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Covid can’t stop the holiday cookie swap

There is no crowding into a small kitchen this year, waiting for your turn with the stand mixer or the oven, and grabbing handfuls of warm treats off a buffet platter.

Like so many other 2020 events, holiday cookie swaps will look a little different in the time of social distancing.

But you can still get the sugar rush and endorphin boost of a traditional baking binge without cramming into close quarters. These pandemic-friendly cookie swap ideas will help you celebrate this time-honored holiday tradition safely — and much less stressfully.

Do a virtual swap

The easiest way to do a cookie swap in the middle of a pandemic is — where else? — online. There are a few ways to pull off a virtual cookie swap.

If you want to make a bunch of different cookies on your own, each participant in your swap can choose one recipe and

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  • December 5, 2020
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Office of Arts and Culture finding a way through COVID

Lee said the resources the office still has are being focused on helping artists and arts organizations navigate public and private funding sources.

“There’s a diversity of resources available to artists. It was definitely true at the beginning of COVID, unique funds were created,” she said. “We hope to be the one-stop-shop for all of those resources available to artists and arts organizations, regardless if they are resources offered by the city.”

Early in the pandemic, the OACCE, the Cultural Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance managed an emergency fund for the arts sector, raised mostly from private sources. The COVID-19 Arts Aid PHL Fund distributed $4 million.

This week, the William Penn and Andrew Mellon foundations announced another arts assistance fund, which will distribute $8 million. Thirty-seven arts organizations will immediately receive grants between $50,000 and $400,000, ranging from the Kimmel Center to the African American Museum to

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  • December 5, 2020
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How the Covid Crisis Could Turn Into Another Financial Crisis: Stephanie Kelton

Stephanie Kelton


Mike McGregor

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Stephanie Kelton

Professor of Economics and Public Policy,

Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, N.Y.

Stephanie Kelton, 51, is a professor of economics and public policy at Stony Brook University, in Stony Brook, N.Y., and a senior fellow at the Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at the New School for Social Research. She is the author of The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy, and is a former economic adviser to Senator Bernie Sanders.

Barron’s: What will be the major investment opportunities in the aftermath of the pandemic?

Stephanie Kelton: Greening economies is a huge opportunity for profitable investments in the private sector. Governments can lead on climate, but there are a lot of profit opportunities that will come from that.

What are some of the big long-term consequences of the pandemic for society and the economy?

We’ll

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  • December 5, 2020
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What Teachers Have Learned About Online Classes During COVID : NPR

Virtual school
Virtual school

Deborah Rosenthal starts her virtual kindergarten class on Zoom every morning with a song — today, it’s the Spanish version of, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Her students clap along. There’s a greeting from the class mascot (a dragon), yoga, meditation and then some practice with letter sounds: “Oso, oso, O, O, O”.

Rosenthal teaches Spanish immersion in a public school in San Francisco’s Mission District. Most of the families are low-income, and many are now affected by COVID-related job loss. She has taught kindergarten for 15 years, and she loves how “hands-on” “tactile,” and “cozy” it is to work with 5-year-olds.

But this year, she’s spending 10 or 12 hours a day on, basically, her own home production of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood En Español. “It’s a very two-dimensional experience,” she says.

Few people would tell you that online kindergarten was a good idea, or frankly even possible.

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  • December 4, 2020
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Rich Indians Are Making Travel Plans to Get COVID Vaccine in the UK

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought life to a standstill for most people around the world, and it’s natural to want to take the first exit. However, that doesn’t make it any less of a surprise that travel agents have been inundated with enquiries from Indians who want to jet off to the U.K. as soon as possible to get the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine.

The U.K. on December 2 became the first country to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine after “rigorous clinical trials and thorough analysis” by independent regulator Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The first of its doses roll out next week.

A Mumbai-based travel agent told news agency PTI that some people have raised queries about “how and when and if” they can travel to the U.K. to get the vaccine. “I have told them it is too early to say (whether Indians can get the

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  • December 4, 2020
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Murphy scolds N.J. restaurant that flouted COVID rules, urges those who were there to get tested

Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday it made “absolutely no sense” for a New Jersey restaurant to have defied rules in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus as new cases continue to surge.

