Coronavirus Briefing: What Happened Today?



On Friday, the FDA cleared the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use in children aged 5 to 11. If the CDC approves as scheduled, the children could start getting the vaccine as early as Wednesday. About 28 million children in the group will be eligible to receive one-third of the adult dose, with two injections three weeks apart.

In a clinical trial, the vaccine was shown to generate significant protection in children. Experts said even children who had previously had Covid would benefit from the vaccine. About 15 million doses are ready to ship immediately, and states began ordering doses last week.

For more: Children are behind the longest outbreak of Covid in Britain.


Unsurprisingly, 2020 was the best year for print sales in a decade.

Authors and publishers are finally catching up, as the pandemic and the accompanying feelings of loneliness and isolation have begun appear in novels.

The coronavirus is the coda of Sally Rooney’s latest novel, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” released last month. And this is the backbone of two forthcoming books: “The phrase», By Louise Erdrich, and Gary Shteyngart‘s “Our friends back home”

My colleague, Times literary critic Molly Young, called Shteyngart’s book “Covid-19’s first great novel.” It tells the story of seven friends (and a nemesis) who come together in an area of ​​the Hudson Valley to await the pandemic. (Read his rave review.)

In today’s newsletter, we have four more recommendations for pandemic readings from Molly as well as Dwight Garner, a literary critic for The Times. We also have your suggestions, after nearly 400 of you shared the books that helped them get through the pandemic.

If you would like to discuss these recommendations and share some of your own, please head over to the comments section.

Laughing fingers», By Mabel Seeley: Escape alert! It’s the equivalent of the pound of hot chocolate. Mabel Seeley is a somewhat forgotten mystery writer of the 1940s, and her best book (this one) has been reprinted. Read if you like Agatha Christie, putting your nose where it doesn’t belong, the secluded houses by the lake and thrillers. – molly young

The hot zoneBy Richard Preston: Not in the mood to read comfortably? Scare the light of day with this Ebola virus story. Stephen King called it “one of the most horrible things I’ve ever read” – and who am I to discuss it? You may want to wear gloves to avoid chapping your fingers while turning pages at high speed. – molly young

“Year of the plagues: a memoir of 2020”, by Fred D’Aguiar: D’Aguiar is a poet born in London to Guyanese parents. His memoir recounts how he learned he had an aggressive form of prostate cancer and had to cope with his treatments while facing the Covid era. His memoirs are funny; It’s hot; this is annoying ; It is also a poet’s book, a storm of language. – Dwight Garner

If you’re in the mood for a radical, authoritative, and prescient (and who isn’t?) Thriller about viruses and their potential impacts, I suggest Lawrence Wright’s “The End of October”, which is released at Panic. linked to covid. This is a world in shock and in ruins due to a virus similar to Covid-19. It reads like a rocket, and it’s scary, scary, scary. – Dwight Garner

Stories of plague and confinement

“I have read many post-apocalyptic books since the start of the pandemic. The result in these books is always more horrible than what we were going through. I’ve always been relieved at the way our world has behaved compared to the world of novels. – Diane Thomas Gordon, Memphis

  • “A Diary of the Year of the Plague,” by Daniel Defoe: Whether in 1665 or 2021, heroes and villains always emerge during a crisis. Core workers (be they gravediggers or grocery store workers) will always bear the brunt of our collective indifference. And the rich will usually escape the worst of plagues (unless their servants bring it into the house). – Shalynn Womack, 63, Nashville

  • “Heaven’s Coast,” by Mark Doty: Doty’s terrific writings on the grief over the death of her longtime partner amid the AIDS crisis helped me begin the process of understanding Abby’s enormous loss. , my eight year old girlfriend, and how to remember her. – Logan B., 26, Houston

  • At the start of the pandemic, “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez took me out of my world of hand washing and sanitizing, and reminded me that life (and love) went on. even during difficult times, in difficult circumstances. My parents and grandparents are no longer there to tell their stories of endurance and recovery. I needed to hear someone’s story. – Sarah Smith, 63, New Orleans

  • “The Great Influenza,” by John M. Barry: Too much history was repeating itself in my city, and I had to stop frequently (and sometimes cry) as I read what happened in 1918 and imagine what happened in 1918. which could happen in 2020. – Ian Korn, 38, Brooklyn, New York

