$1.6 Billion Awarded to Novavax for a Coronavirus Vaccine

Novavax made headlines in 2020 because the company received $1.6 billion from the Trump Administration. The funds are the largest contract of its type for this struggling organization, one which has never brought a usable vaccine to the marketplace.

Why did Novavax get so much attention when other pharmaceutical companies with a better record of success were on the same path? In a rare move of bipartisanship in American politics, executives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation promoted this small biotech company’s potential.

Republican officials in the White House agreed. The company uses moth cells to create crucial molecules faster than a typical vaccine, providing an advantage during the pandemic era that other companies couldn’t match.

The Company Was on the Verge of Collapse

Novavax made the push to the federal government for the $1.6 billion award after receiving almost $400 million from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, headed by Dr. Richard Hatchett.

The funds are a dramatic turnaround for a company that was on the verge of collapse. After receiving the award, stock prices surged 30% almost overnight.

Novavax was on the verge of collapse. Their leading vaccine candidate was a product intended to prevent a deadly virus in newborns. It had failed for the second time in three years, causing the stock to trade so low that NASDAQ was threatening to delist it.

The company was raising cash by selling its manufacturing facilities.

How could the agency get so much money so quickly to produce a successful vaccine that it had never done before? The answer lies in a secretive mission called Operation Warp Speed.

What Is Operation Warp Speed?

Operation Warp Speed is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiated by the Trump Administration in April 2020. The goal of this effort was to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of vaccines to stop COVID-19. 

Congress allocated about $10 billion for this effort, including $3 billion for research through the National Institutes of Health.

Novavax received the $1.6 billion offer with one condition: it had to prove that its clinical trials were successful. If that happened, the money would help them to produce 100 million doses of the vaccine.

BioNTech and Pfizer received a $2 billion order with the same stipulation, getting 100 million doses of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. In July 2020, GSK and Sanofi got funding of $2.1 billion. 

7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Mexico

A massive earthquake struck Mexico’s southern coast in late June, registering a 7.4 magnitude quake that prompted evacuations. The incident killed at least five people as buildings collapsed in the region.


Health services from the state of Oaxaca reported that several hospitals in the region sustained damage because of the earthquake. Two of the facilities affected by this incident were treating confirmed COVID-19 patients.

People as far away as El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala reported feeling the earthquake. Its epicenter was approximately 190 miles south of Mexico City, where sirens wailed in response to the land movements.

Tsunami Warnings Were Briefly Issued

The magnitude of the earthquake caused tsunami warnings to be issued along the southern Mexico coast initially. Early estimates suggested that waves higher than 3.3 feet could come into the shore. Observers in Salina Cru and Acapulco noted waves of more than two feet instead.

Overall, the damage experienced in Oaxaca is considered light to moderate, although several buildings did collapse during the incident. The initial estimate of repairs was less than $100 million.

Mexico is one of the world’s most active areas for earthquakes because of its position along the Pacific Ring of Fire. The country has a long history of managing devastating seismic events. It sits on top of three significant tectonic plates that experience volcanic eruptions and regular movement.

Two earthquakes hit Mexico in 2017, with the strongest reaching a magnitude 8.1. That incident cracked highways and toppled several structures.

How to Survive an Earthquake

If you are inside of a building during an earthquake, drop to the ground immediately. Find cover underneath a sturdy table or another furniture item. Try to stay away from any walls, windows, or glass that could shatter to cause an injury. Stay put into all of the shaking stops.

When you are outside during an earthquake, don’t try to run. Move into an open area away from trees or buildings that could fall if possible. Power lines, broken water pipes, or cracked gas mains could all cause problems after the seismic event.

These States Have the Highest and Lowest Literacy Rates

The global literacy rate currently stands at 86.3%. It is significantly higher for men, mainly when calculating the African continent’s standards where educational gaps are present.

Americans often believe the United States is the most literate country globally, but it typically ranks in the middle of the top 10. Several European nations, including Finland, Norway, and Switzerland, achieve a higher ranking.

