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China’s Economy Shows Steady Recovery As Pandemic Is Brought Under Control

China reported a 4.9% economic growth in its third quarter, making it the only major global economy in the world to show an economic increase during a worldwide pandemic.

Friends Wearing Masks

How To Protect Yourself From Covid-19 

The coronavirus pandemic has been truly unpredictable to say the least. The way it travels, spreads, and reacts inside of our bodies has proven to be unexpected, however, if one thing has remained common throughout the past six months it’s been the universal desire to find a vaccine, and curve the overall spread of the virus. So what are some of the most effective proven ways to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus?

First we need to best understand how this virus moves, which is difficult considering even the world’s smartest scientists are still trying to work that out. The World Health Organization was recently confronted by over 200 scientists from over 30 countries who were urging the organization to acknowledge the possible role of airborne transmission, to which they complied. 

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“Under certain conditions short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a long period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently acknowledged the possibility of airborne transmission on their website, claiming that Covid-19 can spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Both the CDC and WHO have acknowledged, however, that these repertory droplets are more likely to cause infection from landing on certain shared surfaces that are then touched by other individuals. The haziness surrounding the airborne quality of this virus has also been focused on less due to the fact that mask-wearing is the most effective way to combat that. If you go out in public, wear a facial covering and then get clean immediately upon returning home, you’re likely to be safe. 

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When in an indoor setting, it’s best if you remain as distanced as possible from others who aren’t a part of your quarantine bubbles. Go even further than 6 feet apart when possible, and wear a face mask if you’re hanging around individuals who you haven’t seen. Improve ventilation by keeping all windows open and use devices like air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and fans to keep the air circulating between the indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Group activities in general should always be outside, and every individual should be wearing a mask unless a proper physical distance between everyone is possible. Facial coverings are the biggest and most effective solution to curbing the spread of this virus as we’ve seen evidence of all around the world. 

It’s also important to ensure you’re wearing the right type of facial covering and wearing it correctly. Fabric masks should be thick enough that when you hold it up to the sun you can’t see the light shine through it. Most disposable masks available at your local drug store or gas station are effective as long as you’re getting rid of them after each use. Finally, make sure your mask is completely covering your nose, and if you’re going out with your kids, make sure they also have a mask. Many individuals have become more relaxed when it comes to their children wearing masks because it’s less likely that a young child/toddler will contract the virus, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t still bring it into your home and infect others, so keep everyone in your house safe and mask up.

Regardless of the proven science, we all know that the Covid-19 virus spreads easily and quickly when given the opportunity. Wearing a mask at all times when in a public space, maintaining a distance of at LEAST six feet from individuals not in your quarantine bubble, and remaining outdoors for any and all group activities will help keep this virus at bay, and your loved ones healthy.

Covid Outbreak Virus

European Countries Learning From Sweden As Covid-19 Outbreaks Increase 

European countries are currently seeing massive surges of new Covid-19 cases, and some are opting to take a page from Sweden’s book of coronavirus response efforts to better protect their own countries. Sweden’s been relying more on voluntary compliance than coercion when it comes to getting their citizens to abide by the health and safety procedures put into play, and while that may work for them, we’ve also seen how relying on citizens can go the opposite way.

France is currently averaging 12,000 new cases a day while Spain just passed the 700,000 case mark. The UK is also seeing a massive increase in cases and citizens are beginning to speak out against their governments lack of change in policy to help combat this. Dorit Nitzan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional emergency director for Europe recently spoke with the media about shifting policies and moving more towards Sweden’s approach. 

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“Sweden’s focus on sustainability over time, citizen engagement, and voluntary compliance was interesting because this is the time we all have to learn to live with the virus.” 

Nitzan went on to explain how her and her team know there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to combating the coronavirus, however, we all could afford to start learning from one another’s success’. Unlike many countries throughout the world Sweden closed all of its colleges and universities for individuals over the age of 16, but kept schools for younger students open. The country banned gatherings of more than 50, and urged individuals over the age of 70 to remain isolated for as long as possible. 

Otherwise, the country’s 10 million residents were simply asked to respect these procedures and remain diligent about social distancing and wearing a mask, most of which have obliged. However, other parts of the world that have relied on voluntary compliance more than actual enforcement has also seen a massive increase in cases as a result. 

