COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
Why I lost it on live TV
I cried. I couldn't control my tears. I couldn't use my words.

It happened not just in public, but on CNN, in front of America and the world.

What moved me to tears was, at first, simply rage. Rage at those who won't take our ills seriously and those who are actively fighting against the truth. They are putting people's lives in danger.

... I can't tell you what a hard slap in the face it is to constantly experience two distinctly different worlds in one beautiful but imperfect America: One based on reality, the other on conspiracy and tribalism.

I've now been to 10 hospitals trying to deal with the pandemic. I've witnessed people writhing in pain, gasping for breath and near death from Covid-19 in ICUs across the country. I've seen doctors and nurses with exhaustion written all over their faces still battling like the pandemic just began, though we are 12 months in.

And then, as I make my way home and stop to pump gas, someone rolls their eyes at me and asks, "Why are you wearing a mask?" Like it's me that's bonkers.

Adriano Espaillat is the latest member of Congress to test positive for the virus after Capitol siege.
Representative Adriano Espaillat, Democrat of New York, announced on Thursday he had tested positive for the coronavirus, as concerns continue to mount on Capitol Hill that efforts to corral lawmakers into secure locations during last week’s siege by Trump supporters may have led to a super-spreader event.

Mr. Espaillat, 66, who received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine last week, said he was not experiencing any symptoms and that he was isolating at home. In a statement, he said he understood that it took time for the vaccine to be fully effective and that he had continued to take all necessary precautions. Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that people who test positive for the virus should isolate for at least 10 days after their symptoms start.

It was unclear whether Mr. Espaillat took shelter in the secure room. But on Wednesday, he was among the lawmakers who spoke on the House floor — while wearing a mask — before voting to impeach President Trump for the second time.

Mr. Espaillat noted that the colleagues who had tested positive in recent days “collectively occupy a range of gender, ages, races and ethnicities.”

“Covid-19 does not discriminate,” he said. “It is incumbent on each of us to prioritize social distancing from one another — even if that poses a temporary inconvenience — and wear a face mask. There is no singular panacea and we must adjust our daily habits and practices for our own health and safety as well as the health and safety of those around us and throughout our communities.”

Grubhub Delivers Girl Scout Cookies Amid the Pandemic
The Girl Scouts are also using virtual cookie booths and drive-through pickup sites to promote social distancing.

Taking a cue from the battered restaurant industry during the coronavirus pandemic, the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. announced this week that they would offer contactless delivery and pickup of their cookies through Grubhub.

It’s the first time that the Girl Scouts, who have sold cookies for more than a century, have collaborated with a national delivery service, the organization said.

For decades, cookie stands, stacked with boxes of Samoas, Thin Mints and Trefoils, have been ubiquitous outside supermarkets and in other high-traffic areas. So have direct sales pitches from parents of Girl Scouts to their colleagues at work.

But then the pandemic hit — drastically limiting direct contact. So the Girl Scouts got creative.

The Girl Scouts said that Grubhub had agreed to waive all of the fees that it and competitors like Uber Eats and DoorDash typically charge to restaurants. The fees have become a source of complaints within the industry.

“We’re thrilled about this collaboration and we know consumers will share in our enthusiasm to support Girl Scouts safely selling cookies to raise money for their local troops, while also developing e-commerce skills,” a Grubhub spokesperson said. “Also, consumers across the country can now have the iconic and beloved Girl Scout Cookies delivered to them contact-free, so it’s a win-win for everyone.”

Dollar General will pay workers to get the coronavirus vaccine
Retailer offers four hours of pay, making it among the first to reward employees for getting inoculated

While such major brands as Walmart and CVS have key roles in the distribution of vaccines, most are encouraging employees to get vaccinated but not mandating it. But as doses become available to front-line workers outside of heath and long-term care, Dollar General wants to remove barriers — including transit and child-care costs — that might prevent its 157,000 employees from receiving the vaccine, the discount retailer said in a news release. On average, Dollar General employees make a base rate of $9.80 an hour, according to PayScale.

“We do not have an on-site pharmacy and currently do not have systems in place for employees to receive a vaccine at their work site,” the company said. “We do not want our employees to have to choose between receiving a vaccine or coming to work.”

Dollar General said employees will not have to provide proof of their vaccination, only notify the company that they had one. It also said it is encouraging inoculation, not requiring it.