com/yxenzr9t.

Dr. Deborah Birx expresses frustration with government officials who "parrot" the "myths" about COVID-19 perpetrated by the president: tinyurl.com/yxrla9sp.

President-elect Biden appoints Xavier Bercerra, California's attorney general, to the position of health secretary; he will lead the government's battle against COVID-19: tinyurl.com/yxtw8maj. He also appoints Rochelle Walensky, chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, to head the CDC: tinyurl.com/y5soyqu6.

"Congress needs to do something, or a lot of people are going to face homelessness:" Freelancers in the US live in fear of the imminent loss of benefits: tinyurl.com/yxvaxdbn.

Thanks to the pandemic, cuts to mass transportation system loom around the country: tinyurl.com/y6jevous.

Colleges from coast to coast are looking at bringing back students for the spring semester: tinyurl.com/y6ay7tv4.

Rudy Giuliani is hospitalized with COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3o64vrp.

Food for thought:

"Makes you wonder why the hell we even bother:" Dejected epidemiologists ponder an America that is unable to rise to the crisis of the pandemic: tinyurl.com/yyt4a2fr. A blistering account by an ER doctor of treating COVID-denying (and racist) patients: tinyurl.com/y3vfwd4m. Frontline healthcare workers plead for more stringent safety restrictions, beginning with mask mandates: tinyurl.com/y2akqa8c. A Harvard epidemiologist shows how widespread antigen testing could end the pandemic by Christmas: tinyurl.com/y22l7nmb. The CDC's increasingly urgent warnings may augur a more coordinated national policy come January: tinyurl.com/y36c7gjp. Health experts express hope that the Biden administration will implement a national testing program: tinyurl.com/y2yt94oj.

Why testing can't guarantee your safety during the holiday season: tinyurl.com/y35uu5wf. Which is better, a vaccine or natural immunity? Answers to vaccine questions: tinyurl.com/y3csso5k.

Health experts say it's time to start testing COVID-19 vaccines in children: tinyurl.com/y6f3pyy5.

The only youth sports programs to suffer significant COVID-19 outbreaks involve hockey: tinyurl.com/yy7wzgom.

Around the country:

In Arizona:

A Chandler teen loses both of her parents to COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3qnub7k.

In California:

Ahead of the rest of the state, the San Francisco Bay area issues a stay-at-home order: tinyurl.com/y53belbn. Southern California and San Joaquin Valley are also put under stay-at-home orders: tinyurl.com/y6s3aaq5. The mayor of Los Angeles, commenting on his lockdown order, says that the pandemic "is the greatest threat to life in LA that we have ever faced:" tinyurl.com/yxrcxm5m.

After a San Bernadino County church reopens for indoor services, the associate pastor dies of COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y2xc74t2.

In Florida:

The state records 10,177 new COVID-19 cases, the second day in a row of more than 10,000: tinyurl.com/y3gmzv9l. On Saturday, it goes three for three, with 10, 431 new cases: tinyurl.com/y3e22y2x. On Sunday, it confirms 8,436 new cases, 25% of which come from Miami-Dade County: tinyurl.com/y3elq7xh.

The mayor of Miami-Dade County issues a stark warning about the pandemic: "We are up against the wall. Given what we have in our toolbox, we must, must have full cooperation with all of the precautions that we know work. We are not universally masking in our community today. We are not universally adhering to the curfew. We are not taking full advantage of our testing capacity, which is really significant:" tinyurl.com/yxtjq455.

Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport will get a COVID-19 testing station. Tampa International Airport already has one: tinyurl.com/y4v3jac9.

In Kansas:

A doctor who serves as his county's voluntary health commissioner resigns when the board of commissioners won't establish a mask mandate: tinyurl.com/y65zpa4k.

In Maryland:

The state records 3,193 new cases, the second-highest number of the pandemic: tinyurl.com/yyuz6hgx.

In Minnesota:

Karl Anthony Towns, of the Minnesota Timberwolves, reveals that he has lost seven family members to COVID-19, including his mother: tinyurl.com/yyon2npm.

In Nevada:

In a trifecta nobody wants, the state hits new highs in new cases, hospitalizations, and positivity rate; the latter is 20.6%: tinyurl.com/y5hzn5tn.

In New Jersey:

Authorities are investigating a gala held by the New York Young Republicans Club for violating coronavirus guidelines: tinyurl.com/yygkusur.

In New Mexico:

Despite the state government's best efforts and some very stringent social distancing rules, the coronavirus continues to spread, thanks to pandemic fatigue: tinyurl.com/y5ywfhlt.

In New York:

The state records 10,761 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday: tinyurl.com/yxnnosnv.

The owner of the Staten Island pub that has defied social distancing restrictions and staged a protest rally rammed his car into a sheriff's deputy while trying to evade arrest: tinyurl.com/yxpbo87d.