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Even in Sweden itself, back in May the country recorded the most Covid-19 deaths per capita in Europe. The country has experienced around 5,900 deaths, half of which reportedly occurred in care homes and other assisted-living facilities. While Sweden has been able to remain relatively stagnant in terms of new cases, recently they’ve been experiencing little surges of new cases that are causing international experts to be skeptical of their voluntary programs. 

In the last two weeks Sweden has seen around 37 new cases per 100,000 residents. Experts say it’s still too early for countries to adopt other procedures for their own residents because of how vastly different every country actually is. Antoine Flahault is a professor of public health and director of the Institute for Global Health and the University of Geneva, who recently spoke with the media about the widely criticized approach Sweden took to fight the virus. 

“Many people think that because Sweden did not lock down, the government did nothing. But it managed to make citizens understand and participate in the fight against the virus, without coercion, mandatory laws or regulations. The effect was not very different.”

While Sweden’s approach may not be as effective in other parts of the country, there are aspects to it that other European countries are willing to adopt in order to protect their own citizens. The main goal for everyone, however, is universal; to curve the spread and eliminate the virus as much as possible.

Covid19

200,000 People Have Died From Covid-19 In The US

Six months ago Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that the Covid-19 virus could kill up to 200,000 Americans if the US didn’t take the proper health and safety precautions to curve the spread. However, at that point the virus had barely impacted any major region in the county, so Fauci was accused of fear mongering by all his skeptics. Now, that prediction has become a dark reality. 

What’s even more staggering is that the US hit the 200,000 death mark even earlier than Fauci initially predicted. Since the first Covid-19 death in the US occurred back in early February, an average of more than 860 people have died from the virus every day. That’s equivalent to having the 9/11 attacks occur everyday for 66 days straight, according to the US Department of Defense and New York City medical examiner’s office. Dr. Fauci recently spoke with the media about this “staggering” new data. 

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“The idea of 200,000 deaths is very sobering and in some respects, stunning. We do have the capability to prevent the transmission with the health and safety procedures that we’ve had in place, they just aren’t being universally implemented throughout our very large country.”

The deaths have caused families and friends to experience the heartbreak of knowing their loved ones died alone in a hospital room while others weren’t even able to receive a proper burial due to health and safety guidelines. Some families have opted for a virtual funeral to honor their loved ones memories, but for many that idea is just too dystopian and sad to even fathom. 

Now, Covid-19 is officially the second-leading cause of death in the US right after heart disease; which is the number one cause of death in the world, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). 

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Unfortunately, the US government as it stands is making no major shifts in the health and safety procedures currently in place, and is remaining as open as it possibly can to keep the economy afloat. The death toll is continuing to skyrocket, and the president of the US is holding political rallies in packed stadiums with crowds surpassing 6,000.

Healthcare workers and industry professionals like Dr. Fauci are claiming that it really is up to the individual at this point. Americans need to be willing to fight this battle together since many local, state, and federal branches of government are doing the opposite. The Covid-19 virus has already killed more people in the US than Americans killed in battle during the five most recent wars combined. That’s accounting for the Korean, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Persian Gulf Wars.

Stats also show that the US death toll from Covid-19 is currently 109 times higher than the effects from Hurricane Katrina. At the current rate, if Americans keep going about their lives as they have been for the past few months, researchers predict the US will witness an additional 180,000 coronavirus deaths by the New Year. However, the IHME claims it doesn’t have to get that severe, and claims that “increasing mask use to 95% can save nearly 115,000 lives.”

Further recommendations include social distancing at all possible moments and wearing a mask in situations where that’s impossible. Make sure you’re avoiding crowds/crowded spaces in general and are practicing good hygiene; washing your hands consistently, sanitizing, disinfecting surfaces, etc. Remember, we’re all in this together unless we aren’t, so take the precautions and stay safe!

Covid Virus

Coronavirus Could Have Been In The US Since December, According To New Research

Outbreaks of illness attributed to the coronavirus weren’t widely documented until the spring, however, new reports suggest that the virus could have been in the United States as early as December. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously reported that the virus first hit the country in late January, but researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, believe otherwise. 

