Saturday, May 9, 2020

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition): On the Week That Was In Our World

Photo credit: Ted S. Warren/AP (Source:  Global Citizen) 

The clamor to re-open has continued to gather steam as California Governor, Gavin Newsom, released additional guidance on Thursday as it also begins the process of dealing with an estimated 54 Billion Dollar Deficit.

Our team selected a discourse of the engagements on what is at hand as we all look to #lifeaftercovid --and we also decided to feature certain snapshot of the discourse we picked up on Afghanistan as the War rages on--and as the Taliban killed a provincial police chief early on Friday.    As we went to press, we saw also a note from the team at the Marshall Project on how COVID-19 has raging on in the Prisons.

Challenging Times as we begin with a summary of developments as of Friday May 8 courtesy the Washington Post and continue with some of the discourse throughout:

The U.S. unemployment rate tripled to 14.7 percent as more than 20 million jobs vanished in April — a rate of loss not seen since the Great Depression nearly a century ago. “This is pretty scary,” Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel, told The Washington Post. “I’m fearful many of these jobs are not going to come back, and we are going to have an unemployment rate well into 2021 of near 10 percent.”
Years of low wages and ideological efforts to gut social welfare programs left the American workforce especially vulnerable to the pandemic's economic damage. “A Federal Reserve report last year … warned that nearly 40 percent of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 for an emergency,” our business desk reported. “The emergency has now hit, and millions of people are lining up at food banks, pleading for help on social media and going to work in the midst of a pandemic because they need the money.” The story is based on interviews with a single mom trying to sell her house after being furloughed from her job at a spa, and other Americans slipping toward poverty.
As the coronavirus continues its steady spread across the country — 1.27 million infections and more than 76,000 deaths as of Friday afternoon — President Trump is encouraging Americans to leave quarantine and “be warriors” against a disease that has no cure and can spread invisibly without symptoms. 
Trump's quest to unfreeze the economy has in recent days included praising a woman who was jailed for operating her Dallas salon against stay-at-home rules; dismissing calls to increase viral monitoring because, he said, “by doing all of this testing, we make ourselves look bad”; and suppressing information about the pandemic's severity as he tries to convince a frightened public to go back outside, back to business, back to work.
At the same time, the White House is scrambling to increase protection from the virus for Trump and Vice President Pence after two aides were announced to have tested positive in as many daysPence's press secretary was notified Friday that she tested positive; the day before, it was announced one of the Trump's personal valets had tested positive. Staff will now be tested daily, up from once a week, as Trump makes plans to hold more meetings and travel.
Power struggles are erupting between some governors and state legislatures over coronavirus policies. “From Kansas to New Hampshire, state lawmakers are rushing to sponsor legislation, file court challenges and make public statements on what they see as gubernatorial overreach on matters ranging from the spending of federal dollars to whether their neighborhood hair salon or tavern should remain closed,” The Post wrote.

In light of COVID-19, Global Citizen and Teneo are announcing that Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream, the year-long campaign and multi-city series of events meant to drive impact for the world to achieve the United Nations Global Goals, will not take place on September 26, 2020. Global Goal Live, the campaign, will extend into 2021, and the major events will be postponed to September 25, 2021. 

With the fifth anniversary of the Global Goals happening in 2020, our intention was to use Global Goal Live as an opportunity to help spark a decade of action and accountability for achieving the Goals. Yet despite months of contingency planning, the reality is the continued levels of uncertainty due to COVID-19 have left us without a viable option to proceed with large in-person events this year. 

We are incredibly grateful for the support Global Goal Live has received from the United Nations, the private sector, and the artist community. This would not have been possible without them, and we look forward to being able to host this historic campaign next year. The world needs it, and if we’ve learned anything from COVID-19, it is that global problems require global solutions, be they a pandemic, hunger, or access to quality education for girls everywhere. 

We are immensely proud of what we achieved with One World: Together at Home and are excited by the new opportunities that are emerging out of that. We are looking to play an active role in the ongoing campaigning efforts to fight COVID-19, specifically focused on search for a vaccine and providing community health workers with essential PPE. We are also committed to delivering the 2020 Global Citizen Prize later this year.  

For now, please stay safe and follow the instructions of your local health officials. We are looking forward to hosting Global Goal Live in 2021. 

With hope,
The Global Citizen Team

How Can We Prevent a Pandemic Like COVID-19 From Happening Again?

Photo credit: Ted S. Warren/AP
The global community must prioritize building resilient health care systems that are equipped to address future pandemics.
What Do You Know About Immunizations?

Test your knowledge by taking this quiz about vaccines and how they can save millions of lives.

