Now that the US has become the global COVID hot spot, the European Union is recommending that its 27 member countries reinstate restrictions on American travelers. E.U. officials decided Monday to remove the United States from the bloc’s “safe list” of countries whose residents should not face travel restrictions. Restrictions can vary from state to state, but it is widely expected that fully vaccinated Americans would still maintain access to the European Union while restricting unvaccinated visitors.
Researchers in the U.K. have deliberately infected 30 volunteers with the virus that causes Covid-19, in the first human challenge study of the disease. Infecting the volunteers—who are healthy, unvaccinated and range in age from 18 to 30—will allow the scientists to observe in real time how the virus attacks the body and, from the moment of exposure, how the immune system responds. A human challenge study was how the smallpox vaccine was developed. The first smallpox vaccine was developed in 1796 when a physician exposed a healthy boy to cowpox, a similar but milder virus, and then to the deadly smallpox virus. The boy did not contract smallpox, and vaccination became the primary defense against the incurable disease, which was eradicated in the 20th century.
COVID continues to drive innovation. Figuring out how to get kids to and from school has always been a hassle, but with the return of in-person class (at least until everyone is out on quarantine) and a shaky back-to-the-office situation, the usual fall headache has become more acute. School buses actually aren’t a viable option in many places. A national bus driver shortage, exacerbated by Covid-19, has led many school districts to condense routes, and budget constraints have caused some to eliminate buses altogether. As a result, parents have begun turning to regional app-based children’s ride services such as Buggy, RubiRides and HopSkipDrive. They’re also networking with other school families via carpool apps like CarpooltoSchool and KidCar. While tech can help solve the logistics problem, there’s also the question of whether ride-sharing is safe while the Covid-19 Delta variant is surging.
CSSE is reporting 39,019,075 positive cases in the U.S. and 638,577 deaths.
The S&P 500 index set 3 all-time closing highs last week and is now up 21.2% YTD in total return. It closed yesterday at 4,528.79 up from 3,500.31 on Monday a year ago. Last week’s headlines covered the trifecta of topics that usually scare investors – war (Afghanistan), weather (Ida), Washington (the House is preparing to advance two bills approved by the Senate that call for just short of $5 trillion in new government spending programs over the next eight years) and none of that news is fazing Wall Street