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COVID-19 Update, December 11, 2020: Help is On the Way

The Pfizer vaccine is racing through the approval process in the US, with the first vaccines due to arrive in certain cities as early as the beginning of next week. And not a moment too soon: The next 60 days are likely to be the most challenging of the pandemic. It doesn't help that the pandemic relief bill is on the critical list, largely because GOP senators are balking at aid to states and cities. Meanwhile, the live events industry racks up catastrophic losses and fury breaks out in Hollywood over Warner Bros.' plan to simultaneously release films via theatres and streaming for all of 2021.

The latest:

An FDA committee advises acceptance of the Pifzer vaccine, making its approval virtually certain: tinyurl.com/y3elgv2y. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar sees vaccinations starting early next week: tinyurl.com/y5msjh4p. How the vaccine will travel from the lab to you: tinyurl.com/y39k4zt5. A New York City doctor volunteers to be among the first to take the vaccine, to demonstrate its safety to her community: tinyurl.com/y23f7vzc.

Yesterday, we noted that more Americans had died from COVID-19 on the previous day than on 9/11; sadly, according to Dr. Robert Redfield at the CDC, that pattern is set to continue for the next 60 days or so: tinyurl.com/y4hyyy7p.

The $900 billion pandemic relief bill is close to collapse; Senator Mitch McConnell says he can't muster enough GOP support for a bill that includes $160 billion for state and local funds: tinyurl.com/yy5fo7bp.

A military grade camera is deployed to show the dangers of airborne coronavirus spread: tinyurl.com/y272trnu.

Biden COVID advisor Dr. Michael Osterholm describes the CDC's holidays guidance as comparable to rules for the best way to drive while drunk: tinyurl.com/y6pt5n9n.

A new report reveals that the North American live events industry lost $30 billion in 2020: tinyurl.com/yypsq6ek.

Mark Zuckerberg tells 50,000 Facebook employees that they won't need a vaccine to return to the office: tinyurl.com/y68cbabu.

Food for thought:

We know COVID-19 vaccines protect those who get them; do they also prevent transmission? We don't yet know: tinyurl.com/y2pb2rba.

Around the country:

In Arizona:

A fed-up doctor tweets that there are no ICU beds left in Arizona; the next day, the hospital where he works lets him go: tinyurl.com/yxksbajx.

In California:

Confusing messaging is causing people to ignore social distancing restrictions: tinyurl.com/y3hc5rxo.

The cast and crew of the Brad Pitt thriller Bullet Train are sent home following a positive COVID-19 test: tinyurl.com/yy3qu4ss.

Judd Apatow is the latest producer/director to blast Warner Bros. for its new combined theatre/streaming film release plan for 2021: tinyurl.com/y6eq5mfx.

Director Denis Villeneuve piles on: tinyurl.com/y4u69vsc.

In Florida:

The state records 11,335 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest number since July: tinyurl.com/yxuthqa8.

Miami police will start enforcing a midnight curfew: tinyurl.com/y4nxzgrx.

For now, the Miami Heat will be playing games without fans: tinyurl.com/y5ns9ht9.

In Maryland:

The state reports 46 deaths, the most in a single day since May: tinyurl.com/y5r8xjhc.

In Massachusetts:

In what may be the ultimate super-spreader a Biogen conference held in Boston in last February is linked to 300,000 cases worldwide: tinyurl.com/y6jz3x9y.

In New Hampshire:

The speaker of the state's House of Representatives, sworn in last week, has died of COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y2lkyyzp. In response to the tragedy, the governor condemns anti-maskers; another GOP legislator blames members of his own caucus: tinyurl.com/y6bzofzs.

In New York:

COVID-19 hospitalizations spike in the city, reaching 1,578 on Thursday: tinyurl.com/y4b2u9p7.

Indoor dining in New York City will be shuttered starting Monday: tinyurl.com/y4fzacr2.

Around the world:

In Australia:

A locally produced vaccine is scrapped after it is shown to produce false-positive results to HIV tests; the prime minister say the government will take its time approving the Pfizer vaccine: tinyurl.com/yxwdfc3d.

In Italy:

Did the World Health Organization conspire with Italy to suppress a damning report detailing the country's inadequate handling of the pandemic? tinyurl.com/y3ogrjq5.

In Russia:

Even with the coronavirus spreading unchecked, Russians are surprisingly cool to the now-available Sputnik vaccine: tinyurl.com/y53ju7qu.

In South Africa:

The country faces a dramatic rise in new COVID-19 infections: tinyurl.com/y2u4v7ug.

In Sweden:

The country, once the rare exception the devastation of the pandemic, now faces a surge in infections: tinyurl.com/y2lqs5w6.

In the UK:

The government announces £165 million in emergency loans to hard-hit arts associations: tinyurl.com/yxgkqwdd.

Losses:

Wrestler Tiny Lister: tinyurl.com/y5bjv8ex.

South Korean film director Kim Ki-duk: tinyurl.com/y6cqtyqk.

Entertainment:

The world premiere of Ike Holter's audio play I Hate It Here is now live. The production will be available to stream for free through March 7, 2021. Written during and about the pandemic, the play explores a world on the brink through a series of vignettes, taking listeners from the school yard to a wedding, protest, front stoop, and more to capture what it's like to live in a world wracked by changes both personal and systemic. Listen here: www.studiotheatre.org/plays/play-detail/2020-2021-i-hate-it-here/listen.

Milwaukee Repertory Theater presents Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol written by Tom Mula, produced and recorded in the Quadracci Powerhouse and available for streaming December 10 - 24, 2020. Tickets are $20 per household: www.MilwaukeeRep.com.

The free stream of The Nutcracker at Wethersfield will be available to watch on demand at www.NutcrackerAtWethersfield.com from December 23 at 5:00pm to December 26 at midnight.

You're a Green One, Mr. Finch, a concert sponsored by the Broadway Green Alliance, will feature Idina Menzel, George Salazar, Michael James Scott, Elizabeth Stanley, Ann Harada, Lesli Magherita, Javier Muñoz, Susan Egan, and Laura Osnes. It streams December 18 at 8:00pm EST: www.playbill.com.

For your pleasure:

Ivano Turco sings "Only You, Lonely You" from the forthcoming Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cinderella: tinyurl.com/y5o2xzqd.

That's all for today. Have a nice weekend. 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.


(11 December 2020)

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