Climate change in 2020

It used to be that climate changed seemed like something far off in the future, like something that would only affect future generations. But it’s looking more urgent these days. For Reuters, Chris Canipe, Matthew Green and Sam Hart show the “fingerprints of climate change” we saw this year.

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Evolution of coronavirus strains

Reuters looked at how seven main strains of the virus evolved around the world:

The analysis shows there are currently seven main strains of the virus. The original strain, detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December 2019, is the L strain. The virus then mutated into the S strain at the beginning of 2020. That was followed by V and G strains. Strain G mutated yet further into strains GR, GH and GV. Several other infrequent mutations were collectively grouped together as strain O.

It’s interesting to see the continent multiples. Different approaches to the pandemic led to different rates of mutations and a different spread of strains.

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Defining “essential worker” to distribute vaccine

Matthew Conlen, in an article by Abby Goodnough and Jan Hoffman for NYT, charted essential and frontline workers by industry.

With limited doses, states have to decide who gets the vaccine after healthcare workers and the most vulnerable elderly. You’ve probably heard mentions of essential workers to be next in line, but under the CDC’s definition, 70 percent of workers are essential.

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Vaccine contracts

Bloomberg is tracking nine coronavirus vaccines around the world. In addition to the approval process, they’re also tracking the procurement and distribution from companies to countries. Billions.

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State restrictions and hospitalizations

The University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government defined an index to track containment measures for the coronavirus. For The New York Times, Lauren Leatherby and Rich Harris plotted the index against cases and hospitalizations:

When cases first peaked in the United States in the spring, there was no clear correlation between containment strategies and case counts, because most states enacted similar lockdown policies at the same time. And in New York and some other states, “those lockdowns came too late to prevent a big outbreak, because that’s where the virus hit first,” said Thomas Hale, associate professor of global public policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, who leads the Oxford tracking effort.

A relationship between policies and the outbreak’s severity has become more clear as the pandemic has progressed.

States with more restrictions tend to have lower rates.

From these plots, it seems clear what we need to do. But I think most people have made up their minds already, and the interpretation of the data leads people to different conclusions.

With the holidays coming up, I just hope you lean towards clarity.

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An atlas for the world’s development indicators

The World Bank tracks global development through a number of indicators. (You can see and download much of the data through their catalog.) With a story-based approach, they published an atlas for 2020 that focuses on 17 development goals, such as end poverty, end hunger, and stop global warming. There’s one story per goal, charting out multiple indicators in each story.

There’s a lot to look at, but one thing you’ll probably notice across all of the topics is progress. It’s not all spikes and waves out there.

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Coronavirus cases rising in prisons

Coronavirus cases are rising (again), which includes prisoners and prison staff. The Marshall Project has been tracking cases since March and provides a state-by-state rundown:

New infections this week rose sharply to their highest level since the start of the pandemic, far outpacing the previous peak in early August. Iowa, Michigan and the federal prison system each saw more than 1,000 prisoners test positive this week, while Texas prisons surpassed 2,000 new cases.

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Red counties mostly stayed red

For The New York Times, Denise Lu and Karen Yourish looked at the red and blue shifts for the counties that voted red in 2016:

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. won the popular vote by more than five million — and his margin is expected to grow as states finish counting. Still, results so far show that President Trump’s support remained strong in most of the counties that voted for him in 2016. Here’s how.

Always enjoy scrollytelling through spaghetti.

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Spike past 100k Covid-19 cases in a day

Meanwhile… based on estimates from The COVID Tracking Project, the United States had an all-time high for daily counts yesterday, at 103,087. And 1,116 people died.

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Watch the election percentages for votes counted so far

Still waiting for those results? Bloomberg’s election page for each state shows the estimated range of votes counted so far. Really like the dual encoding with the shaded gradient and line. For example, here’s the page for Pennsylvania.

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