The Wider World

States impose “near-lockdowns”

OREGON and New Mexico are set to impose greater restrictions to battle the coronavirus

As the coronavirus moves well into its third wave, more states are taking tough action to try to contain the spread.  According to the Associated Press, the governors of Oregon and New Mexico today (Friday) ordered “near-lockdowns” in their states.

In those states, a two-week “stay at home” order will be in place.

In Oregon, all businesses will be required to close their offices to the public and require work-from-home “to the greatest extent possible.” Most stores will stay open, but gyms, pools, movie theaters, zoos and museums be forced to close. Eateries will be limited to take-out food. Gatherings will be limited to six people. Fines or arrests could be imposed on violators.

Deaths from COVID-19 across the nation are now averaging 1,000 a day, with a record high of 153,000 new cases reported on Thursday. According to United Press International, a model at the University of Washington predicts that – if current trends continue – the daily tally of new cases could reach 330,000 new infections, and the total death toll to nearly double to 440,000 Americans.

President Donald Trump on Friday predicted that the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer could be available to the general public by April, excepting the State of New York. The governor of that state, Andrew Cuomo, has expressed doubts about the usefulness of a vaccine that could be rushed into production.

The News: Carolina for Trump, ‘Zona for Biden

The last two states left “uncalled” from the Nov. 3 presidential election have now been “called” by all major news organizations. The Associated Press and The New York Times have determined that North Carolina was won by President Donald Trump and Arizona by former Vice President Joe Biden.  In Electoral College votes, Biden has 290 (270 are needed) and Trump 232. If the Georgia recount sustains Biden’s lead of about 14,000 votes, Biden’s total will go to 306. In popular votes, Biden has 77,967,125 votes to 72,640,784 for Trump, a margin of 5.3 million votes.

Weather: Fog and sun, then heat

West Orange County will get a good variety of weather heading into the weekend. According to the National Weather Service, patchy fog tonight (Friday) and Saturday morning will give way to sunny skies later in the day with a daytime high of 68. But by Sunday all that mist will be gone with a high of 77, rising to 86 on Monday, then dropping to 78 by Monday.

Sports: Second half of NFL season begins

The stretch drive for the post-season – which could involve as many as 16 teams – is underway this weekend.

The Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) will visit the Miami Dolphins (5-3) on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. Pacific time. The Los Angeles Rams (5-3) will host the Seattle Seahawks (6-2) at SoFi Stadium Sunday at 1:26 p.m. in a key NFC West class.

At the college level, UCLA (0-1) will host Utah (0-0) in a Pac-12 game moved from Saturday to Sunday. USC (1-0) will take on Arizona (0-0) on Saturday.


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