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COVID-19 Update: November 18, 2020: The 95% Solution

It's another good news/bad news day. The latest information on the Pfizer vaccine is spectacular and, despite the many hurdles to distribution, there's reason to believe that both new vaccines will start rolling out in a matter of weeks. They can't happen soon enough, however, as the US continues to be battered by the unchecked coronavirus. Even authorities who previously opposed strong social restrictions are changing their minds. One problem to watch: The incoming Biden administration can't yet meet with members to the current administration about vaccine distributions: No matter what you think about the election outcome, in this case something's got to give.

The latest:

More good news: Pfizer reports that its vaccine is 95% effective, with no serious side effects; the company plans to seek emergency authorization use in a matter of days: tinyurl.com/yyg3a4ca. Dr. Anthony Fauci foresees 20 million Americans getting a vaccine by the end of year: tinyurl.com/y5f94sz9.

The White House Coronavirus Task Force tells the vice-president that without concerted action, we're looking at 2,000 deaths a day by Christmas: tinyurl.com/y24opkve. COVID-19 cases are on the rise in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, the US Virgin Islands, and Guam: tinyurl.com/y3suq38m. Experts estimate that more than three million Americans are contagious with the coronavirus; that's nearly 1% of the population: tinyurl.com/yxjuskup.

The FDA approves the first at-home COVID-19 self-test; it provides rapid results: tinyurl.com/yy62cdac.

Not helpful: The incoming Biden administration is being blocked from meeting with federal civil servants about a vaccine distribution plan: tinyurl.com/y4hfrnao.

The diagnoses of Senator Grassley and Representative Young threaten to slow down Congress even further: tinyurl.com/yxve9nml.

Governors who refused to impose mask mandates and other social restrictions, citing the primacy of personal responsibility, are taking it back: tinyurl.com/y6t3o6tn.

The next big challenge in getting the vaccine distributed: producing millions of tiny vials: tinyurl.com/y6cqp3pn.

Food for thought:

A stunning personal account by Chicago Tribune journalist Heidi Stevens of her battle with COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y3mzr6tf.

How Nova Scotia beat the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/y6a5ne8m.

How Dolly Parton helped fund the Moderna vaccine: tinyurl.com/yy2g4b2k.

Antibodies against the coronavirus fall more quickly in men than in women, a fact that holds implications for further research: tinyurl.com/yy6y6utf.

Around the country:

In Florida:

The state adds, 7,459 new cases on Tuesday: tinyurl.com/y45sx6mn.

The beleaguered boutique cruise ship SeaDream, docked by COVID-19 infections, cancels its schedule for the rest of the year tinyurl.com/y2byhnr7.

In the wake of theme park layoffs, Orlando food banks ramp up: tinyurl.com/yyg94qp7.

In a sign of optimism for the tourism industry, Westgate Resorts is seeking to fill 500 seasonal positions: tinyurl.com/yymuhax8.

In Maryland:

The state imposes new restrictions on restaurants, stores, and hospitals, also banning fans from sports events: tinyurl.com/y4d6mqrm.

The state reports 2,000 or more cases for the third time in five days: tinyurl.com/y4ypcxew.

In Minnesota:

Bars and restaurants move to take-out only and gyms are closed as part of the state's new restrictions: tinyurl.com/y3lk8ek2.

In Missouri:

The state senate postpones a special session, designed to deal with COVID-19, following a COVID outbreak in its ranks: tinyurl.com/y22zdnge.

In Nevada:

The state reports 1,700 new cases on Tuesday: tinyurl.com/y24kxun9.

The show Magic Mike Live will return to the Sahara on the Vegas Strip in March: tinyurl.com/yyety3qe.

The under-construction Resorts World hotel casino in Vegas announces plans to hire 6,000 employees: tinyurl.com/y3cvznkd.

In New York:

The pandemic forces an MTA budget proposal that would be devastating to the city's vitality: tinyurl.com/y39r4lz6.

Roundabout Theatre Company announces approximate dates for its return productions: tinyurl.com/y3pp735k.

In North Dakota:

The state attains the world's highest COVID-19 mortality rate: tinyurl.com/y4os746f.

In Ohio:

The number of new cases reported on Tuesday is 7,079; the governor establishes a 10:00pm - 5:00am curfew: tinyurl.com/y5vtxcte.

A Cincinnati wedding becomes a super-spreader event, infecting more than one-third of the guests, including the bride and groom: tinyurl.com/yxp7wo9n.

Around the world:

In France:

The country is the first in Europe to top two million COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/y5ufoho5.

In Sweden:

The country abandons the "Swedish model," banning gatherings of more than eight people: tinyurl.com/yxbs9dn4.

In the UK:

A new reports says the country's live industry grew by 19% in 2019. Then COVID hit: tinyurl.com/y396yxqb.

Entertainment:

Jazz at Lincoln Center's new live concert experience Live From Dizzy's presents pianist and composer Brandon Goldberg and his quintet, featuring drummer Ralph Peterson, November 19 at 7:30pm EST. The suggested ticket price is $10, free for JALC member. Goldberg is only 14, but he is a wonder. Tickets at tinyurl.com/y378j4tz.

For your pleasure:

Jazz piano wunderkind Brandon Goldberg plays "McCoy," an original composition: tinyurl.com/y2omjs5k.

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

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


(18 November 2020)

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