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COVID-19 Update, December 18, 2020: Christmas Wishes

Hopes are high for a pandemic relief bill from a newly motivated Congress, even if both sides have had to make painful concessions to get there. It's just a down payment, of course, and more will be needed in 2021, but at least people might be able to get through the holidays without undue anxiety. Otherwise, the number of COVID-19 cases continues to grow, especially in California. The vaccine rollout is hitting some bumps, with states getting cuts in the allotments for reasons left unexplained. And more attention is focused on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose handling of the pandemic looks increasingly politicized and ineffective. Also, expect approval of the Moderna vaccine as early as today.

The latest:

Congress is this close to passing a relief bill. The Democrats have surrendered aid to states and localities. The Republicans have given up on liability protection. This is how democracy works: tinyurl.com/yd2xuozy.

. White House aides had to talk the president out of calling for $2,000 stimulus checks, as opposed to the $600 on offer, for fear of derailing delicate negotiations over the bill: tinyurl.com/y8qjt8ka.

The United States passes 17 million COVID-19 cases: tinyurl.com/y9dc246a.

The FDA advisory panel votes overwhelmingly to approve the Moderna vaccine: tinyurl.com/y928vhqr.

Major bumps appear in the vaccine rollout: tinyurl.com/yboxjaj5. Massachusetts is one of several states told by the Federal Government, without explanation, that its second supply of vaccine will be cut: tinyurl.com/ya49d5lq.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules that employers can require employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19: tinyurl.com/y9vkd9v7.

Demonstrating the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer vaccine, the vice-president and Mrs. Pence get inoculated on television: tinyurl.com/y72qwfv7. Members of Congress will get the vaccine as part of the first round of inoculations: tinyurl.com/yad5ov32.

Michael Strickland takes the case for pandemic relief to WGN America's NewsNation: tinyurl.com/yb3kjllp.

Food for thought:

Why you'll still need to wear a mask after you get vaccinated, at least for a while: tinyurl.com/y9qqek7z.

Many performing arts unions are agreeing to pay cuts, the results of which could linger long after the pandemic: tinyurl.com/y77zt7xk.

New data suggests that one dose of the Pfizer vaccine may be enough; if the research pans out, it could be a game-changer: tinyurl.com/yawyxho4.

How to spot vaccine hoaxes online: tinyurl.com/y9kmjuz2.

Around the country:

In California:

Southern California's ICU capacity drops to zero; if California were a country, it would rank third among the nations of the world in COVID-19 infections: tinyurl.com/ya3m8xxd.

Two people are dying from COVID-19 every hour in Los Angeles County: tinyurl.com/y7sr3ezn.

Nearly 700 patients and staff are infected with COVID-19 at a psychiatric hospital in the state: tinyurl.com/y8jpw6q4.

Crew members on the Apple+ TV series Mythic Quest: Raven's Banquet are outraged after a COVID-19 breakout is dismissed by star/show creator Rob McElhenney: tinyurl.com/y742rd9q.

Inside an overwhelmed hospital in Apple Valley: tinyurl.com/ybg7wsj7.

Concierge doctors are deluged with requests from wealthy patients trying to jump ahead in the vaccine line: tinyurl.com/y8ao86kc.

In Florida:

The state reports 13,548 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest number since mid-July: tinyurl.com/y7amkqle.

The governor says the state is getting fewer doses of vaccine than expected because of a production problem; not true, says Pfizer: tinyurl.com/ydgphagn.

Mayors in the state want more local control over pandemic restrictions, but they can't get the governor on the phone: tinyurl.com/ya26ws46.

Newly released reports show that the governor largely ignored the White House Coronavirus Task Force's recommendations for dealing with the pandemic: tinyurl.com/ycnrvbuz.

Die Fledermaus opens at Opera Orlando this week, the first indoor opera production in the US since March: tinyurl.com/ycbdgsua.

In Maryland:

The governor issues new restrictions, which include essential travel only and no gatherings larger than ten people: tinyurl.com/ycczko2x.

In New York:

Check out these kicky PSAs, "The Beauty of Wearing a Mask," made by Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in cahoots with the Partnership for New York City: tinyurl.com/y8aqbuzh.

Nurses across the state say they're not prepared for the next wave of the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/ybtaxkms.

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival announces a summer season: hvshakespeare.org/.

In Wisconsin:

Eight nuns living in a Milwaukee-area convent die in a single week from COVID-19: tinyurl.com/ycblg87d.

Around the world:

In Australia:

A COVID-19 cluster breaks out in Sydney, causing the shutdown of numerous beaches: tinyurl.com/y967p7hh.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child returns to the stage in Sydney in February: tinyurl.com/yc6o3wbx.

In Germany:

The Berlin Film Festival will be virtual in March with a physical edition planned for the public in June: tinyurl.com/yb2cptoh.

In Mexico:

The mayor of Mexico City resists imposing a lockdown even as hospital beds are 75% filled: tinyurl.com/ybkdpyzw.

In Northern Ireland:

The country will go on lockdown, starting December 26 for at least four weeks: tinyurl.com/ya67hbra.

In the UK:

As the country records 35,000 new cases in a single day, the government warns that the recently imposed harsher restrictions could last into February: tinyurl.com/y8cuqnot.

Entertainment:

Now from Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: Testament, conceived and choreographed by Matthew Rushing in collaboration with company member and assistant to the rehearsal director Clifton Brown and former company member Yusha-Marie Sorzano. Featuring film direction by former Ailey/Fordham BFA student Preston Miller, an original score by composer Damien Sneed, and reflections from the current dancers, the work follows a community of people turning pain into power and lament into hope. Wave Hill Public Garden & Cultural Center: www.alvinailey.org/.

Andrea McArdle: A Holiday Concert streams now through December 20. Tickets and showtimes at tinyurl.com/ya8ga7ar.

The Save West Bank Café Virtual Telethon, a fundraiser for a beloved New York City Theatre District hangout, takes place December 25, starting at noon EST. The lineup already includes Betty Buckley, Debra Messing, Martha Plimpton, Alice Ripley, Lewis Black, Megan Hilty, Kerry Butler, Leslie Kritzer, Nick Adams, Alison Fraser, Diana DeGarmo, Ace Young, Cheri Oteri, Isaac Mizrahi, Dylan Baker, and Warren Leight, with more TBA: www.SaveWestBankCafe.com.

For your pleasure:

The Fates from Broadway's Hadestown offer a most appropriate holiday wish in "Someday at Christmas:" tinyurl.com/yaus4gbl.

That's all for today. Have a good weekend. See you Monday. 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.


(18 December 2020)

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