Some U.S. states are successful at providing education opportunities to everyone, while others lack services in this area.

Highest Literacy Rates

1. New Hampshire has the highest literacy rate in the United States at 94.2%. Over one-third of adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and 60% of households have at least one registered library user.

2. Minnesota has a 94% literacy rate. Over 70% of individuals have a library card that they use regularly here.

3. North Dakota comes in with a 93.7% literacy rate despite having the lowest number of registered library users in the country.

4. South Dakota has a 93% literacy rate, partially due to having 16.4 public libraries available for every 100,000 residents. 

Lowest Literacy Rates

1. California has a basic prose literacy rate of 76.9%. The state’s situation is so bad that the government is getting sued because students are not receiving the education needed for essential reading and writing skills.

2. New York has a literacy rate of 77.9%. What is unique about this statistic is that the state is also in the top 10 for adults with an undergraduate degree or higher.

3. Florida’s literacy rate stands at 80.3%. The issue here involves a lack of public library access, with just 2.6 facilities available for every 100,000 people. 

4. Texas has a literacy rate of 81%, and public library access is also an issue here.

State geography doesn’t tell the entire story of literacy in the United States. 23% of those with low English literacy skills are African-American, which is the most disproportionate racial or cultural demographic in this category.

The Most Played Instruments by Age in the United States

Music has been regarded by a vast majority of people as a gift. This is because, it can be used to make someone happy, lift a person’s mood, fend off bad feelings, and most particularly, to entertain. This has made many people in the United States embrace the gift of music. 

There are varieties of instruments that have been used in the United States. In this article, we will talk about the instruments that are mostly played by age in the US.

Popular and most played instruments in the United States

Guitar

The guitar is one of the many popular, most beautiful, and most played instruments in the United States and all over the world. It is being used to make different types of lovely music. One thing that makes this particular musical instrument outstanding and loved by a majority of people is because a person playing it can easily change its sound to fit many different styles, and this depends on the way he plays it.

This is one of the major reasons why the guitar is widely appreciated by almost everybody and is also perfect for any kind of song. Out of every music that is being made in the United States, the guitar is used in almost 85 – 90% of them. New guitars and quality vintage guitars are about the same price today, either being a great option to start learning the instrument.

Piano

This is another musical instrument that has often been played in the US long ago, even until this present time. The piano is an instrument that is so easy to play, and because of how difficult it is, you may probably begin to think that it is meant to be played by just a few numbers of people and that it requires great talent and needs to be played by people that can be able to master it very quickly.

Well, this thought is wrong. Anyone who is determined can learn to make lovely music with it. Because of the amazing and beautiful sound that the piano makes and the awesome effect of changing songs that it has, numerous people in the US have consistently practiced hard so that they can play the instrument with beauty and precision. Many in the United States have enjoyed listening and making music with this gorgeous instrument. Yamaha and Steinway & Sons are the two most popular brands out there.

Violin

We cannot claim this one to be a perfect instrument. If you mistakenly do something wrong, the violin will give you a horrifying sound. But, by the time you begin to play it in the right way, you will be blessed with magical sounds and a lovely effect on anyone listening to it. The sound it produces is smooth and easy to listen to, and this is what makes many people use the violin to create music.

Flute

This is also among the most played instruments in the United States. By the time you just hear a sound that it produces, you will be tempted to keep listening. Because of the mesmerizing melodies and unique sound that comes out of it, you will always be hungry to listen when it is being played. Many people in the US love to make music with this astonishing instrument because of its gorgeous and bone-chilling sound.

Clarinet

Fabulous is a word that can be used to describe this instrument. It is capable of making sounds that put you in the dancing spirit, and then make you sit down, meditate, and cry. The clarinet is just awesome.

Many other instruments are being played in the US, but these are the most prevalent. If you’re looking for an instrument for you or a child to learn, consider one of these!

