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COVID-19 Update, December 22, 2020: Progress

We still have plenty of problems, and the spread of COVID-19 continues at an unacceptable rate, but at last, we're seeing progress on several fronts. The admittedly inadequate pandemic relief bill will help many during the holidays and the new administration will work at providing more help. The Moderna vaccine is rolling out and indications are that both it and the Pfizer vaccine will most likely be able to handle the variant strain that has appeared in the UK. What follows is a list of events both hopeful and horrible; for the first time, however, a much more hopeful 2021 seems like a given.

The latest:

The pandemic relief bill is approved: tinyurl.com/y6whfve5. The bill renews the Paycheck Protection Program, which is good news for small businesses: tinyurl.com/yb2z5ouu. The inclusion of the Save Our Stages Act is good news for venue owners: tinyurl.com/yc6vv2eo. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that stimulus checks could go out as early as next week: tinyurl.com/y7ynqh77

The head of BioNTech says that the company's vaccine (the Pfizer vaccine) will most likely work against the variant strain on the coronavirus now running wild in the UK; if a new version of the vaccine is needed, he adds, it would only take six weeks to develop: tinyurl.com/yblpvsco.

Nine months into the pandemic, US healthcare workers are still critically short of protective gear: tinyurl.com/y9wjqghy.

The US GDP grew by a 33.4% annualized rate last quarter, slightly better than expected: tinyurl.com/y7zaqur2.

Desperate government warnings, US holiday travel is already breaking records: tinyurl.com/yca2r7wu.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that stimulus checks could go out as early as next week: tinyurl.com/y7ynqh77.

Food for thought:

Once you've had the vaccine, what can you do? And when? tinyurl.com/y7yfkkj6.

Your questions about the stimulus bill answered: tinyurl.com/y9x5uu2c.

Why are so many Americans numb to the terrible death toll of COVID-19? tinyurl.com/y8lsnjd8.

The US could see a decline of two to three years in life expectancy, thanks to COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y8fgxer8.

Around the country:

In California:

The rationing of hospital care is on the table as the pandemic continues unabated: tinyurl.com/ybjnmpg4.

In Florida:

The state records 11,015 cases on Monday: tinyurl.com/y73mejwn.

According to the latest White House COVID-19 Task Force report, the state remains in the red zone, with a 12% increase in cases from last week; it recommends masks, social distancing, and avoiding indoor gatherings. Meanwhile, the governor vows to keep restaurants open: tinyurl.com/y9mbl3d9.

Interestingly, Rick Scott is one of six senators to vote against the pandemic relief bill, even though he represents one of the hardest-hit states: tinyurl.com/y8cakv43.

. In what seems like an optimistic decision, Miami's International Auto Show is scheduled to open in May: tinyurl.com/yahqsjtn.

In Nevada:

Vegas' Mirage hotel casino will be closed Mondays through Thursdays through February tinyurl.com/yaqsbwhs/a>.

In New York:

The governor asks three airlines to require a negative COVID-19 test for passengers on flights from the UK: tinyurl.com/ybgnlbu8.

Around the world:

In Antarctica:

The coronavirus reaches the is most remote part of the globe, as 36 people living at a Chilean research base test positive: tinyurl.com/y8m6s6rn.

In Canada:

Ontario goes under a "hard lockdown" to last up to a month: tinyurl.com/y85vkpuy.

In Colombia:

Undocumented Venezuelans immigrants will not be inoculated against COVID-19, a move that seems at best counterproductive: tinyurl.com/y9z5flmu.

In France:

The country will reopen its borders to the UK: tinyurl.com/y8nl4yt2.

In Mexico:

Tourists flock to the country's "Riviera," aiding and abetting the spread of COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y8kjb8yl.

In Taiwan:

The country has its first COVID-19 case in 253 days -- caused, the government says, by contact with an airplane pilot from another country: tinyurl.com/y8q9e74k.


Starting on Christmas Day, you can stream Kris Kringle, The Musical, by Maria Ciampi, Tim Janis, and Angelo Natalie. The cast includes Kim Crosby, Kyle Sherman, Mary Stout, Elizabeth Ward Land, and many others: www.kriskringlethemusical.com/.

The legendary downtown theatre company Split Britches presents an encore run online of Last Gasp WFH now through January 21. Written and performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver and created in collaboration with Nao Nagai, Vivian Stoll, and Morgan Thorson, Last Gasp WFH is a series of verbal and physical essays that playfully dances through the dangerous intersections of permanence and impermanence, interdependence and care, knowledge and experience, narcissism and echoes. Tickets are $10: tinyurl.com/y82o8ko2.

Royal Shakespeare Company will stream Swingin' the Dream, a concert version of a jazz-infusd reimagination of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, first seen in New York in 1939. This concert performance will be streamed live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre on Saturday, January 9 at 7pm UK time, as part of the RSC's Tales for Winter program. New York's Theatre for a New Audience is offering the concert to its audiences for free; reservations are required: www.tfana.org/.

For your pleasure:

The great Susan Johnson offers a swingy version of Frank Loesser's "If I Were a Bell:" tinyurl.com/y88oo74d.

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.

(5 January 2021)

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