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COVID-19 Update, February 19, 2021: Snow Days

COVID-19 Update, February 19, 2021: Snow Days A rough week, with much of the country in a deep freeze that has caused a snag in the vaccination process. Still, progress is being made, with a number of interesting developments happening on several fronts. At last, we're on the path to the post-pandemic world.

The latest:

New COVID-19 cases are dropping nationwide: tinyurl.com/3c6k4nytr .

The vaccine rollout is improving in virtually every state: tinyurl.com/2mxrqzdg.

Still, the pandemic has cut a year from the life expectancy of Americans: tinyurl.com/1tyrh13c. And the South African variant undercuts the Pfizer vaccine to a significant degree: tinyurl.com/pqvm825q.

The FDA agrees to allow Moderna to add extra doses of vaccine to each vial: tinyurl.com/nujfhwht. Pfizer now says its vaccines don't need to be keep in subfreezing conditions: tinyurl.com/4hspqjih.

But the deep-freeze conditions plaguing most of the country is slowing down vaccine delivery: tinyurl.com/26xbxyrd. Storm conditions have stopped six million doses from being delivered: tinyurl.com/g350swuy.

Hundreds of government health workers, tasked with helping the vaccine rollout, are still waiting for their own injections: tinyurl.com/feo8bmlz.

The European strategy of longer, stricter lockdowns to combat coronavirus variants appears to be working: tinyurl.com/y6ubvoyd.

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be tested on children: tinyurl.com/om9cdn4j.

A wave of skepticism about the AstraZeneca vaccine is keeping it from being widely distributed in Europe: tinyurl.com/78vkpaae.

Should primary care physicians get more access to the vaccines? tinyurl.com/33z9lg6h.

The pandemic breeds a mental health crisis among young people: tinyurl.com/kujbl6cd.

Stimulus checks appear to be working, as retail sales jumped 5.3% in January: tinyurl.com/3bmkff7l.

New jobless claims were sharply higher this week -- 861,000 versus projections of 773,000: tinyurl.com/1twsn97a.

Food for thought:

Why it's difficult to speed up vaccine production: tinyurl.com/4ws99vdw.

As more seniors get vaccinated, they're ready to hit the road, enjoying travel again: tinyurl.com/83ywru9u.

Because millions of jobs are not coming back post-pandemic, economists say a massive retraining effort will be necessary: tinyurl.com/yk9nmmv4.

Around the country:

In California:

Blue Shield aims to streamline the vaccination distribution process: tinyurl.com/3cm8u5k5.

In Florida:

Florida International University orders its staff back to work: tinyurl.com/1n6euba9.

The state official responsible for handling the pandemic is resigning: tinyurl.com/nwn04xbe.

The state is set to get a big jump in vaccine doses next week: tinyurl.com/4ysmxet7.

How the Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando reopened -- outdoor stages, contactless ticketing, reduced audience capacity: tinyurl.com/3zvdsy72.

In Massachusetts:

The state debuts a new vaccination appointment website: tinyurl.com/zijqxh45. It also broadens the eligibility criteria for vaccination tinyurl.com/d2wxhtgx. The state also has a plan to reach the hardest-hit communities: tinyurl.com/1cfhwclx.

Then again, its vaccination sign-up website crashes: tinyurl.com/3hrsxezt.

In Michigan:

A prison reports 90 cases of the UK coronavirus variant: tinyurl.com/26zs2oxr.

In New York:

Basketball fans can attend some Knicks and Nets games starting next week: tinyurl.com/1d4kn8np.

Amusement parks, indoor family entertainment centers, and summer camps will start opening up over the next several weeks: tinyurl.com/k66qvhy1.

The dispute between the Metropolitan Opera and IATSE continues, putting the company's new season at risk: tinyurl.com/ya6ohcm2.

Events at Carnegie Hall are canceled through July: tinyurl.com/15kl41p7.

In Oregon:

Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2021 season will combine live and digital programming: tinyurl.com/352svxyt.

Around the world:

In France:

A man who was previously infected with COVID-19 comes down with the South African variant: https://tinyurl.com/q8dekukm.

The appearance of the South African variant ignites calls to suspend the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine to healthcare workers: tinyurl.com/2uqoxxfs.

In Hong Kong:

The Sinonax vaccine gets put on the fast track: tinyurl.com/n857hkcz.

In Israel:

The country moves toward a two-tier system, for those vaccinated and those not: tinyurl.com/4mdgbpqv.

In Italy:

Another vaccine, from ReiThera, struggles to get distributed: tinyurl.com/4qoamb8o.

In Japan:

Hoping to save the Summer Olympics, the country starts its vaccine rollout: tinyurl.com/qr35oozn.

In the UK:

The UK coronavirus variant is both more contagious and deadlier, scientists find: tinyurl.com/v3d8d848.

The country reports heavy participation in the vaccination process, with some exceptions: tinyurl.com/3rjosv6g.

Thanks to ENO Breathe, opera singers help recovering COVID patients restore their respiratory systems: https://tinyurl.com/1e5j5h36.

