SWC’s Fast Five

More jobs and lower unemployment signals slowing economic recovery, medical breakthroughs show reason for encouragement in COVID-19 and brain, spinal cord injuries and FAA says Amazon is an airline. Check it all out in this week’s Fast Five!

1 Can you use a face shield instead of a mask?

The AP is answering Viral Questions in a series on the most commonly asked questions around the coronavirus pandemic. Face shields have some advantages but enough to substitute for a face mask?

2 Breakthrough protein repairs damage to brain and spinal cord.

A drug that repairs damage to the brain and spinal cord has been created by British scientists offering hope for devastating conditions from Alzheimer’s to epilepsy to paralysis. It restores lost connections between nerves with results in mice and cells grown in the lab described as “striking.” A lot more work is needed to find out if the ‘proof of principle’ findings are applicable to humans.

3 Study shows common steroids to be lifesaving for most critically ill COVID patients.

Corticosteroids should now be the first-line treatment for critically ill patients, according to the study’s authors. The only other drug shown to be effective in seriously ill patients, and only modestly at that, is remdesivir.

4 Unemployment rate is down, 1.4 million jobs were added and still the news is bad?

The high U.S. unemployment rate improved in August, falling to 8.4% last month from 10.2% in July, as more Americans went back to work. But the rate of hiring has slowed each month this summer, a signal that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic may be losing steam.


5 Watch your head!

The Federal Aviation Administration has designated Amazon Prime Air an “air carrier” allowing the online retailer to begin its first commercial deliveries in the U.S. under a trial program, using the high-tech devices (drones) it unveiled for that purpose last year.