Nov. 13, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE

  • Government of Canada announces an additional $1.5 billion (on top of $3.4 billion already announced) in workforce development agreements.
    • Designed to provide quick access to re-training for unemployed Canadians
  • University of Calgary researchers are testing wastewater from 3 different hospitals to identify COVID-19 prior to the spread of an outbreak. This research is in co-operation with other agencies worldwide. Monitoring this could help reduce response times to mitigate spread.
  • COVID-19 fatality rate is down 30% since April due to improved treatment. (source: University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation)
  • Measles cases around the world have reached a 23-year high, including more than 200,000 deaths.
    • COVID-19 has delayed immunizations for measles
  • Pfizer vaccine shows promising early results but still lots of questions to answer.
    • Safety studies still to come
    • Unclear how long protection lasts or how large the protection is
    • Vaccine must be stored at -70C from time of production to injection making logistics challenging

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

  • Dutch students have created a fully functioning electric car made entirely out of waste, including plastics fished out of the sea, recycled PET bottles and household garbage.
  • US Federal Reserve and UK Treasury both released positions on climate risk disclosure this week.
    • Banks are expected to add climate risks to their stress tests
  • San Francisco is banning the use of natural gas (ie: heating, cooking) in new buildings starting in 2021.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) cut the forecast for global oil demand for Q4 2020 by 1.2 million barrels per day. Average oil consumption is expected to be 91.3 million bbd vs 100 million bbd expected at the beginning of the year.
  • Mark Carney says the market for voluntary carbon credits needs to grow by 15x in the next decade to curb pollution.
  • BP is going to use wind power to run a giant hydrogen plant at a major oil refinery in Germany.

TIDBITS

  • Government of Canada is easing immigration requirements for Hong Kong residents to settle in Canada.
    • Created a new 3-year open work permit for recent graduates and shortened eligibility for permanent residency to 1 year.
  • World Economic Forum top 10 work skills for the future:
    • Analytical thinking and innovation
    • Active learning and learning strategies
    • Complex problem-solving
    • Critical thinking and analysis
    • Creativity, originality and initiative
    • Leadership and social influence
    • Technology use, monitoring and control
    • Technology design and programming
    • Resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility
    • Reasoning, problem-solving and ideation
  • Alibaba’s ‘Singles Day’ sales hit $74 billion, eclipsing Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the US.
  • Amazon is expanding ‘In-Garage’ deliveries to 4,000 US cities. Shoppers need to have the ‘myQ garage door opener control app’. Deliveries will include groceries from Whole Foods or Amazon Fresh.