Going to Bed 30 Minutes Late Could Increase Your Resting Heart Rate

Sleep is a critical component of individual health. With the ever-present connections we have to people around the world, it can be challenging to turn the switch off at night.

Healthy sleep habits are necessary to encourage the body’s circadian rhythms to manage when you feel tired and when to wake up. Taking caffeine or using other stimulants to alter this energy can interrupt your rest, change your heart rate, and cause other biological changes.

Even going to bed 30 minutes late is enough to increase your resting heart rate.

Following these steps each day can encourage you to develop a routine that helps you to get to bed at the right time.

Best Activities for a Healthy Bedtime Routine

1. Start Your Morning on a Positive Note

Your bedtime routine starts when you wake up in the morning. Consider adding natural energy-boosters from brands like Bezwecken, BrainMD, or Integrative Therapeutics instead of reaching for those 2-4 cups of coffee. You’ll avoid the mid-afternoon crash while maintaining your focus. 

2. Limit Your Rating Window

Try to keep the foods and beverages you eat to a 10-hour window each day. If you need something right before bed, use yogurt, nuts, or oatmeal to satisfy the craving. These foods work to boost your melatonin levels right before you’re ready to drift off to sleep.

3. Lower the Thermostat and the Lights.

Your body recognizes cooler temperatures as a time to go to bed. Lowering the lights creates a similar effect. When you try to sleep in hot weather or bright conditions, it is more challenging to get to sleep. See what happens if you set the thermostat in the bedroom to 65°F tonight.

4. Eliminate the Electronics

Using electronic devices in the bedroom can create a stimulating effect on the body. It is powerful enough to keep you awake, even if nothing is on. If you need sounds to drift to sleep, consider using a white noise machine instead of a tablet or smartphone to reduce the impact of blue-light exposure.

5. Write Your Thoughts in a Journal

Racing thoughts is a sign of anxiety. If you have worries about what may happen tomorrow, write them down in a journal before trying to sleep. Creating a to-do list can also help the mind from its internal debate about what you need to do the next day.

A consistent bedtime routine sets the stage for a healthier you. What steps could you implement today?

Data Evaluation Do’s and Don’ts for Beginners

We all create large deposits of information about ourselves each day. Companies can use this data to discover trends, implement strategies, and become more efficient.

Data evaluation is often called “mining.” This information can yield profitable results when the do’s and don’ts for beginners get followed.

List of the Do’s of Data Evaluation

  • Do involve every team and business unit in the overall strategy. Managing this information cannot be an isolated activity if you hope to leverage the massive data volumes that can help you to learn more about customers.
  • Do evaluate every delivery model for data evaluation. Innovations in this sector make it easier to use cloud-based storage and other remote assets.
  • Do think about your traditional information resources so that they get included with your overall strategy. You’re not switching from one data set to another. You need both to have the appropriate benchmarks that can help you to find growth.
  • Do plan for the data you collect to continue growing. As more technology enters our lives, the information will become the only relevant currency that companies use.
  • Do create a distribution network for your data evaluation needs. A single server is not going to have the capacity to handle all of the information that is coming your way.

List of the Don’ts of Data Evaluation

  • Don’t rely on a single approach to your analytics. You need to use multiple methods of data evaluation to ensure all of the collected information is useful. Each outcome you hope to achieve may require a different combination.
  • Don’t overlook the need for integration. Silos filled with information won’t do anything unless the data is available to everyone, even if it goes through a complete analyzing process.
  • Don’t get too big before you are ready to handle the information. It can be exciting to think about all of the benefits that data evaluation provides, but you need internal resources to maximize those advantages. Having everyone getting burned out because there aren’t enough hands to go around is a recipe that leads to failure.
  • Don’t forget to create security protocols for your data evaluation structures. Governments are implementing numerous regulations in this area that holds companies responsible for the information they hold about people. You need to manage privacy, sharing, and similar tasks to remain in compliance with local expectations. \

While data evaluation is critical, don’t lose sight of how you present that data. If people aren’t moved to action or can’t understand what is being presented, then you haven’t accomplished anything. Check out our article on the subject of presenting statistical evidence to learn more.

