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COVID-19 Update, February 26, 2021: Change of Mood

At last, real signs of progress have emerged against the coronavirus. Things are looking so good that new fears are arising that people will too quickly cast off the necessary restrictions. Still 46 million Americans have gotten at least one dose of vaccine. And there's plenty more on the way.

The latest:

By the time you read this, more than 500,000 Americans will have died of COVID-19: tinyurl.com/74d3c4fc.

But the numbers are improving across all the hot spots: tinyurl.com/4r2qwfkc. Hospitalizations are down by 80,000 over the last two weeks: tinyurl.com/3ed5fs2h.

And the odds are that by summer we may be back to something like normal - if scientists say, we stick to the program: tinyurl.com/3nuwtkry.

And many economists see a post-pandemic boom in the not-too-distant future: tinyurl.com/9fe0c9ya.

The government tweaks the Paycheck Protection Program to reach the smallest businesses: tinyurl.com/yttbym2v.

As a breakthrough in vaccine supplies looms in the near future, the Biden Administration looks at ways of speeding up the process: tinyurl.com/y4gpyx58. Pfizer and Moderna see delivery of 140 million more doses in the next five weeks: tinyurl.com/uoxahl59. A report clears the way for FDA approval of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine: tinyurl.com/feze4km3. The J&J vaccine appears to provide good protection against coronavirus variants: tinyurl.com/4hz95hnw. A new study suggests that a single doze of the Pfizer vaccine protects people who have already had COVID-19: tinyurl.com/cx2x9e2w .

Worried about coronavirus variants? Pfizer is on it: tinyurl.com/4fdvbc35.

New unemployment claims hit 730,000, rather lower than expected: tinyurl.com/2zbw4snc.

Michael Rapino, of Live Nation, says music festivals could be back by midsummer: tinyurl.com/txz2saee.

Food for thought:

When might we reach herd immunity? There are several scenarios: tinyurl.com/2ye86n7o.

Here's how the Johnson and Johnson vaccine works: tinyurl.com/8n88m3xv.

Get ready for a second generation of even more effective coronavirus vaccines: tinyurl.com/8tk8w777.

Why vaccinating children and teens may put the last nail in the coffin of the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/17eybc46.

Why you shouldn't quibble about which vaccine to get: tinyurl.com/3dxnyatr.

Vaccine passports offer new opportunities and new problems: tinyurl.com/nbhvnh5r.

Around the country:

In California:

A new and worrying coronavirus variant is spreading in the state: tinyurl.com/k9vt3msv.

In Florida:

The UK coronavirus variant is spreading widely in the state: tinyurl.com/jj2krac7.

In Illinois:

Six Flags Great America will reopen on April 24 with a new reservation system and all the expected safety requirements: tinyurl.com/hmbw6zpl.

Chicago's lakefront, parks, and indoor pools are reopening in March: tinyurl.com/4y8coudo.

A mass vaccination site is set to open in Chicago: tinyurl.com/zac9f32w.

In Massachusetts:

Thousands of the state's healthcare workers have been sickened since the pandemic began: tinyurl.com/ye2kglph.

Plans are announced for the state to enter its final phase of reopening: tinyurl.com/fp52u5vy.

In New York:

New York City will allow 35% of capacity in restaurants this week: tinyurl.com/ewfagq6c.

Delayed shipments mean New York City's vaccination program is grinding to a halt: tinyurl.com/13gegsax.

At the same time, the state's infection rate reaches its lowest point (2.99%) in three months: tinyurl.com/15l5bvtr.

The hard-hit Broadway unions lobby the state for healthcare provisions, including renewed COBRA subsidies: tinyurl.com/be37a9wh.

Tourists are trickling back into Times Square: tinyurl.com/179grznt.

The city's pop-up performance program begins with Jon Batiste leading a jazz concert at the Javits enter, a key vaccination site: tinyurl.com/2uuody7j.

New York City cinemas can reopen with a limit of 50 people per auditorium: tinyurl.com/4as3nxzd.