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, and found that there was a significant increase in clinic and hospital visits by patients who reported respiratory illnesses the week of December 22nd, 2019. These patients all went to the ER with respiratory complaints, and many others were hospitalized with acute respiratory failure between December 2019 and February 2020. It’s important to note that these hospitalizations could have all been flu related as well, however, the spike in visits is substantial when compared to previous years, so it’s not to be taken lightly. 

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Currently, universities and schools across the country are coping with the inevitable spikes in outbreaks that have already been occuring. So far 50,000 coronavirus cases have been reported at various colleges and universities in all 50 states. Many universities are opting for required 14-day quarantine periods for all infected students. 

The University of Arizona and the Colorado University of Boulder have both implemented these quarantine measures. Arizona specifically is urging all of its students to remain indoors and isolated until the end of the month based on how many new cases they’re seeing. They saw 261 new cases appear on campus this year alone. 

Many have also heard about the wedding in Maine that has now led to 176 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths. The seven people who died weren’t even at the wedding itself, but contracted it through individuals who were in attendance. The story is now being widely used as an example of just how badly this virus can impact individuals who were doing everything right in their lockdown procedures, but it still wasn’t enough due to others irresponsibility. 

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While authorities and government officials have “strongly encouraged” the health and safety measures created to prevent situations like the Maine wedding from occurring, the fact is these measures are rarely enforced. This is why America has one of the highest infection/death rates in the world. CDC director Dr. Nirav Shah recently spoke with the media about this wedding and gatherings in general in the US. 

“The virus favors gatherings, it does not distinguish between happy events like a wedding celebration. That event is now linked to outbreaks more than 100 miles away from the venue, and among people who had only secondary or tertiary contact with an attendee.”

Some officials and industries have been adjusting and preparing for a coronavirus-altered way of life to return to some semblance of normalcy, while others are preparing for the worst; a second wave.

Coronavirus against the UK

UK Joins List Of European Countries Experiencing Rise In Covid-19 Cases 

The UK has joined the likes of France, Spain, and Germany this week as they continue to struggle with a slew of new coronavirus cases. Within a twenty-four hour period this past weekend over 3,000 people tested positive for Covid-19 in England after dozens of schools in the country reported outbreaks. 

Hospitalization rates are still low, however, past outbreaks have proven that it takes a few weeks after a major outbreak for hospital room occupancies to go up, so only time will tell if that remains as it is now. The UK is one of the countries that endured an intense and prolonged lockdown in the beginning of this pandemic, so any sort of new outbreak is very worrisome; especially one that impacts thousands. 

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Ministers are currently debating how to better control the situation, but have also received major backlash for their decision making regarding reopening schools and other educational establishments that are now directly leading to new cases. One thing is guaranteed, if the government doesn’t act soon infection, hospitalization, and death rates will be increasing in the coming weeks. 

States in the US and areas of Brazil have already begun closing schools that were previously reopened due to the same reasoning. Citizens are calling upon ministers to stop prioritizing the economy over human lives and close schools down. While the economy may take a massive hit due to these closings, it’s not worth it to have such large groups experiencing new outbreaks, simply to keep the economy in a relatively steady place. 

Other countries in Europe, and throughout the world, have implemented what’s generally referred to as a “zero Covid elimination strategy” that aims to stop community transmission and keep case numbers as low as possible, for as long as possible. In Scotland, for example, first minister Nicola Sturgeon has continuously given daily Covid media briefings to keep the public just as informed as the government is everyday; this has already led to a decline in case numbers in Scotland. 

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The testing and tracing systems in the UK are as greatly criticized as they are in the US as well. Testing sights aren’t as accessible and available as they should be, and results need to be made available within 24 hours to give citizens a better gage as to who needs to be quarantined. As of right now, citizens are travelling hundreds of miles in England to get tested. 

The reopening of schools and overall “relaxed” attitude the ministers are exhibiting by prioritizing the economy over health is also motivating the public to return to a life of normalcy. If world leaders are saying it’s okay for certain establishments to be open to make money, why wouldn’t citizens take advantage of that?

As of right now, it’s unlikely the UK will endure another nationwide lockdown as the ministers are expected to implement some major changes within the next week that will aim to slow down community transmission and keep everyone home. What’s most important is that the public listens to their healthcare professionals when it comes to case numbers and infection rates. Experts who are dealing with this virus head on everyday know first hand how bad the world still is in relation to this pandemic. So stay home as much as possible, wash your hands, wear facial coverings, and practice social distancing whenever it’s warranted.