A Brooklyn man, whose wife is a COVID-19 survivor, throws crowded all-night parties, with no social distancing restrictions, in an otherwise unoccupied commercial building: tinyurl.com/yxo5eczf.

Kids under 18 won't be vaccinated right away, because there hasn't been enough testing yet on this sector of the population: tinyurl.com/y4h3jnnv.

New Rochelle, one of the nation's earliest hot spots, is under siege once again: tinyurl.com/y3v2m2df.

In Ohio:

The state records another 10,469 COVID-19 cases on Saturday: tinyurl.com/y3kkbd7e. The state is also on track to double the number of COVID-19 deaths it experienced in November: tinyurl.com/yxb44p4.

In Oregon:

A doctor who refused to wear a mask on the job has had his license suspended: tinyurl.com/y4j9lk69.

In Pennsylvania:

A man turns to Facebook, pleading for a hospital to take his COVID-19-infected mother: tinyurl.com/y2pes27a.

Around the world:

In China:

The company that will be the exclusive local manufacturer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has a history of bribery and scandal: tinyurl.com/yxv7nnt7.

The country is also rolling out domestic vaccines, the efficacy of which is unclear: tinyurl.com/y6lzarmg.

In Germany:

The country's measured response to the pandemic managed to slow it down, but it remains stuck on a plateau of about 20,000 new cases a day: tinyurl.com/y5bt5snj.

In Mexico:

The Art With Me Festival, held in November, proves to be another super-spreader event in a country already reeling from the pandemic: tinyurl.com/yyjh7rc5.

In Russia:

Distribution of the Sputnik vaccine begins: tinyurl.com/yxkzzxma.

In South Korea:

The government moves to dramatically expand testing as a "medical collapse" looms: tinyurl.com/yxzb7l3s.

In Spain:

Inside the new routines at Madrid's Teatro Real, which is open for business, with plenty of rules in place: tinyurl.com/y3vpjt3a.

In the UK:

As the world watches, the vaccine rollout is set to begin, with 800,000 doses ready to go on Tuesday: tinyurl.com/y5n9s5ku.

As the first vaccines arrive, priority will be given to those over 80 and public health officials, not doctors and nurses: tinyurl.com/yyctubhk.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is forced to isolate a second time after a staff member tests positive for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3l4phg2.

A new blood test has been developed than can assess if COVID-19 patients will need intensive care; it also assesses their chances of survival: tinyurl.com/yyeak96s.

Entertainment:

Art Lab and ShowTown Productions will present two virtual presentations of Disenchanted! Stay-At-Home Version, the Off-Broadway musical comedy with book, music, and lyrics by Dennis T. Giacino and developed with Fiely Matias, via Broadway on Demand on December 15 and 17. It is directed by Meg Fofonoff, and will feature an all-female cast including Diana DeGarmo, Micaela Diamond, Celia Rose Gooding, Liisi LaFontaine, Jaygee Macapugay, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Gabriella Pizzolo, and Alysha Umphress: get.broadwayondemand.com/.

Genesis at the Crossroads invites audiences to zoom in on healing with their multicultural musical program. The artists come from Brazil, Venezuela, Morocco, Israel/Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Congo, Northern Ireland, and more. This virtual program features a global collaboration of Saffron Caravan Genesis' professional world music ensemble with Genesis youth musicians from Chicago and other conflict areas worldwide. The event, with Shure as a lead sponsor, streams December 19 at 8:00pm CST: soundsofhealing.gatc.org/.

Jazz at Lincoln Center presents Big Band Holidays, December 19 at 7:00pm ET, and on demand through December 26. Tickets are $25, with special prices for members and subscribers. The program features the JALC Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Catherine Russell, Kurt Eliing, Rubén Blades, Ahsley Pezzotti, and more: tinyurl.com/y6j9orq9.

This week, the Metropolitan Opera streaming service focuses on operas written and sung in English: tinyurl.com/yy65bsfm.

Primary Stages will present a virtual benefit reading of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol, adapted by Theresa Rebeck and Erin Daley and directed by Theresa Rebeck on December 16, 2020 at 8:00pm ET. Starring Raúl Esparza as Scrooge, the cast will also include Mary Bacon, Abadi Bacon Leynse, W. Tré Davis (Hamlet), Krysta Rodriguez, and Matthew Saldivar. A recorded version of the live performance will be available to stream for free from Thursday December 17 - Sunday December 20, 2020. Reservations for the free viewing link are available at www.59e59.org/shows/show-detail/virtual-reading-a-christmas-carol. Any donations made in addition to this reservation will benefit Primary Stages Teen Programs.

For your pleasure:

Nicole Kidman and Jo Ellen Pellman perform "Zazz," by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin, from the new film The Prom: tinyurl.com/yxer9auu.

That's all for today. Stay safe. -- DB

To receive your LSA copies at home (no charge), please email LSA@plasa.org or go to www.ezsubscription.com/lsa/mysubscription.

Previous LSA COVID-19 Updates: plasa.me/lsacovid19resources.


(7 December 2020)

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