Spanish leaders push to treat COVID-19 as endemic

January 11, 2022

  •  turbinelabs
Reading Time: 3 minutes
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
  • The U.S. shattered the daily global record for COVID-19 cases on Monday, reaching ​​the highest daily total, at 1.35 million, due to the rapid spread of omicron. While the variant could be less severe, health officials are warning that the higher number of infections could strain hospital systems. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health has mandated insurers to cover the cost of at-home coronavirus tests starting on Saturday.
  • The consequences of omicron absences – shortened hours, fewer breaks and sparse staffing – are straining many workers, especially those in retail. For those whose jobs don’t provide paid sick days, the variant has forced some to prioritize a paycheck over health, worsening the cycle of exposure and new absences. Workers at the King Soopers grocery chain in Colorado plan to strike beginning Wednesday after failed negotiations for their labor contract, underscoring the desire of many to be compensated for taking on additional risks as essential workers.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department has warned that tax refunds this year could be delayed due to “enormous challenges” caused by the omicron variant. The IRS announced the tax filing season will officially open on Jan. 24 and encouraged taxpayers to speed up returns by filing electronically with direct deposit. While it typically takes fewer than 21 days for refunds, the delay was prolonged in 2021 for many filers, and some still haven’t received last year’s balance.
    • @JohnCornyn : 6 million The number of unprocessed individual tax returns at the IRS as of Dec. 23, the most recent date for which data is available on the agency’s website. @playbookdc More dysfunction by Biden administration
  • Leaders in Spain are calling on Europe to consider treating COVID-19 as an endemic illness, arguing that the virus’s lethality has been dropping since the beginning of the pandemic. At the same time, China locked down its third city, restricting upwards of 20 million people to their homes. In Uganda, more than 10 million students are finally returning to the classroom after staying home since March 2020, marking one of the world’s longest coronavirus shutdowns. 
  • Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that there was less lightning in the U.S. during coronavirus lockdowns, coinciding with a drop in human activities that send aerosols into the atmosphere. The drop in pollution is likely a major reason that researchers observed less lightning, offering another look at how humans affect ​​atmospheric chemistry.
The Clashing Forces That Will Drive U.S. Inflation in 2022” – Bloomberg / Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
CONTENT FACTS
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