Lincoln Center's Restart Stages program will bring outdoor performances to the complex this spring: tinyurl.com/2kr7rctv.

Could Hamilton reopen on July 4? tinyurl.com/4gjk2udk.

But the city also faces its own coronavirus variant: tinyurl.com/yt8p3x7r.

In Tennessee:

May We All, a Dolly Parton tribute revue is set to open in Nashville in June: tinyurl.com/4stdxa9u.

In Wisconsin:

The Milwaukee Rep plans to reopen in April: tinyurl.com/39fvb3eh.

Around the world:

In Brazil: The death toll from COVID-19 passes 250,000: tinyurl.com/5uu386na.

In Canada:

The Stratford Festival cancels its 2021 production of Gypsy: tinyurl.com/y5trqq55.

In Germany:

The country struggles with a second wave of the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/dlmkjlyw.

In Iraq:

The country steels itself for another wave of COVID-19: tinyurl.com/18gkig63.

In Japan:

The pandemic spawns an outbreak of suicides among women: tinyurl.com/1qycfsm5.

In the UK:

The government aims to at least one dose in the arms of every adult by July 31: tinyurl.com/1comr8uv.

New data shows at the Pfizer and AstraZeneca have hugely reduced hospital stays by elderly patients: tinyurl.com/ftfg15rr.

Lockdown starts to open up in March, with theatres and cinemas reopening on May 17: tinyurl.com/14li7mop.

The Reading Festival announces 2021 dates: tinyurl.com/t4bhapth. So does the Leeds Festival: tinyurl.com/8kmzcuys.

The West End's Nimax theatre chain will reopen in May: tinyurl.com/yxn996vv.


From Boston Symphony Orchestra and available for viewing through March 13: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Beethoven's Symphony No. 3, Eroica, and Hannah Kendall's Disillusioned Dreamer; chamber music performance of Caroline Shaw's Blueprint, featuring BSO musicians Catherine French and Xin Ding, violins; Mary Ferrillo, viola; and Mickey Katz, cello.

George Street Playhouse present Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck, starring Drama Desk winner Andréa Burns now through March 13. The production features costume designs by Lisa Zinni, lighting design by Alan C. Edwards, and original music and sound design by Ryan Rumery. Hudson Flynn is the cinematographer. Tickets are $33 per household and are on sale through georgestreetplayhouse.org/events.

Metropolitan Playhouse presents a new free screened reading, live-streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: The Valiant, Holworthy Hall and Robert Middlemass. It runs February 27 at 8pm through March 3 at 10pm ET. Running time is one hour. www.MetropolitanPlayhouse.org/WatchValiant.

New Federal Theatre (NFT) offers a livestream virtual reading of Widows, by Mfundi Vundla on February 27 at 7pm, available on demand through March 1. Directed by Clinton Turner Davis, it features Zoleka Vundla, Phindi Mkhizwe Wilson, and Tanya Nomaziko Zondo. The reading will be free and accessible from NFT's website, newfederaltheatre.com and donations will be gratefully accepted.

From Theatre for a New Audience: Written in 1946 and described by novelist John Banville as "the most nearly perfect short story ever written," Samuel Beckett's First Love is presented as a solo piece for virtual performance by actor Bill Camp (Netflix's The Queen's Gambit), directed by JoAnne Akalaitis. First Love is available to watch until March 1 at 7pm EST. Register at: tfana.wufoo.com/forms/shbr2e10yepnqd/.

Weekend Playlist:

Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Anna Netrebko celebrate "Moscow Nights:" tinyurl.com/y35gncu.

Dimitri Moise offers William Finn's "Anytime," from Elegies: tinyurl.com/ajytar35.

Cyd Charisse dances her way through "The Red Blues," by Cole Porter, from Silk Stockings: tinyurl.com/5fr48w55.

"I Got Plenty O' Nuttin" shows off the dance genius of Chita Rivera: tinyurl.com/42xcwfca.

Harry Chapin offers his signature hit, "Taxi:" tinyurl.com/4nfs965r.

That's all for the week. Have a great weekend. Vaccinate. -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

(26 February 2021)

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