The governor criticized an Oakland restaurant, Portobello, after a Facebook photo of patrons packed in its outdoor bar area the night before Thanksgiving was shared dozens of times on social media.

“Everyone wants to know when this is going to be over, and when they can put their masks in a drawer and freely gather again with family and friends. These numbers tell us the answer: Not anytime soon,” Murphy said at his latest COVID-19 briefing in Trenton, where he announced 4,350 more coronavirus cases and 56 additional deaths.

“Scenes like this make absolutely no sense,” he said. “I’m trying hard … to find a mask anywhere in this crowd, there certainly isn’t any attempt to

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  • December 3, 2020
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Boris Johnson could be given Covid vaccine on live TV

Despite the UK’s medicines regulator certifying that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is safe to use, ministers are concerned that false anti-vaxxer propaganda online could hinder efforts to inoculate the population.

On Wednesday a YouGov poll suggested 20 per cent of Britons were either “not very confident” or “not confidential at all” that the vaccine is safe, compared to 70 per cent who believe it is. The survey of 5,321 adults also found that two thirds of respondents backed Mr Hancock taking a jab live on television. 

To drive up vaccination rates, the Department for Health is drawing up a major publicity campaign which is expected to see high-profile figures recruited to raise awareness.

Whitehall sources told The Telegraph that Prof essor Jonathan Van Tam, the deputy chief medical officer, would become the “face of vaccine deployment”, having played a leading role in drawing up the plans. 

However, in order to reach

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  • December 3, 2020
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Interpol warns of fake COVID vaccine made by organized criminals

It’s depressing to imagine that there are people who are so greedy that they would form complex organizations for the purpose of manufacturing and selling phony COVID-19 vaccines. But Interpol just issued a global alert to law enforcement “across its 194 member countries warning them to prepare for organized crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.”

From its press release:

The INTERPOL Orange Notice outlines potential criminal activity in relation to the falsification, theft and illegal advertising of COVID-19 and flu vaccines, with the pandemic having already triggered unprecedented opportunistic and predatory criminal behaviour.

It also includes examples of crimes where individuals have been advertising, selling and administering fake vaccines.

As a number of COVID-19 vaccines come closer to approval and global distribution, ensuring the safety of the supply chain and identifying illicit websites selling fake products will be essential.

The need for coordination between law enforcement and

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  • December 3, 2020
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After COVID scare, Ghislaine Maxwell expected to seek bail

Jeffrey Epstein’s onetime romantic partner and alleged sex trafficking accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell is expected to renew her request to be released on bail, which was originally denied after she was arrested in July.

Maxwell has been housed since then in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, as she awaits trial on four charges of sexual trafficking of a minor and two counts of perjury.

The revelation came in a letter filed by federal prosecutors Wednesday who said they anticipated Maxwell would make the request in a private meeting she had requested with prosecutors before U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan.

They opposed having the meeting in private because it would shut out Maxwell’s accusers.

Maxwell was placed in quarantine on Nov. 18 after coming into contact with someone in the Brooklyn detention center who tested positive for COVID-19. Maxwell tested negative at the time and it isn’t clear

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  • December 2, 2020
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How Covid has stopped women like me from having babies

“My sperm has just landed!” a friend texts. This is followed by emojis: a champagne glass, a baby bottle, and a stunned ‘What am I doing?’ face. She’s one of my many girlfriends – late 30s, some with partners, some not – stuck in a very 2020 conundrum: “How do you make a baby during Covid?”

It’s a question I too have been grappling with over the past few months – aged 39, single and keen to start a family of my own. It wasn’t that I intentionally put my career first, but it took off in my 30s, presenting me with opportunities I couldn’t say no to. And for whatever reason, I’ve never met the right man to have children with.

Add Covid into the mix and there are even more barriers to motherhood: the financial implications of a collapsing jobs and housing market are terrifying; the closure of

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  • December 2, 2020