Good morning and happy St. Patrick’s Day. The coronavirus outbreak has forced buildings across the country to shut their doors to the public. While the nationwide quarantine hasn’t been good for business, it has produced its share of adorable moments – Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium recently took their penguins on a field trip (video) to meet all the other marine animals.
“Make each day your masterpiece.”
– John Wooden
Coronavirus: Fact or Fiction
With the coronavirus outbreak dominating recent news coverage, it can be difficult to parse through and identify sources of misinformation. Never fear – we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions (or inaccurately made statements) to help you separate fact from fiction.
COVID-19 Is Just Like The Flu
FALSE – While the symptoms are similar, the overall profile of coronavirus is much more serious than that of seasonal flu, with a death rate estimated at around 1% (compared to ~0.1% for the flu).
Children Cannot Catch COVID-19
FALSE – Preliminary research shows that children are just as likely to be infected (and pass the virus on to others), but their symptoms tend to be less severe than adults.
Most Cases of COVID-19 Are Not Serious
TRUE – A recent report from the Chinese CDC concluded that 80.9% of coronavirus cases were mild.
Only Children And Older Adults Can Get Infected
FALSE – People of all ages can be infected, though older people and those with pre-existing conditions have a higher risk of serious infection.
Face Masks Protect Against COVID-19
IT DEPENDS – According to leading experts, there is little evidence that standard disposable face masks protect the wearer from infection. The higher-rated face masks (N-95, N-99) offer better – although not complete – protection.
COVID-19 Cannot Be Transmitted In Hot Climates
FALSE – The current evidence suggests that coronavirus can be transmitted regardless of climate.
COVID-19 Will Die Out In The Summer Months
UNKNOWN – Some viruses, such as cold or flu, spread more easily in colder weather – it is not yet known if a seasonal weather change will impact coronavirus’ spread.
With all the prevalent misinformation, we’d like to hold a regular series where we help our readers separate fact from fiction. Have any questions you’d like answered? Just reply to this email and we’ll add it to the list.
That’s A Wrap… But before you go further down the newsletter, here’s a few positive coronavirus-related stories to give you a brief respite from the doom and gloom:
Tired of The Coronavirus? Here Are 10 Positive Medical Stories
Questions about the rating system we use? Learn more
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Global cases rose above 181,500 yesterday with more than 7,100 confirmed deaths. According to the NYT, the number of confirmed U.S. cases rose above 4,300 with 79 confirmed deaths.
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department was the target of a cyber attack over the weekend that attempted (unsuccessfully) to slow down the agency’s response to coronavirus.
Coronavirus deaths outside China surpassed those inside China for the first time on Monday.
Five California counties (including San Francisco) have ordered all residents to shelter-in-place, similar to measures in Italy and Spain.
Late last night, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the state’s primary scheduled for today will be postponed until a later date.
After nearly a week of delay due to the virus, NBC News reported late Monday that Joe Biden edged out Bernie Sanders in the Washington Democratic primary.
The European Commission President on Monday proposed an EU-wide 30-day travel ban on all nonessential travel.
Actor Idris Elba announced on Twitter that he tested positive for the virus and is currently exhibiting no symptoms.
Benny Gantz Asked To Form Gov’t
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin formally asked Benny Gantz to try forming a governing coalition after the country’s unprecedented third general election earlier this month once again failed to produce a clear winner. Gantz was tapped ahead of current caretaker PM Benjamin Netanyahu, whose upcoming corruption trial was recently postponed until May due to the coronavirus outbreak.
More: Israel’s third general election was held on March 2nd – Netanyahu’s Likud party captured more seats than Gantz’s Blue and White party, but fell short of a majority.
A spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS told Newsweek on Monday that the U.S. will be repositioning troops from three of its eight military bases in Iraq to elsewhere within the country. The Pentagon’s latest move comes after a rocket attack on Saturday targeted a U.S. base north of Baghdad, wounding three American troops and several Iraqi personnel.
Stock indexes fell nearly 13% Monday (triggering a circuit breaker once again) as the market suffered its worst day since “Black Monday” in 1987.
The governors of ten states have called on all bars and restaurants to close to the public, though take-out and delivery services are still permitted.
According to industry group Airlines for America, U.S. airlines are seeking a more than $50 billion government bailout.
Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Co. announced they will close 49 of America’s most popular ski resorts.
Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees across the U.S. and Canada in an attempt to help local restaurants stay afloat.
Impossible Foods – the privately owned plant-based meat company – announced another round of funding worth roughly $500 million, bringing the total investment in the company up to $1.3 billion. The funding round was led by Mirae Asset Global Investments, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Horizon Ventures, and Temasek.
The French Competition Authority ordered Apple to pay a $1.23 billion fine for anti-competitive behavior, the agency’s largest ever fine against a single company. Two of Apple’s wholesalers – Tech Data and Ingram Micro – were fined $85 million and $70 million respectively for their participation in the scheme.
More: Earlier this month, Apple agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle claims that the company secretly slowed down older iPhone models.
Tip The Scale
With governments taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus, many bars and restaurants are facing a difficult road ahead due to mandatory closures.
A customer at Coaches Bar and Grill in Columbus, OH left a $2,500 tip on a bill of less than $30 – the anonymous benefactor asked that the sum be split between the workers who will be affected by the closure.
Celebrate Good Times
Many countries have instituted bans on large gatherings of people due to the coronavirus, and most schools around the world have closed indefinitely.
A group of 12-year-old Japanese students decided to host their own graduation ceremony within the popular video game Minecraft, complete with music, diplomas, speeches, and lots of celebration.
See the Light
Meghan See always had a troublesome relationship with food. Growing up, she was addicted to eating, and weighed as much as 200 pounds in elementary school.
After becoming a mother, the 30-year-old was determined to hold herself accountable once and for all – by holding true to her commitment to exercise ten minutes each and every day, Meghan dropped an incredible 240 pounds in 17 months!
Change4Change is Revolutionizing Political Fundraising
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the daily news cycle, as cynicism and divisiveness lead to burnout, exhaustion, and a lack of hope. But now more than ever, this moment in history requires optimism and action. Ordinary people can be the catalyst for social change when time, patience, and spare change is put to good use.
What good is spare change? Irishman Liam Duggan wanted to help a children’s hospital by collecting spare change. By just setting up donation stations at local markets, he raised $165,000 – enough to purchase a brand new MRI machine for a children’s hospital.
You can make a difference, too… This is an example of just one person who recognizes big change can come from small change (see what we did there?). Imagine what can happen when thousands of people band together – we can have a positive effect on the lives of others and change the course of the future.
Join Change4Change to revolutionize campaign finance and put the power in the hands of the people. By donating small amounts of change from everyday purchases, you’ll be giving to the campaign of your choice in a way that is convenient, cost-effective, and helps grassroots candidates succeed.
🤝 Shake It Off… if coronavirus has left you marveling at how much we touch other peoples’ hands, check out the centuries-old history of the handshake.
🎮 Letting Off Some Steam… PC gaming platform Steam recorded its highest-ever concurrent user count (nearly 20 million people) around 7 a.m. ET Saturday morning.
🚶♂️ I Walk A Lonely Road… USA Today collected 16 images from locations across America that illustrate the empty roads, sidewalks, and grocery aisles due to coronavirus.
If you’re itching for some political debate…Project Divided is working to bridge the divide between Americans of different political views through productive discussion. Check out their most recent episode (powered by the DONUT), where four healthcare professionals sit down to talk about the system over dinner.
What is the only major city located on two continents?