The pandemic has rages for a year, vaccine trials collide with approved vaccines, and Biden signs a $ 1.9 trillion relief bill. Here’s what you need to know:
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The Covid-19 pandemic is one year old
This week marked a year since the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic and the gravity of the situation seemed crystallize in national consciousness. In a televised birthday speech Thursday night, President Biden offered encouraging news: his administration is on track to distribute 100 million vaccines in its first 60 days and plans to distribute 2 million per day in the future. Additionally, he said he would order states to make all adults eligible for vaccination by May 1.
All of this means that if we are diligent in following public health guidelines such as mask wearing and social distancing, even after been vaccinated, the end of this pandemic, at least as we know it, may be imminent. But what exactly does returning to “normal” mean? Psychologically, experts say they are recovering from last year’s trauma and uncertainty it won’t happen overnight. Coming out of survival mode, we will have to renegotiate how and with whom we live and love. Relationships with friends and family may have been strained during this time, and many of us loved ones lost.
Ongoing vaccine trials need to adapt to cope with approved vaccines
As vaccine rollout accelerates, drugmakers face a new dilemma: Getting people to sign up for trials for new vaccines, where they could get a placebo instead of the real one. In response, some are exploring new ways to conduct trials, such as comparing their vaccine to an already licensed vaccine. Nevertheless, new pictures are about to be approved. Novavax, for one, published encouraging efficacy data of his trial in the United Kingdom on Thursday, and awaits the first results of a trial of 30,000 people in the United States and Mexico in early April.
The deployment of vaccines in the EU has progressed this week, although it has also seen setbacks. Johnson and Johnson’s shot became the region’s on Thursday fourth option approved. But a number of countries have discontinued their use of AstraZeneca shot fearing that this will cause blood clots. However, the European medicines regulator urged countries to move forward, saying there is no evidence yet that the AstraZeneca vaccine is to blame and that the benefits of the shot still outweigh the risks.
Biden signs $ 1.9 trillion relief bill as US prepares to rebuild
President Biden signed the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill in law. The aid package will allocate more than $ 6 billion to food security programs, expand already expanded unemployment assistance and send $ 1,400 in checks to many Americans starting this weekend. Democrats and progressive political supporters make it a extension of the social safety net, while Republicans have questioned the need for the bill as many states appear to be moving toward reopening on their own.
This bill is just one of many ways in which this pandemic and our post-pandemic recovery has the potential to fundamentally reshape society. Covid-19 has pushed many US cities to rethink their use of space, reducing the area reserved for parking to make room for bikers and pedestrians. And many parents come out of a difficult year of largely distance learning with a strong sense of the structural changes our education system needs.
Young climate change activists come to TikTok to raise awareness of the planet. The question is: what will it take to turn consciousness into action?
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Why do we need Covid-19 data that takes into account sexual orientation and gender identity?
Many officials are reluctant to collect medical data that asks people for information about their sexual orientation and gender identity. But according to a new CDC study, Americans belonging to a sexual minority have significantly higher rates of a number of chronic diseases that are often correlated with more severe cases of Covid-19. Having more information on this subject would make it easier to assess the impact of this pandemic on LGBTQ + communities and to adapt public health responses accordingly. Even the inclusion of an option field on intake forms, surveys and more could help us better understand the risks and needs of a vulnerable community.
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