Dear Reader,
As the coronavirus began to spread across the United States, one of our first questions was how many of the millions who live and work in our prisons would get sick, and possibly die?
Since March, The Marshall Project has been working to answer these questions. A team of reporters has been contacting prison systems in all 50 states and the federal Bureau of Prisons to gather the numbers of prisoners and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Our reporting has revealed the alarming spread of COVID-19 and its profound toll on both incarcerated people and staff members. This information has not been easy to come by. Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on coronavirus in prisons, but they were only able to reach 37 jurisdictions and counted fewer than 5,000 cases among prisoners. In contrast, we have documented more than 20,000 prisoners who have caught the illness and 6,000 workers, correctional officers and medical staff who have been infected. More than 325 people—most of them incarcerated—have died.
Our analysis found that part of what’s fueling the recent spike in coronavirus cases is a small group of states that have begun aggressively testing prisoners. The staggering number of positive cases that this revealed suggests that coronavirus was spreading in prisons in much greater numbers than previously known. In the many states where tests have not been prevalent, far more people may be carrying the virus than have been reported.
In the months ahead, we’ll continue to update this data every week. And now, in partnership with The Associated Press, we are releasing the raw data that we’ve collected since March, making it available to journalists, researchers and others who want to better understand how this pandemic is tearing through our prisons.

Goldman Sachs
Reopening the Economy
The latest episode of Top of Mind at Goldman Sachs aims to answer three questions: What might a safe reopening of the US economy look like? How well-positioned is the US to achieve one? How quickly would reopening translate into an economic recovery? The experts interviewed by Goldman Sachs Research’s Allison Nathan agree that a phased approach to reopening is essential to limiting the spread of infection. “I think the notion of dialing up the dimmer gradually with a pause for a few weeks at each step is important to make sure that we're not getting into conditions of less controlled spread,” said former FDA commissioner Dr. Mark McClellan. Meanwhile, reopening the economy may not deliver much of an immediate economic reprieve, cautioned Dr. Zeke Emanuel, University of Pennsylvania Vice Provost for Global Initiatives. “The issue is [reopening] may in fact be a demand-side problem and that demand-side problem is not something you’re going to mitigate just by opening up a restaurant.” Dr. Emanuel said, “It's something you’re going to get back when you have an effective testing regime and people can be reassured that when they go out—say to a restaurant or some other business—they’re not going to get sick.” Of course, the wide availability of a vaccine will mark the most critical turning point for economic normalization. Dr. Barry Bloom, a professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, thinks that will still likely take at least 18 months. He stressed, however, “Whatever timeline we see will be faster than anyone could possibly have conceived of up until the last couple of years.”

Listen to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or YouTube.
Listen to podcast
Daily Check-In With Goldman Sachs: Matt Gibson on How CEOs Are Navigating the Shutdown
After an early focus on liquidity and transitioning to a work-from-home environment, corporate CEOs are now assessing the short- and long-term impacts of the shutdown on their businesses and industries, even as they plan for the unexpected, said Matt Gibson, co-head of Goldman Sachs Global Investment Banking Services, in a recent episode of The Daily Check-In with Goldman Sachs. More recently, CEO conversations have centered around first-quarter earnings and how to “tell the company’s story at a time when the economic outlook is so uncertain” and what a return to normalcy could look like. “Each of our clients will deal with this in their own unique way depending on what they do. Just imagine, for example, how different it will be for an airline to do this versus a consulting firm.”

Also in The Daily Check-In, we heard from Laura Destribats of Goldman Sachs Asset Management on how the shutdown is driving millennial investing themes; Jason Mathews from the Global Markets Division on how clients are navigating markets and planning for the future during a time of unprecedented volatility; and Stacy Selig, co-head of Goldman Sachs Global Sales Strats and Structuring, on clients’ growing interest in ESG as a driving investment theme during the pandemic.
Talks at GS: Deepak Chopra on Rewiring One’s Response to Stress
Above (L to R): Bentley de Beyer of Goldman Sachs and Deepak Chopra, Founder of the Chopra Foundation
In addition to the toll coronavirus is taking on public health and the global economy, the pandemic has significant implications for mental and emotional health. To deal with the stresses of everyday life during the pandemic, wellness expert Deepak Chopra has some advice, which he shared in a recent episode of Talks at GS. “A lot of people say, ‘Be optimistic. Be positive.’ Anyone who is trying too hard to be positive will be stressed, because if you’re trying to be positive, but not feeling positive then you’re going to be stressed. So a positive mind can be a very stressed mind.” Instead of feeling the need to keep a “positive mind,” Chopra focuses instead on the importance of a “quiet mind.” He explained, “When the mind is quiet, then the body is quiet. And when the body is quiet, it regulates itself, it decreases inflammation, optimizes immune function and starts to heal itself.” Chopra said, “You can quiet your mind any time by taking...your attention away from the thought, to the sensation you are experiencing. Non-judgment—just observe it. Feel the fear and move through it.”

Chopra is hopeful that the challenges of this period will ultimately foster innovative new ways to emphasize mental health and creativity. “The worst use of imagination is anxiety. And the best use of imagination is creativity. And we are going to develop techniques to enhance that—it’s happening right now.”
Watch video

We also note the following discourse on the continued challenges in our World as  #Elections2020 looms in the United States and profound challenges continue to linger on our World:

Syria was another area where our team has been assessing on-going developments.    There have been reports of Iran withdrawing Revolutionary Guard Members and drawing down troops as Israel has been continuing its' onslaught on Troops.    It is also of interest how Russia has apparently turned on Bashar Assad with Russian Think Tanks (reflecting Russian Government Policy) laying out potential roadmaps for a different future for Syria without Bashar Assad and the Islamic Republic:

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