Coronavirus Morning News Brief – October 5: People are starting to wear masks… For flu, SNL takes on anti-vaccines

A university campus

Hello. Here is Anna Breuer replacing Jonathan Spira. Now here is the pandemic news from around the world on the 909th day of the pandemic.

It may take the flu for some Americans to put face masks back on.

A study by the National Foundation for Infectious Disease found that 58% of people surveyed plan to wear face masks at least sometimes during the upcoming flu season, a figure higher than those who plan to get vaccinated, which according to the study, was 49%.

In parts of Asia, surgical masks have become commonplace since the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak.

Whether in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea or China, you were very likely to see a number of people wearing face masks in the years leading up to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Maybe they know something that we don’t?

Apparently, it will take the threat of a severe flu season to get people to abandon the political nonsense that some have attributed to masks and simply protect themselves and others from getting sick.

In other news we’re covering today, several colleges have extended their mask mandates indefinitely, California has a new law prohibiting doctors from giving false information about the coronavirus pandemic, and SNL newcomer Michael Longfellow took on anti-vaxxers in his first appearance on the show.

UNITED STATES

California will soon become the first state with a law that will penalize doctors who give patients false information about the coronavirus. The law, perhaps unsurprisingly, was challenged in court on Tuesday by two doctors, Mark McDonald, a Los Angeles-area psychiatrist, and Jeff Barke, a family physician in Newport Beach, who question the effectiveness of vaccines against the virus. Both promote unproven treatments and oppose mask mandates.

Amherst College in Massachusetts introduced a new masking policy under which each student would receive an anonymous survey to indicate their preference for wearing a face mask or not wearing a mask in a particular class. It will only take one student or professor to express an opinion in favor of wearing a mask to make the mask requirement compulsory for the class.

Meanwhile, three other schools in Massachusetts, namely Mount Holyoke College, Smith College and Hampshire College have announced indefinite extensions to their respective mask mandates.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser, told a seminar on Tuesday that he should have been “much more careful” in his messaging about SARS-CoV-2 at the start of the pandemic. He also said they could have done a better job of conveying the uncertainty present at the time.

OVERALL

As of Wednesday, Xinjiang health officials reported 91 asymptomatic Covid cases, the city has 54 high-risk and 25 medium-risk areas. All out-of-town travel has been halted and all passenger train services leaving the area have been suspended as authorities attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

“This is a major public health emergency with the fastest spread, widest reach, highest number of infections, and the most challenging in terms of disease prevention and control. history of Xinjiang,” said Liu Sushe, vice president of Xinjiang. Uyghur Autonomous Region on Tuesday evening, told reporters.

ENTERTAINMENT

The 48th season of Saturday Night Live premiered over the weekend and new cast member Michael Longfellow, who featured on Weekend Update, took aim at anti-vaxxers. Weekend Update anchor Colin Jost introduced Longfellow, asking him to comment on the recent outcry over Sydney Sweeney’s Instagram posts that “suggested his parents might be Trump supporters.”

“Well, my family is from Arizona,” Longfellow said to begin his comment. “So if you can get in trouble because of what your parents think?” It was a good race.

He then mentioned that his father didn’t believe the coronavirus was real.

“You shouldn’t exclude anti-vax people from your life,” Longfellow said. “They could be dead tomorrow. Spend time with them. Call them. Enter the will.

TRAVEL

The American Hotel and Lodging Association reported that 87% of hotels in the United States are experiencing staff shortages, an improvement from May this year, when that figure was ten percentage points higher at 97%. .

Despite the improvement, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in August, hospitality employment was down nearly 400,000 jobs from February 2020, the month before the pandemic began. Currently, there are more than 115,000 hospitality jobs across the country, and hotels report that their most pressing need is for people for housekeeping positions.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Now here are the daily stats for Wednesday, October 5.

As of Wednesday morning, the world had recorded 624.5 million cases of Covid-19, an increase of 0.6 million cases and nearly 6.6 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 604.5 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Wednesday is 13,420,495, an increase of 133,000. Of this figure, 99.7%, or 13,380,609, are considered mild and 0.3 %, or 39,886, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed in the past 24 hours.

The United States reported 35,981 new coronavirus infections for the previous day on Wednesday, compared with 47,898 on Tuesday, 4,755 on Monday, 6,403 on Sunday, 40,184 on Saturday, 84,801 on Friday and 100,524 on Thursday, according to data from the US Department of Health. and social services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 45,965. Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30%-60% of those shown on weekdays due to fewer tests being performed .

The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 44,484, a drop of 22%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths over the same period is 393, a decrease of 8% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations over the period was 27,334, a decrease of 12%.

In addition, since the start of the pandemic, the United States has on Wednesday recorded 98.3 million cases, a figure higher than any other country, and a death toll of just under 1.09 million. . India has the second highest number of officially registered cases in the world, 44.6 million, and a reported death toll of 528,733.

The latest data from Russia’s state statistical service Rosstat showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid- or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the second highest pandemic in the world. related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from coronavirus or related causes in July, compared to 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

Meanwhile, France is the third country with the highest number of cases, with 35.6 million, although Brazil has recorded the third highest number of deaths from the virus, 686,531, and has recorded slightly fewer of 34.8 million cases, placing it in the number four slot.

Germany ranks fifth with 33.4 million cases.

The other five countries with total cases over 20 million are South Korea, with 24.9 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.7 million cases, placing it in seventh place, and the Italy, with 22.6 million, ranked eighth. as well as Japan, with 21.4 million, and Russia, with 21.1 million.

SPOTLIGHT ON IMMUNIZATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that as of Thursday, more than 264.1 million people in the United States – or 79.5% – had received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 67.9%, or 225.3 million people, have received two doses of the vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been distributed in the United States is now 619.8 million. Breaking it down further, 90.5% of the population over 18 – or 233.6 million people – have received at least one first vaccination and 77.6% of the same group – or 200.8 million people – are completely vaccinated. In addition, 51.9% of this population, or 104 million people, have already received a first booster dose of vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data on a weekly basis and releasing updated information on Thursdays at 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement posted on the CDC’s website. agency.

Some 68% of the world’s population received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Wednesday, according to Our World in Data, an online science publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.75 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered worldwide and 3.23 million doses are now being administered every day.

Meanwhile, only 22.7% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries like Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the UK and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Only a few of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% vaccination mark. Many countries, however, are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain in the single digits or even lower.

Moreover, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea at the end of September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world not to have administered vaccines.

Jonathan Spira contributed reporting for this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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