  • “A Gentleman in Moscow”, by Amor Towles: it is about a Russian aristocrat under house arrest at the Metropol hotel who must learn to create a new rich life within the hotel limits. What struck me was Count Rostov’s philosophy regarding the limits imposed on his previously free life. Heather Schwartz, 52, Delaware County, New York

  • Curiously, “The Stand”, by Stephen King. As horrible as the handling of Covid was, the devastating nature of the virus in the book made me feel like we were lucky in comparison. People might be resistant to the vaccine, but at least our scientists survived long enough to create one. – Mia Wilson, Baltimore

Human resilience and spirituality

What to know about Covid-19 booster injections

The FDA has cleared booster shots for millions of recipients of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries who are eligible for a recall include people 65 years of age and older and young adults at high risk for severe Covid-19 due to medical conditions or their workplace. Eligible Pfizer and Moderna beneficiaries may receive a booster at least six months after their second dose. All Johnson & Johnson recipients will be eligible for a second injection at least two months after the first.

Yes. The FDA has updated its clearances to allow medical providers to boost people with a different vaccine than the one they originally received, a strategy known as “mix and match.” Whether you have received Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or Pfizer-BioNTech, you may receive a booster of any other vaccine. Regulators have not recommended any vaccine over another as a booster. They have also remained silent on whether it is best to stick to the same vaccine when possible.

The CDC said the conditions that qualify a person for a booster shot include: hypertension and heart disease; diabetes or obesity; cancer or blood disorders; weakened immune system; chronic lung, kidney or liver disease; dementia and some disabilities. Pregnant women and current and former smokers are also eligible.

The FDA has cleared the boosters for workers whose work puts them at high risk of exposure to potentially infectious people. The CDC says this group includes: emergency medical workers; education workers; food and agricultural workers; manufacturing workers; correctional workers; workers in the US postal service; public transport workers; employees of grocery stores.

Yes. The CDC says the Covid vaccine can be given regardless of the timing of other vaccines, and many pharmacy websites allow people to schedule a flu shot along with a booster dose.

“Reading has become a much needed escape for me during the pandemic. It gives me a little break from my bad doom-scrolling habit. It allows my mind to exist in a different reality for a limited period of time. – Steph Hart, 32, Nashville

  • “Parable of the Talents,” by Octavia Butler: It reminded me of the resilience of humanity, and how even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, kindness and idealism can prevail. – Corey Pajka, 38, Brooklyn, New York

  • the count of Monte Cristo”, By Alexandre Dumas: It showed the resilience and determination of a man forced into isolation for long periods of time. – Shankar Swamy, Weston, Florida.

  • The Bible”: I read it almost every day. He has the answer to life’s problems. It gives hope. – David Welford, 75, New Zealand

  • “The Lord of the Rings,” by JRR Tolkien: “I wish this didn’t have to happen in my day,” said Frodo. “Me too,” said Gandalf, “and all who live to see such moments too. But that is not for them to decide. We just have to decide what to do with the time allotted to us. . – Erika Kinkead, Eastern Palestine, Ohio

Escape and old favorites

“I found myself drawn to historical fiction about the Tudor era. I saw so many similarities with our time! A charismatic and problematic political figure? A mysterious plague-like disease that is killing people? And yet, these people survived. – Heather, 37, Houston

  • I slowly worked for the first time in the “Harry Potter” series. I am so happy to have kept it until now. It’s such a nice light escape from everything that is going on in the world. That’s all I need right now. – Brook, 42, Sydney, Australia

  • I needed an escape. I needed mystery. I needed wonderful characters. I found it all in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache novels! I’m about to start his most recent. I look forward ! – Lyn Banghart, 72, Easton, Maryland

  • I have always loved the mysteries of Agatha Christie, so I decided to read them all again. It’s like spending time with a precious old friend. – Barbara Sloan, Conway, South Carolina

  • The Magic Mountain», By Thomas Mann. I’ve read this book at least once a decade throughout my adult life, and it always resonates in a different way. But this time, during the initial lockdown here in Italy where I live, the book’s portrayal of time warping was a perfect match for what I was feeling. – Gail Roberts, 59, Rome


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