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COVID-19 Update, November 9: Game Changers

What a difference a weekend makes: As the world -- well, most of it -- knows, Joseph Biden is the president-elect of the US, putting the prospect of a coordinated national response to the pandemic back on the table. Wasting no time, today he convenes his pandemic task force. Even more important, the Pfizer vaccine is, reportedly 90% effective and may soon be ready for distribution. For the first time in months, things may be looking up.

The latest:

Pfizer and BioNTech report that their coronavirus vaccine is 90% effective, well above what most scientists have been hoping for: tinyurl.com/yxljvoru. Of course, the stock market executes an Olympics-level jump: tinyurl.com/y3vu543c. But what goes up must go down; Zoom and other stay-at-home stocks plunge as hopes rise that lockdown will end in the foreseeable future: tinyurl.com/yyyrjej7.

Wasting no time, the president-elect convenes his new coronavirus task force today: tinyurl.com/yxcm3w2h. And there's no time to lose; on the same day that he announces his plan, the US records 127,399 new COVID-19 cases, a new record for the fourth day in a row: tinyurl.com/y6j72rcf. New COVID-19 cases rise four-fold in states where the coronavirus is surging: tinyurl.com/y3fy4zfx.

"We are not going to control the pandemic," famously said Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff; he now has COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y2hm3sd3. In fact, half a dozen White House aides have been infected: tinyurl.com/y523rs2l.

The US added 638,000 jobs in October, beating expectations significantly: tinyurl.com/yyr3rjml.

The head of the National Association of Theatre Owners, the cinema exhibitors trade group, pushes for the Save Our Stages Act, without which, he warns, mass bankruptcy is likely: tinyurl.com/y4owpnko.

The Department of Veterans Affairs recruits volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials: tinyurl.com/y2pwk5fl.

Food for thought:

How that biker rally in Sturgis, South Dakota became a nationwide super-spreader event: tinyurl.com/y3spoq86.

A new study suggest that children are less susceptible to the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/y4m7lxmc.

Research from the University of North Carolina indicates that the coronavirus isn't mutating significantly; this is good news, as it means vaccines are likely to work: tinyurl.com/yxcarspz.

New research focuses on how COVID-19 ravages blood vessels: tinyurl.com/y49zfuwc. According to the University of Miami study, the coronavirus can also invade the testicles of male patients: tinyurl.com/y343exck.

Some scientists dispute the "cytokine storm" concept, which suggests that some COVID-19 sufferers are devastated by an overreaction of their immune systems: tinyurl.com/y42zxpbs.

The restaurant business:

Orlando-area restaurants struggle to keep going in the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y2bvrj8m.

Elaborate d├ęcor, electric heaters, and space blankets; New York restauranteurs get creative to keep outdoor dining going all winter long: tinyurl.com/y66xfcop.

Around the country:

In California:

Hotel owners in San Diego fight back against a city ordinance demanding that when they rehired laid-off workers they must give preference to their most senior employees: tinyurl.com/y4yuasrk.

In the Dakotas:

Both states are ravaged by the coronavirus, causing them to have the country's worst per-capita death rates over the last 30 days: tinyurl.com/y6rhjzzf.

In Florida:

The state adds 5,245 new COVID-19 cases on Friday: tinyurl.com/y4f2q9s4. The Saturday total is 4,452: tinyurl.com/y2o9qxha. On Sunday, the numbers reach 6,820, the most in three months: tinyurl.com/y674so4f.

Is the governor manipulating data to seemingly lower the number of COVID 19 deaths? tinyurl.com/y26wzrgj.

In Illinois:

Breaking a record set the day before, the state records 10,000 new COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/yywq5nr6.

Hospitalizations experience a surge, alarming the governor and health officials: tinyurl.com/y2tvmz7b.

In Maryland:

Baltimore orders tighter restrictions on gatherings and restaurants: tinyurl.com/yyoe7r69.

On Monday, the state records 1,375 new COVID-19 infections as the positivity tops 5% for the first time since June: tinyurl.com/yyzlpxxn.

In Massachusetts:

The governor pushes for schools to reopen even in communities where the coronavirus is surging: tinyurl.com/y6zjwuxf.

In Minnesota:

The state records another 5,098 new COVID-19 cases, another record: tinyurl.com/y48nwcav.

In Missouri:

The Kansas City metro area breaks its record seven-day average, with 858 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday: tinyurl.com/yy9zhcp6.

Thanks to the coronavirus, Kansas City hospitals are running out of beds: tinyurl.com/y3qdhvdh.

In Nevada:

The state sets a new record for daily cases with 1,562: tinyurl.com/yxrqdoxu. The next day, the number jumps to 1,824, with a positivity rate of 12.8%: tinyurl.com/y3cn6zus.

CinemaCon, the cinema exhibitors' trade show held annually in Las Vegas, is postponed from April to August: tinyurl.com/yy8y8pcy.

In New Jersey:

The COVID positivity rate hits 6%; a new lockdown looms: tinyurl.com/y4pcy4nj.

In New York:

National Guard troops will be used at New York City airports to ensure that arriving travelers have recently passed COVID-19 tests: tinyurl.com/y5ofcpu9.

In Ohio:

The seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases has nearly doubled over the past two weeks: tinyurl.com/y2bauv4x.

More than 5,500 new cases are recorded on Saturday: tinyurl.com/yyt7nhcv.

In Oregon:

New COVID-19 cases skyrocket and the governor puts several counties on a "social pause:" tinyurl.com/yxpfpr4o.

In Utah:

A report from one of the state's overwhelmed hospitals: tinyurl.com/y2s64f5s.

The governor imposes a new mask mandate and social distancing restrictions: tinyurl.com/y4dc8fw4.

Around the world:

In France:

The country records 60,000 new COVID-19 cases in one day, a new record: tinyurl.com/yxdzvral.

In Germany:

Lufthansa tries out a new rapid coronavirus testing program for passengers: tinyurl.com/yxg6e947.

In Italy:

The Italian Order of Doctors warns that, without tougher restrictions, the country is looking at 10,000 deaths a month: tinyurl.com/y4v8g9aa.

In Russia:

The country records 20,582 new COVID-19 cases in one day: tinyurl.com/y5qncjw3.

In the UK:

Production on the Netflix series The Witcher is paused when four members of the company test positive for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/yya54qrf.

For your entertainment:

Baltimore Center Stage presents a reading of Caryl Churchill's play Seagulls on November 19 ay 7:00pm ET. It's a pay-what-you-will event; register at tinyurl.com/y35lr5de.

CalArts Center for New Performance (CNP) presents a free re-release of the world premiere production of The Carolyn Bryant Project beginning November 9, 2020. Created by Nataki Garrett and Andrea LeBlanc, and directed by Garrett, artistic director at Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), the production which reached audiences in over 40 countries will be available for viewing for a two-week run through November 22 on CNP's digital platform at centerfornewperformance.org/streaming/. In collaboration with CNP, OSF presents additional engagement experiences on its digital platform, O! at osfashland.uscreen.io/catalog. The piece focuses on the brief encounter, in 1955, between Emmett Till and Carolyn Bryant, which lead to the former's lynching. For more, go to: www.centerfornewperformance.org/streaming.

Here's the latest lineup of operas streamed by the Metropolitan Opera: tinyurl.com/y29rmfpk.

For your pleasure:

The University of Arkansas Inspirational Chorale offers "Everybody Rejoice (Brand New Day)" by Luther Vandross, from The Wiz: tinyurl.com/y6oknosr.

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

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

(9 November 2020)

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