The Wider World

COVID-19’s fall surge continues

CORONAVIRUS cases and deaths are on the rise across the U. S (Shutterstock).

New cases of coronavirus in the United States are now averaging 75,000 a day, setting new records and potentially affecting the 2020 presidential election.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s statistics, the nation is close to 9 million cases of COVID-19, with 228,439 deaths. Both are the highest in the world.

“There is no way to sugarcoat it,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, according to The New York Times. “We are facing an urgent crisis and there is an imminent risk to you, your family members, your friends, your neighbors.”

Reports of deaths are below their peaks in the spring, but new cases are reported to be rising in 42 states. Overall, there has been a 41 percent increase in cases in the U.S. over the past 14 days. Deaths have risen by 9 percent over that time.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is reportedly considering issuing a national “mask mandate” if he becomes president.

The News: Stocks turn around; Zeta gets angry

Wall Street rebounded a bit on Thursday from Wednesday’s nose-dive. All three major stock indexes posted gains. The Dow was up 139.16 points, while the S&P 500 rose by 39.08 points and the Nasdaq by 180.72. • Hurricane Zeta continues to lash the South, dumping water and winds from New Orleans to Atlanta. Millions of people are without power, according to the Associated Press. Trees have been toppled and buildings shattered in this the latest of five hurricanes to make landfall in the area in 2020. • Walmart announced it would be removing ammunition and firearms from its stores, citing issues with “civil unrest” in some areas.  Those items will be still be available for sale, but will not be displayed. •’s average of recent presidential preference polls has Joe Biden with the support of 51.1 percent of voters, compared to 43.7 percent for Donald Trump, a margin of 7.4 percent.’s tally has Biden at 52 percent to 43.2 percent for Trump, a difference of 8.8 percent.

Weather:  Autumn casts a warm spell

The last few days closing in on Election Day are warming up, in more ways than one. According to the National Weather Service, the thermometer is creeping toward 90 for the next few days. Friday’s high in the West Orange County area is predicted to reach 80, with an overnight low of 57. That’s the forecast for Saturday as well, but Sunday should see a jump to 86 (61 overnight), followed by 88 (60) on Monday. Coastal (Huntington Beach) highs are expected to be lower. Friday’s high should be 71, followed by 73 on Saturday and 76 on Sunday.

Sports Today: Justin’s Bad Turn

The aftermath of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ World Series title has taken on a bitter aftertaste. Justin Turner, who has twice tested positive for the coronavirus, broke MLB protocols and joined in on the post-game celebration. He hugged other players and went – for a time – without a mask.


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