Newsworthy – April 11th, 2020

Psychedelic mushrooms can be beneficial to emotional health, baking has become a favorite quarantine activity, Texas is suspending abortions due to coronavirus, Ireland’s Prime Minister is working medical shifts.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Health and Society

  • A single dose of psychedelic ‘magic mushrooms’ can have a long-lasting positive effect on emotional health The positive effects lingered on for at least a month in a small group of 12 volunteers who were given psilocybin.

    – ZME Science
  • Comparing only laboratory-confirmed cases, in the first 102 days of the H1N1 flu pandemic, the CDC reported 43,677 illnesses and 302 deaths. In 22 fewer days, Covid-19 infected nine times more people and killed 42 times as many.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • A tiger at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for coronavirus, in the first known infection of an animal in the U.S. — or a tiger anywhere.

    Six other tigers and lions that have also fallen ill and are believed to have been infected by a zoo employee who wasn’t yet showing symptoms.

    – AP
  • Coronavirus testing capacity is still lagging far enough behind demand that the U.S. continues to only test the sickest patients.

    The Trump administration said yesterday that at least 1.79 million tests have been completed.

    To successfully transition from the shutdown, the U.S. needs to be able to complete at least 750,000 tests per week, according to a recent report.

    – Axios
  • While many people are now working from home, a small number of essential employees in New York are doing the opposite: living at their worksite. Since March 23, operators of the state’s power grid have been camped out in parking lots adjacent to the plants and control rooms that must be staffed 24/7 to keep the lights on.

    – The Wall Street Journal

Business and Economics

  • Baking has become a favorite activity for those staying home.

    Sales of baking yeast surged 647%, more than any other food, beverage or consumer product in the week that ended March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen, and eventually both yeast and flour became hard to find in grocery stores.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • Grocery stores across the U.S. have struggled with a shortage of eggs as quarantined Americans stockpile and “stress-bake” ahead of Passover and Easter.

    Wholesalers saw orders from egg retailers increase up to 600%, and it’s been difficult to keep up.

    – Axios
  • Top CEOs, in private conversations and pleas to President Trump, are warning of economic catastrophe if America doesn’t begin planning for a phased return to work as soon as May.

    – Axios

Government and Politics

  • A federal appeals court allowed Texas to suspend most abortions in the state during the coronavirus crisis.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • U.S. officials granted Google permission to turn on a high-speed internet link to Taiwan but not to the semiautonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • Leo Varadkar, Ireland’s Prime Minister, has rejoined the country’s medical registry in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to help the country heal. He will work one medical shift a week for the Health Service Executive.

    He studied medicine at Trinity College Dublin and spent several years as a non-consultant hospital doctor, eventually qualifying as a general practitioner in 2010 before his political career.

    – ZME Science

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