Using the Internet Consumes 10% of Global Energy Production

The Internet requires a significant amount of energy to operate. Did you know that the data centers for it already have the same carbon dioxide footprint as global air travel?

About 10% of our energy goes to using the Internet. Although numerous online companies are focusing on renewable power, the amount we use has risen by over 20% since 2012.

We are connecting so many people and communities that the carbon emissions from the Internet could be more than any other country except for China, the United States, and India by the year 2025. With a greater number of internet connections being made available, these numbers are unlikely to drop anytime soon.

How to Be Energy Efficient When Online

Streaming movies, playing video games, or establishing an online business has a detrimental effect on the environment. We must be careful about where we get our power and how it gets used to maximize efficiencies when online.

These ideas can help to reduce your footprint while enjoying a night in with friends, family, or your own company.

1. Don’t Waste Energy.

Turn off your router at night if you don’t need to use it. When you leave the house, flip the switch. 

2. Make Your Batteries Last Longer.

Did you know that a battery kept at 100% for most of its life has a shorter lifecycle than one held at half-capacity? When you manage your laptops, smartphones, and computers to maximize their energy use, it can help you to lose fewer fossil fuels.

3. Recycle Your Older Electronics.

Don’t throw away the older devices that no longer access the Internet. Send them to an e-recycler so that the components can be appropriately salvaged.

4. Consider Other Activities.

Streaming a movie can be a lot of fun, but there are other ways to spend time with others that have less of an impact on the environment. You could take a walk, play a board game, or enjoy an evening occupied by a favorite book.

5. Switch Off Your Smart Appliances

The Internet of Things has helped us all to find more efficiencies in our homes. The appliances also stay connected to a power source all night, using energy to maintain their status. Turning them off at the switch can reduce your consumption levels.

The Internet changed how we interact with each other. It creates numerous business opportunities, adds convenience, and can help us to save energy. Taking these steps can help your home save even more power.

36,000 Lives Could Have Been Saved By an Earlier Lockdown

The first reports of COVID-19 spreading from China began to trickle into the news cycle in January 2020. By the end of February, communities were dealing with a spreading virus that could claim lives with remarkable efficiency.

First Italy, then Spain, and eventually, the United States saw the pain that the new coronavirus could cause. Government officials issued lockdown orders, stay-at-home requests, and shuttered businesses.

After a few months of reflecting on these actions, it is clear that having an earlier lockdown could have saved tens of thousands of lives.

Science Counters the Bluster of Politicians

We know that healthy people under the age of 45 have the best chance to beat a severe case of COVID-19.

Although there is no cure or preventative measure that can stop a coronavirus infection, you can take care of yourself each day to stay healthy.

Getting some exercise, eating better foods, and having enough sleep at night are critical ingredients in the recipe for making a healthier you. Some people may want to consider products from brands like Douglas Laboratories, Integrative Therapeutics, or Pure Encapsulation as a way to enhance the effectiveness of those decisions.

Science also suggests that thousands of people could have been saved if a lockdown happened on March 1.

Donald Trump says that this information is a “political hit job.” The data is consistent. If people had started staying at home two weeks sooner, fewer people would have died from COVID-19.

Why Would Have an Earlier Lockdown Helped?

An earlier lockdown in the United States would have started limiting social contacts with others. By keeping people at home or limiting interactions in essential jobs, the virus would not have the same opportunities to multiply.

The first reports of coronavirus infections in the United States with community spread happened in Washington State at an elder-care facility. Dozens of people got COVID-19, with many high-risk individuals unfortunately succumbing to the disease.

Washington was one of the first states to order people to be at home. That action helped the area go from being the leader of reported infections and deaths to a place with one of the lowest rates.

