Daily Digest 3/12 – World ‘Not Ready’ For Covid-19 Pandemic, ‘Remain in Mexico’ Asylum Policy To Stay In Place

Economy

Coronavirus ‘highly sensitive’ to high temperatures, study says (Rob B.)

Published last month, though yet to be peer-reviewed, the report suggested heat had a significant role to play in how the virus behaves.

“Temperature could significantly change Covid-19 transmission,” it said. “And there might be a best temperature for viral transmission.”

Trump suspends travel from Europe for 30 days as part of response to ‘foreign’ coronavirus (TS)

U.S. stock futures fell sharply as Trump concluded his speech with Dow Jones Industrial Average futures trading more than 600 points lower. Those losses would add to the 30-stock average’s steep decline on Wednesday that put it more than 20% below its record high from just last month.

Trump officials cut testimony short at coronavirus hearing (tmn)

At about 11:30 a.m., she ended questioning from lawmakers, saying she received notice from the White House that the witnesses needed to leave “now.”

“I don’t know what’s going on at the White House,” she said.

“There seems to be a great deal of confusion and a lack of coordination at the White House. I hope this does not reflect on the broader response to this crisis.”

Covid Observations from Beijing, March 11 (tmn)

Businesses are starting to open their doors again, but still at a rate of a trickle. Most people are staying home—I know of people who have not left their apartments in the last six weeks. In normal times, I grab lunch with someone every day. Now it’s difficult to coax any Chinese friend to venture outdoors, so mostly I have to eat with foreign friends. When we’re out as a group, it’s difficult to go to bars and restaurants that would seat more than three or four people together. The cinemas, museums, and most attractions are closed. In the aggregate though, I find myself being more social than before. Since everyone is working from home, we’re all more eager to congregate in the evenings. Nearly every night someone is organizing small-group gatherings for dinner, drinks, board games, or a movie watched at home.

Coronavirus spreads further as WHO expert warns world ‘not ready’ for pandemic (TS)

“Access the expertise of China,” said Aylward, speaking in a personal capacity at the World Health Organisation in Geneva. “They have done this at speed and they know what they are doing. They are really, really good at it.”

China’s epidemic has peaked and the numbers are on their way down, thanks to an unprecedented engagement at every level by the Chinese, he said. The data they saw suggested it had saved many people from sickness and possible death. “Hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get COVID-19 because of this aggressive response,” he said.

People at Risk for Serious Illness from COVID-19 (TS)

Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration.

Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.

Government Outlaws Freelance Work (thc0655)

Herstand says Uber and Lyft drivers would often tell him: “I’m a photographer and this is my fourth side gig. I want to do this when I want to do this, and if now I’m an employee, and I’m W2’d, they’re going to dictate my hours. I don’t want that. (The law is) preventing us from doing what we want to do.”

The law upset independent truck drivers, too. After some nosily drove big rigs in front of the legislature, they got an exemption from the law. Other politically connected professions, like lawyers and realtors, got exemptions as well.

US Supreme Court lets ‘Remain in Mexico’ asylum policy stay in place (TS)

The policy, officially known as Migrant Protection Protocols, mandates that non-Mexican asylum return to Mexico as they await hearings in the United States. It has resulted in the creation of makeshift camps where hundreds of migrants have waited for weeks, if not months, in squalid and unsafe conditions. In some cases, migrant families have opted to send children across the US-Mexico border alone.

Bitcoin loses 21 percent of its value in broad cryptocurrency rout (jdargis)

Investors are worried that in the coming weeks, coronavirus concerns will cause consumers to drastically cut back spending at bars and restaurants, hotels, airlines, entertainment venues, and so forth. That short-term spending slow-down, in turn, could create ripple effects that reduce spending in other sectors of the economy. This could be a vicious cycle that tips the entire US economy into a 2008-style recession.

The Federal Reserve acted decisively to address the issue last week with an emergency cut to interest rates. It is widely expected to cut interest rates again at its regularly scheduled meeting next week.

The World’s Facing a Silent ‘Pandemic’ More Dangerous Than Most Viruses: Air Pollution (jdargis)

In 2015, all the violence in the world could not come close to the impacts of air pollution (these deaths only shortened global life expectancy by 0.3 years). Even tobacco smoking decreased life expectancy by roughly a third less. And, unlike cigarettes, ambient air can’t exactly be avoided.

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