The Wider World

Virus news: most good, but …

THREE VACCINES should soon be in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic (Flickr/EpicTop10.com).

The coronavirus remained in the news on Wednesday, with both encouraging and potentially troubling developments.

The New York Times reports that two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine – as tested on a large scale in Israel – is just as effective in  a “real world” setting as it was in clinical trials.

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine stated the vaccine was 94 percent effective after the second dose in reducing cases and 92 percent effective in reducing severe cases.

Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine, still not approved for general use, has been found to provide good protection against COVID-19, and will require just one inoculation, instead of the two prescribed for the Moderna and Pfizer versions.

The federal Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize its use as early as this Saturday.

However, new variants on the virus have been identified in California and New York state that could weaken the protections offered by vaccines. Bioscientists say the virus mutates and may require alterations in future iterations of vaccines to keep up with the changing infections.

Business: Another retailer bytes the dust

Fry’s Electronics, once the behemoth of electronics and computer sales on the West Coast, has closed all 31 of its stores and is going out of business.

According to USA Today, the retailer – which had a large store in Fountain Valley – was the victim of  “changes in the retail industry and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Founded in 1985, the chain has stores in nine states, with most of them in California and Texas.

Wall Street rallies: The stock market came up green on Wednesday as all three major indexes posted healthy gains. The Dow Jones Average was up 424.51 points to finish 31,961.86. The S&P 500 climbed 44.06 to 3,925.43 and Nasdaq jumped 132.77 to 13,597,97.

Sports: U.S. wins SheBelieves soccer crown

The United States women’s national soccer team thumped Argentina 6-0 on Wednesday to win the SheBelieves Cup for the fourth time.

America’s team has also won in 2016, 2018 and 2020. It has now won 16 consecutive international matches. Megan Rapinoe scored twice in the victory for Team USA.

Tuesday’s results

  • Los Angeles Clippers 135, Washington Wizards 118: Jumping out to a big first quarter lead and never being caught, the Clippers got 32 points from Kawhi Leonard and 30 from Paul George. The team is now 23-10, leading the NBA West by a half-game over the Lakers.

Weather: Everyone knows it’s windy

Hold on to your hats, literally. The forecast for West Orange County for Thursday is sunny and quite windy. Breezes of 24 miles an hour are coming our way, and gusts of up to 40 miles an hour are foreseen. The daytime high is predicted to be 73 with an overnight low of 46.  Things should be calmer on Friday with winds rising only to 11 miles an hour under sunny skies with a high of 71 (low of 47). The weekend looks similar with highs in the low 70s. In the coastal areas of Huntington Beach, daytime highs are expected to be four to five degrees cooler. A gale warning is in place.

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