India is facing new lockdowns and oxygen and drug shortages as cases spiral upward.
In an effort to block variants, Hong Kong banned flights from three countries and emptied an apartment block.
New York State said that some people got too much unemployment money and might have to give it back.
The U.S. reaches universal eligibility
The states had rushed to meet the April 19 deadline set by President Biden two weeks ago, and today the final states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont — expanded eligibility.
After a slow start in December, the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. has picked up considerably in recent months. More than 131 million people, or half of all American adults, had received at least one shot as of Sunday, and about 84.3 million people had been fully vaccinated, a third of the adult population. At its current pace, the U.S. will vaccinate 70 percent of its population by mid-June, but experts are warning Americans not to let their guards down. The virus is resurgent and the U.S. is averaging more than 67,000 new cases a day over the past seven days, up from over 54,000 a month ago.
The next phase of the rollout will bring its own challenges. Some scientists and health officials believe that making more people eligible will ultimately get more people vaccinated more swiftly. But others have said they are worried that some of the most vulnerable people, including those 65 and older, may have trouble competing for a shot. About a fifth of that group has not received even one shot.
As the vaccine supply expands, the extent of vaccine skepticism in the country will also come into focus. To combat vaccine hesitancy, the Biden administration is making an intense push today, which officials have likened to a “get out the vote” effort that will roll out on social media and radio and television programs.
Officials are particularly concerned about a rise in vaccine hesitancy as federal health officials pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson dose while regulators examine six cases of rare blood clots among recipients. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is expected to meet on Friday and make recommendations about the vaccine’s use.
The science behind Covid ‘blah’
A year in, and we are languishing. That’s the academic term for the collective fog we’ve endured for more than a year — trouble concentrating, trouble staying motivated, trouble getting excited about the future.
Languishing isn’t burnout, which is more a lack of energy. It’s not depression, with its lack of hope. Instead, it’s a sense of stagnation, of emptiness, of just-getting-by, a malaise that might be the dominant emotion of 2021.
Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at Wharton, suggested we think of languishing as a midpoint between flourishing and depression.
“Flourishing is the peak of well-being: You have a strong sense of meaning, mastery and mattering to others. Depression is the valley of ill-being: You feel despondent, drained and worthless,” Grant writes.
There’s still more research to do, but giving the emotion a name might give us a way to move forward, Grant argues.
“It could give us a socially acceptable response to ‘How are you?’
Instead of saying ‘Great!’ or ‘Fine,’ imagine if we answered, ‘Honestly, I’m languishing.’ It would be a refreshing foil for toxic positivity — that quintessentially American pressure to be upbeat at all times.”
It can still be tough to find a vaccine appointment in France. A data scientist’s app is helping.
There’s a giant blue whale at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. You can soon get vaccinated beneath it, if you’d like.
Alaska will offer vaccinations to tourists in June to boost tourism-related businesses, Alaska Public Media reports.
The U.S. military will begin offering vaccines to detainees at Guantánamo Bay.
“Joe’s Covee Car” is decorated with dryer balls that look like the coronavirus. And it ferries people to vaccine sites in New Jersey for free, The Washington Post reports.
What else we’re following
The Navajo Nation reported no new deaths for the seventh consecutive day and just two new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, The Associated Press reports.
After the N.F.L. canceled its in-person draft combine, pro prospects and the teams scouting them have been forced to adjust.
Airports in Australia and New Zealand were filled with emotional scenes as thousands of passengers were allowed to travel freely between the two countries for the first time in more than a year.
Eyeing tourist season this summer, Greece will relax its quarantine rules.
The pandemic has exacerbated Argentina’s economic crisis: In 2020, the national economy shrank by nearly 10 percent, the third straight year of recession.
Cambodians could get 20 years in prison for breaking pandemic rules, under a new law that human rights groups say pushes the country toward “totalitarian dictatorship,” The Guardian reports.
What you’re doing
For the first eight months of the lockdown, my husband and I literally did not know anyone personally that had Covid. We were compliant using masks, sanitizer and delivery options. My husband got antsy and began venturing out but with caution. Most of the time it was outdoor camping. On Jan. 5 my husband started showing symptoms. Alarmed but hopeful, we treated it with everything we could and took all the medical advice. On Jan. 15 he was feeling better, had energy and color in his face. We were so relieved. Jan. 16 he woke up and was struggling to breathe. I took him to the E.R. but couldn’t go in with him. He called later to say he was on antibiotics, antibodies, and oxygen and the doctor was going to keep him overnight. He felt better and his spirits were good. Three days later he went into respiratory distress, was moved to I.C.U. and put on a ventilator. My husband died Feb. 10, 2021. He turned 50 while in the hospital. The worst part was not being at his side. It breaks my heart to think he couldn’t feel the comfort of our touch. Even though we were able to FaceTime our voices many times before he passed, I mourn not being at his side almost as much as his absence.
— Joanne Atoigue, Las Vegas
Let us know how you’re dealing with the pandemic. Send us a response here, and we may feature it in an upcoming newsletter.
Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.