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COVID-19 Update, December 9, 2020: The Global Rollout

It was, according to the headline in the New York Daily News, "the shot felt round the world," as the UK kicked off what will become global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. (The New York Post, noting that the first man to get the shot is named William Shakespeare, went with "The Taming of the Flu.") At least, we're seeing positive action, but there are many bumps in the road ahead. These include allergic reactions to the Pfizer vaccine, new questions about the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the ever-present challenge of anti-vaxxers and COVID-deniers. Meanwhile, the US continues to take in on the chin, exacerbating worries about an overwhelmed healthcare system. But there in hints of progress in negotiations for a stimulus relief bill.

The latest:

New COVID-19 cases are surging in virtually every state in the union: tinyurl.com/y4mfhncr.

People with significant allergic reactions are being warned not to take the Pfizer vaccine after a couple of people in the UK fall ill: tinyurl.com/y46e7hbt. New results on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine say it is 70% effective, but questions remain about its efficacy in people over 55: tinyurl.com/y3qdoknb.

More than a third of Americans live in areas where hospitals are running out of ICU beds: tinyurl.com/yy4ksbrt.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warns that the battle has only begun against those who believe COVID-19 is a hoax: tinyurl.com/y6kar63g.

That $908 billion relief package in Congress contains no stimulus checks, so the president pushes for the addition of $600 checks: tinyurl.com/y55c55wo. Meanwhile, Congress has yet to appropriate money for vaccine distribution: tinyurl.com/yydwezaw. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin makes a new offer, a $916 bill that provides help for state and local governments and liability protection for businesses, but no enhanced unemployment checks; on the table are $600 one-time checks per person and child: tinyurl.com/y4dqwhcg.

Health secretary Alex Azar meets with the Biden transition team to ensure a smooth rollout of the vaccine: tinyurl.com/y5qn6wyr.

The US turns to incentive payments to nursing homes that control the spread of infectious diseases: tinyurl.com/y3fa45lu.

Arts workers write President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, saying that the pandemic lays bare the need of a cabinet-level arts and culture agency that, they note, is too big to fail: tinyurl.com/y2au6ltm.

Oscar and Tony winner Ellen Burstyn and Charles Segars, CEO of Ovation TV, issue an urgent call for a Congressional bailout of the arts industry: tinyurl.com/yymqq6pe.

Senator Ron Johnson hosts a panel of contrarian scientists, beginning with a doctor who doubts the efficacy of vaccines but praises hydroxychloroquine: tinyurl.com/y5se2gnw.

Jenna Ellis, who has been working with Rudy Giuliani to get the presidential election results overturned, has tested positive for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/yysa8j8e.

Around the country:

In Florida:

The state reports 7,985 new cases on Tuesday: tinyurl.com/yy8dcutr.

The raid on the home of a statistician who has criticized the state's COVID-19 tracking program, ignites a storm of controversy: tinyurl.com/y2p5eesw.

State Representative Marie Woodson, her husband, and children all test positive: tinyurl.com/y4guh9qz.

In Idaho:

A state public health agency, meeting to consider responses to the pandemic, is forced to adjourn after a gang of COVID deniers menace board members in their homes; the commissioner's son is left to face an angry mob alone: tinyurl.com/y2auepdq.

In Illinois:

O'Hare and Midway Airports are setting up COVID-19 testing sites: tinyurl.com/yy8dcutr.

In Maryland:

COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a record high: tinyurl.com/y24pmy8q.

Baltimore halts indoor and outdoor dining at restaurants: tinyurl.com/y5rhtk7f.

In Massachusetts:

The governor is rolling back the state's reopening plan. Here are the details: tinyurl.com/yykhmejr.

In Michigan:

The Michigan -- Ohio football game is off -- the former canceled -- because too many players are infected with COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y2n57vpr.

In Nevada:

A look at the parking lot turned into COVID-19 hospital ward in Reno: tinyurl.com/y2dffy9y.

The Palazzo at the Venetian Resort closes, temporarily, due to lack of business: tinyurl.com/y266rhbj.

In Rhode Island:

The state now has the highest average daily COVID-19 case rate: tinyurl.com/y3a6ewad.

Around the world:

In Australia:

The international musical hit Come from Away returns to the stage for the first time since March, in Melbourne where things are rapidly headed back to normal: tinyurl.com/y3ajfen4.

In Germany:

COVID-19 deaths rise to the biggest number since the pandemic began: tinyurl.com/y22dhsqw. Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for much tougher social restrictions, including an end to in-person schools, an extended Christmas school holiday, and closure of non-essential businesses: tinyurl.com/y59vgsvw.

In India:

Officials expect the authorization of vaccines in a few weeks: tinyurl.com/y6zsnxsh.

In Mexico:

The vaccine rollout is expected to start the third week of December: tinyurl.com/y3brlypw.

In Morocco:

Armed with a Chinese vaccine, the government aims to inoculate 80% of the population starting this month: tinyurl.com/y3v4j98e.

In Russia:

The vodka drought begins; doctors tell people to refrain from alcohol for six weeks after getting the Sputnik vaccine: tinyurl.com/y2ym4dht.

In Singapore:

A "COVID-secure" cruise to nowhere turns out just as you might expect: tinyurl.com/y3xxn8ac.

In the United Arab Emirates:

Officials say that tests of a Chinese vaccine reveal it to be 86% effective: tinyurl.com/yyfs5wv8.


Tonight at 7:30pm ET, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater celebrates the company's longest tenured dancers Glenn Allen Sims and Linda Celeste Sims; the program features a new recording of the central duet from The Winter in Lisbon, and an assortment of excerpts of the duo's performances of Night Creature, Polish Pieces, "The Lake" from The River, and "Fix Me, Jesus" from Revelations, as well as Linda in a solo from Memoria. The program also includes a talk with the two dancers and choreographer Ronald K. Brown: tinyurl.com/y2aowatd.

MCC Theater will present a reading of Between the Two Humps by Halley Feiffer. Directed by Trip Cullman, Between the Two Humps will stream on MCC's YouTube Channel at www.youtube.com/user/mcctheater?app=desktop on December 17 at 6:30pm ET. The reading will be followed by a 15-minute talkback. The play is a comedy about Mary and Joseph on the road to Bethlehem. The cast includes Peppermint, Portia, Noah Robbins, and Kara Young.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (NYGASP) will stream Sir Arthur Sullivan and F.C. Burnand's comic operetta, Cox and Box. This all-new original film, available December 27 - January 2 was shot and fully staged at South Orange Performing Arts Center with an Actors' Equity Association-approved COVID-19 safety plan. The 50-minute film was produced in 1080p HD resolution with multiple cameras www.nygasp.org.

York Theatre Company presents the next entry in its Great American Songbook series, hosted by Michael Feinstein. This one features Robert Creighton, star of the Off-Broadway musical Cagney and a principal in Disney's Frozen on Broadway: It runs tonight through December 12: tinyurl.com/y696ucl4.

For your pleasure:

Take a break with a couple of legends. Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand in their inimitable medley of "Get Happy" and "Happy Days are Here Again:" tinyurl.com/l9x8s3t.

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

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

(9 December 2020)

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