New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that he will cancel all in person classes in schools and day cares within nine NYC neighborhoods this week. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is also suggesting restrictions on nonessential businesses during this surge in cases, which Cuomo is currently not supporting. “While the principals are back and have prepped schools for safety, the Mayor’s agreement undermines parent confidence in schools and the ability of these institutions to do their job.” There are around 300 public and private schools that will be forced to shut their doors and commence virtual learning.
Flu season in the Southern Hemisphere begins in April, and people braced for the impact of the flu and COVID-19. However, the months came and went while the flu seemed nonexistent. Experts believe that mask wearing, travel restrictions, social distancing and school closures contributed to the decreased amount of cases. Those practices that were implemented for COVID are also effective in combating the flu. South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South American countries are reporting similar findings. These countries put lock downs and strict travel restrictions in place. New Zealand was able to go nearly 3 months without a COVID-19 case while other countries in the world were spiking.
For the first time since March, U.S. jobless claims have fallen to under 1 million. The estimate for initial claims was 1.1 million and ended the week at 963,000. Continued claims were 15.5 million against an estimate of 15.8 million. This report had ended a 20-week streak were initial claims were above the 1 million mark. Pre-pandemic jobless claims were around 250,000. While the labor market continues to show improvement, the total levels of unemployment remain elevated.
As we sit in the height of travel season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, less travelers are turning to airlines to get them to their final destinations. With the downturn in all travel, airlines are forced to make difficult decisions. British Airlines announced today that it would be retiring its entire fleet of Boeing 747s. The airline has 31 in its fleet and is the largest operator of jumbo jets in the world. British Airlines had planned to retire the 747s in 2024 but accelerated the timeline with current market conditions. Companies like Delta, Air France and United had already retired their fleets. British Airlines is also restricting further by reducing their staff by up to 12,000 employees ranging from pilots to ground crews.
Public colleges and universities are not immune from the financial distress in the wake of Covid-19. “Public colleges and universities across the nation have had to spend enormous sums of money to support their students through the pandemic; switch to online education; and issue refunds to students for parking, housing, and dining services for the period of time when they were not on campus in the spring.” While there is the CARES Act to provide funding for these institutions, the funding verses the lost revenue is leaving a huge divide.