Manic Mondays: Your Weekly Guide For Living In The COVID Economy
Summer has officially started, and by the look of some beaches and swimming pools over Memorial Day weekend, you might think life is back to normal.
Crowds of people without face masks or an idea of what social distancing guidelines jammed beaches and seemed to have missed the message that coronavirus has infected more than 1.6 million Americans.
In St. Louis County, Missouri, a travel advisory was issued by health officials after a video went viral that showed hundreds of people jammed into pool parties and other areas in Lake of the Ozarks.
Epicenter Reopens, Georgia Gains
Two months after New Rochelle, which was once the epicenter of New York’s coronavirus outbreak, became a containment zone, it started to reopen Tuesday. The suburb north of New York City was hit with a 1-mile “containment zone” in March to help prevent the virus from spreading.
A month ago, Georgia became one of the first states to reopen its economy. Coronavirus asses steadily declined from late April until mid-May after an earlier stay-at-home order, according to CNN.
Total cases in Georgia have risen slightly since May 12 after flattening. So far, hospitals in the state haven’t been overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients and preliminary data suggests that reopening hasn’t led to a spike in cases.
Across the nation, about a dozen states are seeing an uptick in new virus cases, the New York Times reports. That’s different than the national trend of staying steady or seeing decreases.
The World Health Organization warned that countries could face a second peak of coronavirus cases where the disease is declining, even before a presumed second wave of infections months from now.
The world is still in the middle of the first wave of the coronavirus outbreak, WHO officials said.
Masks With Windows
If you find it hard to hear or understand what people are saying while wearing a mask to protect against the coronavirus, you’re not alone.
A charity in France is working with other groups on making a mask with a transparent window, the BBC reports.
The nose is covered, but the mouth is visible. Along with helping deaf and hearing impaired people to better hear what people are saying, the transparent masks allow a smile to be seen.
The groups have also put out a DIY video to make masks with clear panels yourself.
The New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, reopened Tuesday after the holiday weekend, and it provided some good news.
As the nationwide shutdown continues to unwind, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 530 points on Tuesday about 2.2%.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 36 points, about 1.2%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 15 points, or about 0.2%.
President Trump touted the increases on Twitter and wrote that “States should open up ASAP.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that Congress will “probably” have to pass another coronavirus relief bill in the next few weeks.
McConell said he wants liability protections for businesses in a bill and suggests he could support limited relief for state and local governments.
The national unemployment rate was 14.7% in April, and many lawmakers and others are calling for more jolts from the federal government to jolt the economy.
Vaccine Clinical Trial Starts
On Monday the biotechnology company Novavax said it has started the first phase of a clinical trial of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate. Preliminary results are expected in July.
Novavax said that if Phase 1 was successful then Phase 2 of the trial will be conducted in several countries, including the United States.
The Phase 2 trial will assess immunity, safety and Covid-19 disease reduction in a broader range, the company said.
Mass Teacher Resignations?
A USA Today poll found that one in five teachers are unlikely to go back to school if their classrooms reopen in the fall, possibly causing a massive wave or resignations.
Nearly two-thirds of teachers in the poll say they haven’t been able to do their jobs properly due to the coronavirus.
A separate poll of parents with at least one child in grades K-12 found that six in 10 say they’d be likely to pursue at-home learning options instead of sending their children back to school in the fall.
Good News For Realtors
New home sales grew unexpectedly in April, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday.
Sales of new, single-family homes rose 0.6% in April. That’s the one bit of good news. The bad news was that compared with a year ago, new home sales are down 6.2%.
But at least the economy isn’t showing any sign of a housing bubble, such as in the Great Recession of more than a decade ago.
U.S. home values rose 4.4% in March. Phoenix had the highest increase, at 8.2%, followed by Seattle at 6.9%, and Charlotte at 5.8%.