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COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:October 15, 2020

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Seeking clarity: How the concept of work has shifted (Washington Post) Published on: October 13, 2020 | Category: Global Response, Leadership
  • When speaking, I’ve learned to fix my gaze on the tiny glass eye at the top edge of my monitor, not my listener’s face, to look like I’m making eye contact.
  • By the time the call ends, I’m in a flop sweat from trying to communicate while also self-monitoring every voluntary and involuntary movement of my face and body.
  • The popular name for this condition is “Zoom fatigue”
How Airbnb Pulled Back From the Brink (WSJ) Published on: October 12, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • In May, after fighting to keep Airbnb Inc. from the brink of collapse, Chief Executive Brian Chesky started noticing signs of life in part of his business.
  • Urban residents were searching for vacation rentals in neighboring towns and cities, so they didn’t have to fly. People wanted to book entire homes, meaning Airbnb could gain from travelers shunning hotels and their shared spaces.
  • The upswing has put the home-sharing giant on a path to go public and report a third-quarter profit this year, according to investors, something that seemed all but impossible months ago.
Pandemic fatigue: More Canadians likely to visit family, friends during Thanksgiving than during Easter, poll finds (National Post) Published on: October 12, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • Pandemic fatigue has officially set in, a new poll concludes, after finding that significantly fewer Canadians are likely to obey health officials’ warnings to physically distance and avoid visiting family and friends during Thanksgiving than during Easter.
  • Results from the poll stated that 54 per cent of Canadians surveyed in October had visited their family and friends between Oct. 2 and 4 while only 12 per cent of Canadians were willing to do so during the second week of April.
Technical glitches briefly mar first day of applications for Canada Recovery Benefit (CBC) Published on: October 12, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • Canadians seeking to access new financial support after missing work because of COVID-19 appeared to briefly run into technical glitches as applications opened for the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) on Monday.
  • The new benefit from the federal government comes into effect as concerns rise about increasing job losses with Ontario and Quebec imposing targeted restrictions on restaurants, bars and fitness centres to slow the spread of COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus.
  • The caregiver benefit applies to people who miss work because of school or daycare closures, and whose children who miss school or daycare because they have contracted the virus or may have been exposed.
Act now to prevent a tragic economic ending (FT) Published on: October 12, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Gains from the rebound have clearly slowed. After adding 4.8m jobs in June, American employers brought fewer workers back in every subsequent month.
  • The International Labour Organization estimates the world will lose working hours equivalent to 245m full-time jobs in the final quarter of this year.
  • Nearly 80 per cent of US job losses were classified as temporary in April, and 8.5 per cent as permanent. By September, this had changed to 35 per cent and 30 per cent respectively, with the rest being those whose temporary jobs ended.
Future of Work (Washington Post) Published on: October 12, 2020 | Category: Global Response, Leadership
  • Another sign that working from home is here to stay: Companies are hiring executives to lead the virtual work experience.
  • Even if they were encouraged by management to take time off, they worried they would be compared to the fathers — and employees without children.
  • The business lunch will one day make a return, business professors, networking experts and professionals agree. But when the ritual resumes, they predict, it might be less frequent simply because workers will spend less time in their offices.
The Next Big Shift in Economics Takes Shape Under Covid Shadow (Bloomberg) Published on: October 11, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • Fiscal policy, which fell out of fashion as an engine of economic growth during the inflationary 1970s, has been front-and-center in the fight against Covid-19.
  • Governments have subsidized wages, mailed checks to households and guaranteed loans for business.
  • Fiscal stimulus packs a bigger punch than the monetary kind because it can channel cash directly to households or businesses, and it’s better suited for delivering targeted aid to those who need it most in a crisis, like the unemployed.
October 2020 update to TIGER: COVID-19 remains an impediment to the global recovery (Brookings) Published on: October 11, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact
  • The world economy is experiencing a tepid, uneven, and fragile recovery from the depths of the COVID-19 recession.
  • China’s economy is back on track and the United States appears to have turned the corner, while many other economies plumb new depths.
  • World merchandise trade has rebounded strongly, consistent with indications of a revival in household demand for goods in many economies even as the demand for services remains hobbled by restrictions and consumer concerns.
The new Black Friday: Amazon, Target, Best Buy and others kicking off holiday sales (Washington Post) Published on: October 11, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Some of the nation’s largest retailers will begin rolling out Black Friday sales this weekend — earlier than ever and the latest sign of how the pandemic is reshaping the biggest shopping season of the year.
  • “The stampede mentality of the past, with doorbusters sales and Black Friday deals every weekend, is being replaced by earlier, season-long discounts,” said James Zahn, senior editor of the Toy Insider, a trade magazine.
  • The stakes are especially high: More than a dozen major retailers have filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic and several others are at risk of running out of cash.
Majority of Canadians support closing non-essential businesses during second wave: Nanos survey (CTV News) Published on: October 11, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • The majority of Canadians say they’re in support of closing non-essential businesses in light of recent increases in COVID-19 cases across the country, according to a new survey by Nanos Research.
  • The survey of 1,003 Canadians found that seven in 10 participants reported that they support or somewhat support closing non-essential businesses, such as gyms and places of worship, and only allowing restaurants to offer takeout given the surge in cases.
  • Just under a third of respondents said they were opposed or somewhat opposed to this measure while another one per cent said they were unsure.
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