Waving New Zealand Flag

New Zealand Prime Minister Praises Country For Covid Response After Trump Comments

Jacinda Ardern defended the country’s most recent outbreak after Trump attempted to undermine New Zealand’s immense success in containing the virus.

Covid Virus

Dr. Fauci Warns States That Are At Risk For Future Covid-19 Outbreaks 

One of the biggest conclusions that experts are gathering from the current coronavirus pandemic, is that human beings may be living in a world where Covid-19 continues to exist forever. The shift will be more about controlling the spread and managing outbreaks through vaccination efforts; much like the world did with the measles. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious disease expert and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force recently spoke with the press about states at the most risk of new outbreaks currently, and what the future of America could look like in a post-pandemic world. He claimed that once the percentage of positive case numbers goes way down, that will signify a “win” over the virus for the US. 

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Currently New York, for example, has an infection rate of less than 1%, the lowest it’s ever been, which Fauci says he would like to see the rest of the country look like. However, many states aren’t even close to that number. In states such as Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, and Texas, infection rates are still between 15%-20%, which is “really high” according to Fauci. 

Fauci also believes that once a coronavirus vaccine is made available, the government may not enforce everyone to get it. The only exception will likely be for individuals working in the healthcare industry due to their heightened risk of exposure. A similar policy has already been in place for individuals working in hospitals in regards to being vaccinated for the flu. This procedure has always been in place for a lot of healthcare facilities, as it reduces the risk of transmission between all parties present at a given facility. 

One of the biggest concerns from citizens throughout the past month has been our potential break up with the World Health Organization (WHO)  after president Donald Trump claimed that the US would be leaving the organization. However, it’s not as simple as Trump has made it seem, and the US is still very much in communication with the WHO. 

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Fauci claims that he and his colleagues are on a weekly call list that is sponsored by the WHO, and brings together health authorities and scientists from every country in the world that’s battling Covid-19 currently. The purpose of this weekly call is to allow every country’s CDC to exchange information and containment efforts as a means of reducing infection rates. 

“We have scientific collaborations with our colleagues in Europe, Australia, Canada, Mexico. We have clinical trial networks in South Africa, and Brazil. So there’s an awful lot of international activity going on, you don’t hear about that very much in the press, but it really is going on rather intensively.”

Fauci also claimed that when it comes to school reopening throughout the country, there is “no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether schooling should be all virtual.” He went on to explain that America is a much larger country than most, so one universal policy for every state that is differently populated just wouldn’t make sense. 

He concluded his address to the media by reinforcing the ways in which we all can reduce the spread of this virus until a vaccine is readily available. Continue to wear a face mask, get tested if you’re exhibiting any symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone who’s positive. Practice social distancing every time you go out and only leave the house for essential errands. Wash your hands regularly, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

Girl Remote Working

How Working Remotely Will Change The Future Of Commercial Real Estate 

Sanjay Rishi is America’s CEO for JLL commercial real estate. Rishi was recently interviewed to discuss the future for the industry in a post-pandemic world, and what most business leaders can expect in the coming years. 

Rishi claims that the commercial real estate market will likely be embracing a range of new hybrid models as the pandemic comes to an end; whenever that may be. Throughout the next few years industry leaders like Rishi will likely begin implementing hybrid models into their business deals. It’s likely that the specifics of these deals will be on more of a deal-by-deal basis, as this is uncharted territory for all parties involved. 

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CEOs, CFOs and other leadership positions will be responsible for how they want to rebuild their company culture post-pandemic, however, Rishi believes many are going to be basing their future office-hybrid needs on the ways they’ve already adjusted to working from home throughout the past six months. 

The main focus right now is transitioning a company from remote working, back to an office environment and maintaining a new level of morale. JLL has been doing their own research throughout the pandemic, surveying multiple corporate workers and their preferences for the future of office-working, and according to their most recent study, 58% of workers miss the office; the survey was taken by 3,000 individuals all of different job levels. 

Obviously, the biggest determining factor to making that transition will be when the pandemic ends/when a vaccine is able to be distributed. Of the workers surveyed who aren’t looking forward to returning to the office, many claimed the reason to be a fear of mass transit, crowded elevators/cubicle spaces, and other potential sources of infection. 