Amid ongoing uncertainty about when the West End can reopen, a revival of CP Taylor's Good, starring David Tennant, postpones for the second time: tinyurl.com/10tg3pso. Similarly, a revival of the musical Sister Act has been put off for a year: https://tinyurl.com/tesioaao.

The government resurrects the idea of mass testing to combat the coronarvirus: tinyurl.com/3hyv47kj.

In a highly unusual human trial, up to 90 people will be infected with COVID-19. "The initial trial aims to establish the smallest amount of virus needed to cause infection, probe the body's immune response, and explore how the virus is passed on from person to person:" tinyurl.com/3lun4ajs.

Education:

The four associate designers of Hamilton: An American Musical are this week's guests on the 4Wall Sunday Roundtable. Hosts Drew Quinones and Jeff Croiter are joined by Jason Crystal (sound), Angela Kahler (costume), Rod Lemmond (set), Ryan J. O'Gara (lights), all of whom have been involved in every Hamilton production to date, starting at The Public Theatre. Episode 34 will be available to stream on February 21 at 6pm EST on 4Wall's Facebook Live and YouTube pages, and will remain available afterwards. Facebook: bit.ly/4Wall-Sunday-Roundtable-Ep-34-FB. YouTube: bit.ly/4Wall-Sunday-Roundtable-Ep-34-YT.

Entertainment:

From Boston Symphony Orchestra: On February 25, at noon: Andris Nelsons leads the BSO in Beethoven's Symphonies Nos. 5 and 7 and Carlos Simon's Fate Now Conquers; chamber music performance of Schoenberg's Phantasy for violin and piano, featuring BSO violinist Haldan Martinson and guest pianist Max Levinson: www.bso.org/now.

MCC Theater presents The Things Are Against Us, by Writers Guild and Peabody Award winner Susan Soon He Stanton and directed by Ellie Heyman. It will stream on MCC's YouTube Channel on February 25 at 6:30pm EST and tickets will include access to watch through February 27, 2021. The cast of includes Juan Castano, Emily Davis, Susannah Flood, Babak Tafti, and Danny Wolohan. Lighting design is by Mary Ellen Stebbins, sound design and original compositions are by Heathcliff Saunders, and video design is by Paul DePoo): www.youtube.com/user/mcctheater Manhattan Theatre Club presents The Past Is the Past, the first production in MTC's virtual Curtain Call series, streaming on demand now through Sunday, February 28. Written by Richard Wesley, the reading stars Jovan and Ron Cephas Jones and is directed by Oz Scott. Tickets to the reading are free and can be reserved at www.manhattantheatreclub.com/events/mtc-curtain-call-series.

Metropolitan Playhouse presents its next free "screened" readings, live-streamed at no charge, with talkback to follow: Deceivers, William C. DeMille. It happens February 20 at 8pm ET and is available through February 24 at 10pm. Running time is 45 minutes: www.metropolitanplayhouse.org.

Mint Theater Company streams its hit production Women Without Men by the Irish playwright Hazel Ellis, directed by Jenn Thompson running February 22 - March 21. The stream is free. To receive a password, visit www.MintTheater.org. Closed captioning is available. Thompson directs an all-female cast that included Mary Bacon, Kate Middleton, Aedin Moloney, Kellie Overbey, Dee Pelletier, Beatrice Tulchin, Emily Walton, and Amelia White. The design team includes Vicki R. Davis will provide scenic design; Martha Halley, costume design; Traci Klainer Polimeni, lighting design; and Jane Shaw, sound design.

New Federal Theatre (NFT) offers a virtual reading of The Meeting by Jeff Stetson on February 20, 21, and 22, all at 7pm. The play is an imaginary encounter between Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in 1965 in a hotel in Harlem. The reading will be free and accessible from NFT's website, www.newfederaltheatre.com. Donations will be gratefully accepted. Directed by Ajene D. Washington, it features Joseph L. Edwards as Dr. Martin Luther King, Beethovan Oden as Malcolm X, and Tyler Fauntleroy as Malcolm's bodyguard.

Red Bull Theater presents a free benefit reading of Hannah Cowley's The Belle's Stratagem, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch. The cast includes Lilli Cooper, Santino Fontana, Peter Jay Fernandez, Aaron Krohn, and Heather Alicia Simms, among others. The online reading will premiere live on February 22 at 7:30pm EST. A recording of the livestream will be available until 7pm EST on February 26. This event is a benefit for Red Bull Theater. Tickets are pay what you can. Advance reservations are recommended: tinyurl.com/3qj7qzzd.

Weekend Playlist:

Fiona Apple offers her spin on "I Walk a Little Faster:" tinyurl.com/8o6vf2ed.

Barbara Cook works her magic with "Come Rain or Come Shine:" tinyurl.com/2k3qkj6b.

Eydie Gorme delivers "The Man I Love:" tinyurl.com/5a4fhqng.

Patti Labelle leads her trio in "Lady Marmalade:" tinyurl.com/vtg1mgor.

Liza Minnelli and some great Fosse dancers sass up "Bye Bye Blackbird:" https://tinyurl.com/1k1g1nt0.

That's all this week. Have a great weekend. Stay safe. Stay warm. 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.


(19 February 2021)

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