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Weekly update: How to make the most of Covid Winter

Weekly update: How to make the most of Covid Winter

| November 13, 2020
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Good evening! The stock market is closing with a welcome gain of 2% for the S&P 500 for this week. 

Tonight we start with a story that draws on experts in Canada and other places where creating cheer in a cold dark winter is an art form, share updates on voter turnout, jobs, Brexit and where you will see the most inflation. We wrap with some ideas for hot drinks on cold nights! 

While summer 2020 made bestsellers out of backyard pleasures (potting soil, sidewalk chalk and inflatable pools), winter 2020 is forecast to see higher demand for long underwear, fire pits, patio heaters and faux fur. “Dress to loiter” is excellent advice, so we can get out of our houses and go for winter park walks, and add blankets and hot drinks to outdoor family gatherings. (How to Make the Most of Covid Winter, by CityLab)

National & economic news 

Record levels of voter turnout is a victory for democracy, regardless of emotions around the outcome of the Presidential race this year. More Americans voted in 2020 than in any other election in U.S. history. More than 2/3 of adults voted, a proportion not seen in over a century. Historically the U.S. has some of the worst turnout rates in the world, placing 30th out of 35 nations before this year. (Time

Some workers are finding jobs even amidst rising virus levels, as evidenced by jobless claims (while still high) dropping to their lowest levels since March. Unfortunately, a third of unemployed people have been jobless more than 27 weeks and have run out of benefits. (Wall Street Journal

Brexit talks are not over and still threaten chaos well beyond Britain’s borders. Topics under discussion with a December 31 deadline include tariffs and quotas, a border along the Channel, and the frontier between the U.K. and EU and Ireland. There are contingency plans to avert issues in banking and finance, fortunately. (Bloomberg) 

Inflation so far in this pandemic: Prices are higher on household cleaning products, whiskey, major appliances, new vehicles, used cars and trucks. What is cheaper? Computer software and accessories, gasoline, men’s suits and sport coats, and prescription drugs. (The Daily Shot Brief

Pandemic news 

Pfizer released surprisingly positive preliminary data about the vaccine they’ve  been working on: It prevents the spread of the coronavirus 90% of the time in their laboratory tests! Pfizer could receive regulatory approval in January if everything goes well. Manufacturing and sending out the vaccine will likely take several months, so pencil it in for summer 2021. This vaccine is administered in two doses and must be kept extremely cold to remain effective. ( Meanwhile Moderna is also working on a vaccine with efficacy results expected by the end of this month. (CNN Health) 

The pandemic will have a major effect on Americans this winter. Covid-related hospitalizations hit a new all-time high in the U.S. this week, as health officials warn that the United States has yet to see the most difficult days ahead over the next three months. 

According to local news reports, hospitals are already on the brink of being overwhelmed in IowaKansasMinnesotaMissouriMontanaNorth DakotaTexasUtah, and Wisconsin. Officials in many other states warn that their health-care systems will be dangerously stressed if cases continue to rise, and more restrictions are likely.

Meanwhile, influenza is generally laying low, with only Iowa showing a high spike in flu cases. See the live map by state here: CDC Map of Flu. If you have not received your flu shot yet, that is one vaccine that can make a big difference this winter! 

As we wish you a warm and healthy week, here is a great list of hot drinks to try when you have a little time on your hands: Hot Drinks for Cold Nights, including Melted Ice Cream Cocoa and Mexican Hot Chocolate. Most of the drinks are kid-friendly, but if you prefer hot cocktails, try these Hot Cocktails for the gathering with blankets on the deck! 

Have a wonderful weekend, 

Your Clear Perspectives Team 

Top photo by Arūnas Naujokas on Unsplash

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