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“After the terror attacks of 9/11, no one really wanted to work in high-rise buildings, major urban centers shuddered with a lack of demand for commercial office space. Fast forward a year and people returned to crowded skyscrapers again, and real estate transaction valuations returned to where they had been earlier.”

It’s difficult to compare a terrorist attack to a worldwide health crisis, however, in terms of real estate the two actually do slightly equate. Many real estate agents working in major metropolitans aren’t worried about the complete lack of industry activity, because they’ve seen how the industry is able to bounce back from massive national/international tragedies. 

The biggest change, according to Rishi, will be the way offices re-shape their set-ups to better adhere to social-distancing requirements. This will be a step-by-step process that will also involve digitizing as much of the business as possible. As most corporations have learned from working at home, having everything in one, digital space for universal access is much easier than needing to go back and forth from the office in the middle of a pandemic to get some paperwork done. It’ll also make it easier for everyone to access what’s been worked on throughout the past six months while everyone’s been on lockdown. 

Companies will also need to take their workers with kids into account more. If office buildings begin reopening while the pandemic is still ongoing, many will need to figure out some sort of coverage for their kids. In a hybrid-office environment, this could involve staggering workplace teams so that certain groups of parents can alternate the days they need to be in the office and the days they can be home. 

Regardless of what the future of office-work looks like, it’s going to be a team effort for each specific group of workers to make a plan that’s the safest, and easiest for everyone. We’re all taking this pandemic day-by-day, and will continue to do so even as it begins to slow down and normal life resumes.

Covid Vaccination

US Rejects Russia’s Offer To Help With A Covid-19 Vaccine

Russia announced this week that they’ve developed the “world’s first” vaccine for Covid-19. Unlike the few other potential vaccine options that are being tested right now, the one that was developed in Moscow never entered a Phase 3 human trial to test its safety or effectiveness. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin claims one of his daughters received the vaccine and was able to recover from the virus. 

Russian officials recently spoke with the media and claimed that they offered the United States their “unprecedented corporation with Operation Warp Speed” if they needed it. Operation Warp Speed is the US multi-agency group created to help accelerate the development and distribution of a coronavirus vaccine/treatment. The US responded to Russia’s offer by claiming that the country was “currently not open,” according to authorities who spoke to the press

“There is a general sense of mistrust of Russia on the American side and we believe that technologies — including vaccine, testing and treatments — are not being adopted in the US because of that mistrust.” 

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Despite Russia’s opinion on why the US is refusing their help, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany stated recently that the vaccines being produced in America currently are already going through “rigorous Phase 3 testing” which involves administering the vaccine to tens of thousands of volunteers to ensure its safety. 

The vaccine developed in Russia barely went through any of that process before reaching approval, leading many world leaders to think that the country rushed through creating the vaccine in order to earn the billions in revenue that will likely come in through the distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine. 

There are currently more than 20 vaccine trials occurring around the world, but Russia is still determined to get the US to get on board with their vaccine while they still can. According to authorities at least 20 countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Asia have expressed their interest in the Moscow vaccine despite not knowing much about it. President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, claimed to have so much confidence in it that he would take it the second it arrives in his country. 

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As previously mentioned, the vaccine developed in Moscow never went through Phase 3 testing, which has been viewed as the most important phase of vaccine development, as it’s when the treatment is deemed safe enough to administer to thousands of people in order to closely monitor if it’s ready for worldwide distribution. 

Russia has still yet to release any scientific data on their vaccine and is unable to back up how safe and effective it really is. The country also passed a law back in April that eliminated the requirement of a Phase 3 trial as a means of fast-tracking the vaccine. Senior US officials recently spoke with the media about how America is focusing on finding a vaccine the safest way possible, and won’t be compromising. 

“There have been no trials of this vaccine, they’ve done too little work on humans to decide if it works on a larger scale. We’re talking totally inadequate safety data.”

Russia is planning on rolling out its vaccine to high-risk citizens within the coming weeks but will likely begin mass vaccinations in October. The World Health Organization and US officials, however, believe that China will end up being the country that actually wins the race on creating a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine that will be widely distributed based on the current trends in research and testing.