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Hard National Lockdown 

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a Hard Lockdown Through the Christmas Season until January 10.

Germany will go into a "hard" national lockdown, starting next week and continuing through the Christmas period, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday, after agreeing to stricter measures with state governments to stem a wave of coronavirus cases.  

As of next Wednesday, all non-essential shops, services and schools will close until January 10, and Christmas Day gatherings will be reduced from 10 people to only five from two different households.

The new measures take aim at traditional festivities: Christmas church services will be subject to prior registration with no singing allowed, alcohol is to be banned from all public spaces and an annual New Year's Eve fireworks display will be canceled. Some states are also implementing additional measures, such as Bavaria, which will have a 9 p.m. curfew.

New US Record for Covid-19 Hospitalizations 

In the US, we keep breaking records. On Sunday, the US Set a New Record for Covid-19 Hospitalizations.

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  • The United States reported 109,331 current Covid-19 hospitalizations on Sunday, setting a new record high since the pandemic began, according to the Covid Tracking Project (CTP).
  • This is the 12th consecutive day that the US has remained above 100,000 current hospitalizations. 
  • The US has seen record hospitalizations for eight days in a row.

Pfizer Begins Shipping Covid-19 Vaccine

The Wall Street Journal reports Pfizer Begins Shipping Covid-19 Vaccine

Trucks filled with Covid-19 vaccine vials pulled out of Pfizer Inc.’s Kalamazoo, Mich., production plant on Sunday morning, part of one of the largest mass mobilizations since the country’s factories were repurposed to help fight World War II.

The effort to vaccinate the nation relies on chemists, factory workers, truck drivers, pilots, data scientists, bureaucrats, pharmacists and health-care workers. It requires ultracold freezers, dry ice, needles, masks and swabs converging simultaneously at thousands of locations across the country.

“The biggest concern that I have is not that we don’t know what to do. We have contingency plans in place for just about everything,” said Shawn Seamans, a senior executive in charge of the Covid vaccine distribution program at McKesson Corp. , which is dispatching syringes and other supplies for administering Pfizer’s vaccine. “You don’t know if it’s going to work until you get there.”

Everything has to come together—the packaging, the dry ice, the vials, the material itself. It all has to come together to the same place and have enough of it and exactly the right people there ready to take it,” said Yossi Sheffi, director of the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics. “Right now, there’s no conductor to the symphony,” just many parts that each need to work.

The vaccine cannot come soon enough. But it's amazing we are already where we are.