We can only use conjecture and computer modeling to get an answer regarding the helpfulness of an earlier lockdown. If we could go back in time, maybe we’d make different choices. As for today, we must continue moving forward with caution to limit how COVID-19 impacts our lives. 

What Is the Best Way to Present Statistical Evidence?

When presenting statistical evidence, any original work answers a question about what was found during the effort. This process creates an outlined paper where all of the processes and procedures used to develop the facts get described for the reader. It is a method that enables peer review because it publishes the steps needed to duplicate the effort.

The results section of original research also requires the author to choose what is worth presenting. Once that decision gets reached, the information must get conveyed using a combination of graphics, tables, and text. Since the level of detail is based on the target audience and the publication standards of the journal used, the final method of presentation is highly individualized.

Rules for Presenting Statistical Evidence

1. Keep the information as simple as possible. Authors who immerse themselves in statistical evidence sometimes forget that readers may not understand their presentation. When too much data is part of the process, then the data can get somewhat clouded.

2. The statistical evidence should answer the research questions asked by the research.

3. Once you start with the general information, it is suitable to get more specific as you delve into more of the details of your finding. The statistical evidence should follow after the response rate, description of the participants, and the key findings.

4. Do not include information about the processes of data collection in the introduction. It should stay in the methods section because the statistical evidence is proof of discovery. Having the info in other places can distract people from the findings you want to present, 

5. Use the past tense when describing the results as determined by the statistical evidence. If you use the present or future tense when talking about the work performed, then it can discredit the work because it feels more like an opinion than a fact to the reader.

6. Avoid redundant information whenever possible. Don’t repeat results within multiple figures, tables, and text. Any graphics used with the statistical evidence should be self-explanatory for the average person. Your title, columns, rows, and footnotes can fill in whatever missing pieces you have.
Statistical evidence can be a powerful way to provide proof-of-concept information. Following these general rules can get your presentation off to a strong start. Then make sure the data you share can get peer-reviewed so that your findings have validity.

95,000 People Stranded at Sea Because of Coronavirus

The stories of COVID-19 spreading on cruise ships created scary circumstances for vacationers and crew members during the early days of infection in late February and March. Although the issues were slowly resolving by mid-April, 95,000 people were still stranded at sea in American waters because of the coronavirus.

Over 100 vessels were stuck without a port, forcing crews to stay at sea while passengers entered a 14-day stay in quarantine. Florida has 35 cruise ships and 35,000 people waiting for permission to disembark alone. Although the Coast Guard said that the agency would do its best to treat people during an emergency, an expectation that the cruise lines establish self-sufficiency protocols was also required.

How a Fun Vacation Turns Into a Nightmare

Some cruise ships spent over a month at sea because ports refused to accept passengers without prior testing. At one point, even the Panama Canal stopped taking boats through the passage.

Even when people were allowed to come back, it was still difficult for individuals to make it home. The CDC recommends that anyone who was on a cruise line should not share transportation with others who were not on the vessel. Commercial flights were forbidden. That means staying at a designated center or driving home.

Princess Cruises said that all crew on their fleet had to stay on board until a repatriation plan could get initiated. Traces of the coronavirus were found in cabins for up to 17 days after no one was on board, indicating how dangerous COVID-19 can be.

Cruises Are Now Suspended for Six Months or More

The world’s cruise ship providers have all suspended sailings for a significant time. Carnival has stopped all vessels through at least October except for Breeze, Dream, Elation, Freedom, Horizon, Magic, Sensation, and Vista. Those are currently scheduled to return at the end of July 2020.

Ports in Seattle and San Francisco report that some providers have canceled cruises for the remainder of the year.

Most providers are giving customers a future cruise credit of 125% if they transfer their booking to a new date. If you had a vacation planned, then a 100% refund of the amount paid is also possible.

It may be a while before the world is in a place where cruise ships can sail once again. The first step is going to be repatriating the tens of thousands of people stuck off of the American coast.