The CDC will revise the mask guidelines today. Most people won’t need to wear them.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will release new COVID-19 mask guidelines today that will say most Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors, multiple sources involved in writing the guidelines said. guidelines.

The Associated Press reports:

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will announce a change in the metrics it uses to determine whether to recommend face coverings, moving from looking at the number of COVID-19 cases to taking a more holistic view of the risk of coronavirus for a community. Under current guidelines, masks are recommended for people residing in communities with substantial or high transmission — about 95% of U.S. counties, according to the latest data.

The new measures will still take into account the number of cases, but will also take into account hospitalizations and local hospital capacity, which were markedly improved during the emergence of the omicron variant. This strain is highly transmissible, but appears to be less severe than earlier strains, especially for fully vaccinated and boosted people. Under the new guidelines, the vast majority of Americans will no longer live in areas where indoor masking in public is recommended, based on current data.

The new guidelines will be based less on new cases and more on tangible “significant consequences” of infection, including hospitalizations, emergency room visits and deaths.

It remains to be seen how the new guidelines will affect specific settings, such as health care and public transport. The federal mask-wearing requirement on airplanes and other public transportation is set to expire on March 18, but the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA is pushing the Biden administration to expand the requirement. The group said it “expects” the mask’s mandate to be extended.

CNN reports:

“It’s time to move from panic mode to caution,” a CDC scientist involved in the process told CNN on Thursday. “We still have to worry [Covid] but maybe not all the time.

“There will be consideration that when you get to that level you want to consider doing this; when you get to that level, you want to consider doing it,” the CDC scientist said. “I hope they will emphasize the importance of local health departments making decisions based on local circumstances.”

People use the metro as a bomb shelter in Kiev, Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. Russia has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending in troops troops and tanks from multiple directions in a move that could rewrite the global geopolitical landscape. (AP Photo/Zoya Shu)

Both generous and greedy charities will be relying on you to send money to Ukraine in the days ahead. Beware.

Some well-known organizations are currently at work in Ukraine. The Humanitarian Fund for Ukraine is one of the national pooled funds of the United Nations. The UN says: “Your donation will help humanitarian NGOs and UN agencies in Ukraine assist the most vulnerable communities and people and provide them with urgently needed food, water, shelter and aid. other basic supports. With this fast and flexible response mechanism, your donation today can truly save lives. »

Charity Navigator lists them as the highest ranked charities working in and for Ukraine:

(Charity Browser)

Doctors Without Borders is at work in Ukraine to help manage the COVID-19 crisis. They have teams in some of the hottest areas this week.

The Committee to Protect Journalists tries to do exactly what its name implies. In Ukraine, CPJ lobbies all parties to provide access and protection to journalists.

The Kyiv Independent is a non-profit news organization that was formed by a group of journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post. As CPJ explained, “Much of Ukraine’s media is owned or controlled by oligarchs or deep-pocketed politicians who are quick to dictate editorial content. Investigative sites and independent online newsrooms offer solid, evidence-based alternatives, but often struggle to balance the cost.

30 of the Post’s 50 fired people have opened their own newsrooms, and today you will see independent journalists from Kyiv reporting fearlessly from the field. They document injuries and deaths city by city. Support them here with a donation as small as five dollars a month. I particularly appreciate the entire section of the Independent dedicated to reporting on government corruption and bribery.

Catholic Relief Services says it is “on the ground” in Ukraine and neighboring countries “ready to provide safe shelter, hot meals, hygiene supplies, fuel for warmth, transportation to safe areas , psychological support and more”.

Defense contractors across America saw their inventories rise on Thursday even as the rest of the market slumped. Business Insider collected a few examples:

Northrop Grumman was up about 3%. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Technologies and General Dynamics rose about 2%.

American and European allies provided Ukraine with military equipment leading to the Russian invasion. And the outbreak of war there could increase pressure on NATO countries to increase defense spending.

Here is a list of the largest defense contractors in the United States and information about each. You probably have defense industries near you. Go profile them, find out what they produce and how a rise in military tensions affects their production.

It seems our nature is to focus on one crisis at a time. But we don’t have that luxury.

Vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 are practically over. The AP notes that in places where there was little interest in getting vaccinated, almost no one now shows up to get vaccinated.

The average number of Americans receiving their first vaccine has fallen to around 90,000 a day, the lowest point since the first days of the US vaccination campaign, in December 2020. And hopes for a substantial improvement in the future immediately have largely evaporated.

About 76% of the American population has received at least one injection. Less than 65% of all Americans are fully immunized.

Vaccination incentive programs that offered cash, sports tickets, beer and other prizes have largely disappeared. Vaccine mandates from governments and employers have been the subject of legal challenges and may have gone as far as they ever will.

The AP story cites a January survey of 1,000 unvaccinated adults who asked what, if anything, would change their minds and persuade them to get vaccinated. Half said “nothing”.

The National Hockey League wanted a court to force insurers to pay $1 billion to cover what the league lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The judge said no. But Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Sunil Kulkarni is open to hearing the details of the NHL’s claim that the insurance policy included a communicable disease clause that could still give rise to compensation. Factory Mutual Insurance says the payout limit should be $1 million. These types of lawsuits are unfolding across the country as policyholders try to force insurance companies to help pay for COVID-19-related losses.

Average gasoline prices as of February 23, 2022. (AAA)

A Los Angles gas station posted $6.21 a gallon for gasoline this week. Oil briefly rose above $100 a barrel on Thursday. President Joe Biden said, “I know this is tough and Americans are already hurting.”

He continued, “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain Americans are feeling at the gas pump.” He said he may open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to temporarily boost oil supplies and warned oil and gas companies not to try to profit from the disruption caused by the war. “And American oil and gas companies should not exploit this moment to raise their prices in order to increase their profits,” Biden said.

A friend told me today that she didn’t notice the gas prices going up because she works from home and doesn’t pay to get to the office.

You can go here and enter information to determine how much you spend each month driving to work. Plug in various gas prices and see how much it would change with gas prices 50 cents per gallon higher, for example.

A new Qualtrics study reveals:

Nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 7 in 10 American workers feel burnt out with little distinction between work and life, and a majority (58%) believe their job is their main source of happiness. mental health problems.

The study indicates that the top three things that employees believe would improve their mental health are:

  • Higher salary (58%)
  • Four-day work week (46%)
  • Flexibility to work when, where they want (36%)

(Qualtrics)

The study found:

  • 58% of employees say their work is the main source of their mental health problems
  • 61% of office workers agree with this statement, compared to 51% of non-office workers
  • 55% say more flexibility with schedules and schedules would encourage them to stay with a company longer
  • 60% of office workers say flexible working hours and schedules would make them stay with a company longer, compared to 48% of employees who don’t work in an office

Remote work has changed people’s daily schedules:

  • 20% of remote workers start work earlier in the day
  • 18% take fewer sick days
  • 17% spend more time working overall
  • 14% work more outside the usual hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 8% admit to slacking off

A third of employees said they would be willing to take a 5% pay cut to work remotely indefinitely.

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