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COVID-19 Monitor

Last Updated:October 15, 2020

Navigator Sight is an AI-powered news service for decision makers to stay abreast of the issues that matter most. As readers engage with a story, our machine learning algorithm improves. View updates here or sign up below to receive them in your inbox.

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The right kind of recovery (The Economist) Published on: October 9, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • Every few decades in the 20th century the relationship between the state and the individual was reforged in the fire of crisis.
  • Young people are frustrated by declining social mobility and high asset prices, and fear the effects of climate change.
  • The pandemic has created conditions ripe for misguided interventionism that tries to prevent change rather than adapt to it.
Antibody drugs are no cure but seem promising for COVID-19 (CBC) Published on: October 8, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. are asking the U.S. government to allow emergency use of their antibody drugs, which aim to help the immune system clear the virus.
  • Regeneron is using two antibodies to enhance chances its therapy will work even if the virus evades one. The company made a successful Ebola combo antibody treatment this way.
  • Researchers are still trying to determine the best candidates for antibody treatment. Some studies involve newly infected people to see if early treatment can lower the risk of becoming sick.
Impending row over Covid vaccine patents at WTO (FT) Published on: October 8, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business, Global Response
  • It’s been a while since intellectual property rights in a public health crisis became a big trade issue.
  • Last week India and South Africa, continuing their role as the WTO awkward squad, filed a request for a waiver of the multilateral Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights agreement.
  • It would allow countries to change their domestic IP law to ignore not just patents but also copyright, trade secrets, clinical testing data and so forth without facing consequences at the WTO.
Moderna Vows to Not Enforce Covid-19 Vaccine Patents During Pandemic (WSJ) Published on: October 8, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Moderna Inc. said it wouldn’t enforce patents related to its experimental Covid-19 vaccine while the pandemic continues and is willing to license the patents to others after the pandemic.
  • “We’re quite studiously not asserting infringement,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in an interview. “We’re doing the opposite of creating that kind of anxiety for folks. We’re not interested in using that IP to decrease the number of vaccines available in a pandemic.”
  • Moderna is a young biotech company that has sought to develop drugs and vaccines based on a gene-based technology that has never yielded an approved product.
The pandemic has caused the world’s economies to diverge (The Economist) Published on: October 8, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • As a recovery takes place, huge gaps between the performance of countries are opening up—which could yet recast the world’s economic order.
  • The pandemic will leave economies less globalised, more digitised and less equal. As they cut risks in their supply chains and harness automation, manufacturers will bring production closer to home.
  • As more activity moves online, business will become more dominated by firms with the most advanced intellectual property and the biggest repositories of data; this year’s boom in technology stocks gives a sense of what is coming, as does the digital surge in the banking industry.
67% of working Canadians would use virtual tools for mental health: survey (Benefits Canada) Published on: October 8, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of working Canadians said they’d use video chat, web or telephone-based health support to consult with a mental-health practitioner, up 17 percentage points since 2019, according to a new survey by RBC Insurance.
  • The survey, which polled 1,001 employed or recently laid-off Canadians in July, also found the percentage of working Canadians who said they’d use video or telephone counselling also rose significantly, up 15 percentage points to 60 per cent this year.
Pandemic Hastens Shift to Asset-Light Economy (WSJ) Published on: October 7, 2020 | Category: Economic Impact, Global Response
  • Value is increasingly derived from digital platforms, software and other intangible investments rather than physical assets and traditional relationships.
  • “The emergence and growth of ‘virtual’ businesses provided conspicuous evidence that, in the digital age, value accrues to ideas, R&D, brands, content, data and human capital—i.e. intangible assets—rather than industrial machinery, factories or other physical assets,” writes Jason Thomas, chief economist at private-equity manager Carlyle Group.
  • The pandemic has taught businesses to operate without offices and to engage customers virtually instead of in person, so they will likely further de-emphasize physical assets in favor of research, customer acquisition and data management, Mr. Thomas says.
Ontario unveils PPE grants for small business, alcohol takeout plan as pressure mounts with rising COVID-19 cases (The Globe and Mail) Published on: October 7, 2020 | Category: Canadian Business
  • Ontario also said it planned to eventually recoup the taxes it had deferred during the pandemic, which Mr. Mallough said would hit hard because “quite frankly, most of them can’t afford it.” In Ontario, he said only 28 per cent of businesses are back to normal revenue.
  • The Tourism Industry Association of Ontario, representing 400,000 employees, said a recent survey of its members showed 90 per cent of businesses reported having steep revenue declines of nearly 70 per cent on average.
Coronavirus: Italy to make masks compulsory outdoors (The Independent) Published on: October 7, 2020 | Category: Global Response
  • Italy is set to make the wearing of face masks in outdoor spaces mandatory in an attempt to restrict the spread of coronavirus, as the number of Covid-19 infections continues to rise across Europe.
  • “We have to make an extra effort, because (masks) must be used in any situation where there is a chance of people meeting who do not live together,” said Roberto Speranza, Italy’s health minister.
How to Manage a Hybrid Team (HBR) Published on: October 7, 2020 | Category: Leadership
  • Your employees’ needs are always varied. But right now, as many companies navigate returning to an office in some shape or form, your team members are likely contending with vastly different situations.
  • First things first: your primary role as a manager, pandemic or no, is to support your employees.
  • Employees are under immense stress and some of them may be in shock. It’s incumbent on you to reach out.
  • Some people may feel anxious or resentful of the fact that they are being asked to return to the office; some may feel that working from home leaves them at a professional disadvantage.
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