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Here’s what you need to know
New Zealand is dealing with a new Covid-19 outbreak. Though its 14 new cases are nowhere near the scale of the continuing surge across the US and elsewhere, the country had been Covid-free for months, and was widely praised and admired for its efficient response to the pandemic. There’s a general election next month.
A shipment of chicken wings tested positive for Covid-19 in a Chinese port. They came from Brazil, and are not the first imported food products from Latin America to carry the virus, officials say. China now routinely tests food imports, after an outbreak in Beijing was linked to a wholesale market.
Fine whisky is now part of US-UK trade negotiations. Britain objected today to an announcement from the US that it was continuing to levy 15% on Airbus, and 25% on other products from Europe. Those products include single-malt Scotch whisky, which could be under threat if it doesn’t reach discerning American drinkers.
Soccer fans in Dallas jeered players taking a knee before an MLS game. It was the first major soccer event in the US with spectators in the stadium since the pandemic swept the country, but some in the 3000-strong crowd took exception to the gesture. FC Dallas player Reggie Cannon calling the booing “absolutely disgusting.”
After healthcare workers, who’s next in line for a vaccine?
The first US recipients of any potential Covid-19 vaccine are fairly uncontroversial: Healthcare workers directly interacting with coronavirus patients. But who comes next?
That broadly depends on whether the US chooses to prioritize recipients’ personal risk or potential to spread the disease. A risk-focused approach tends to emphasize protecting groups such as the elderly or immunocompromised people. Alternatively, vaccines could first be given to those more likely to act as vectors for the virus, such as bus drivers and supermarket employees. And some global health experts are making a serious argument for prioritizing vaccine recipients based on race, as Latino and Black Americans are at higher risk of contracting and dying from the disease.
If prioritization sounds complicated in theory, it’s even more so in practice. Currently, several panels of US healthcare experts are developing plans to guide these tough decisions.
Last December, Jordan Brand, which Nike turned into its own subsidiary in 1997, recorded its first-ever billion-dollar quarter. Even when Nike reported a drop in total sales for the fiscal year through May due to Covid-19, Jordan stood out as one of the most resilient segments of the business.
Jordans—in particular the retro models—have a nearly unmatched cachet in the sneaker world, continuing to earn them fans and driving hype around the brand. Sales of the shoes also got a real assist from ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries The Last Dance, which aired in May.
How to get over the company culture shock of 2020
With so many working from home, how can a company keep an eye on its employee morale? We interviewed employers who are trying to preserve their company culture during Covid-19. Here are some of their tips:
- Scheduling informal catch-up chats to mimic serendipitous hallway conversations
- Inviting guest speakers to talk to staff during special occasions like Pride Month
- Social video calls, including movie evenings, workouts, coffees, and bingo
- Embracing and even inviting employees lives onto calls, including kids, spouses, and pets (our favorite Quartz pet is editor Oliver Staley’s cockatiel, who sits on his shoulder during meetings and makes it impossible to be in a bad mood)
- Elaborate pranks that require a deep level of commitment of which we believe you are capable
Read more in our latest field guide, Reimagining the Office. It’s available exclusively to members, who also get to fully explore all of Quartz’s culture (though we have yet to introduce them to Oliver’s cockatiel) with no paywall and plenty of perks. Interested in joining up? It’s currently 40% off your first year.
If you’re concerned about company culture suffering because of the pandemic, you might want to also take a look at what it was like to work at your company before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19. Our latest Remote Control workshop from Quartz at Work (Thursday at 11am EDT) continues to tackle one of the toughest questions of our times: “What’s the most effective way to build an antiracist company?”
This is the second part of our antiracism workshop series, where our panel of experts will continue to answer your questions on how to make things more equitable at your own place of business. Register here for this free virtual workshop.
We’re obsessed with natural capital
Natural capital—the dollar value of the services nature provides, from clean water to breathable air—is worth more than $160 trillion every year. Think of that like free interest from nature’s bank account, only we’re quickly depleting the principal and running a deep deficit. Now an entire field of economics and ecology has sprung up to define, map, and track the world’s declining stock of natural capital. Get in the right mindset with a playlist of music inspired by—or directly made by—nature itself, then try to avoid resource bankruptcy with the Quartz Weekly Obsession.
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Justin Trudeau’s life story will be in a comic book. It’s part of the “Political Power” graphic novel series.
Apple is suing a tiny company with a pear logo. Prepare, a company with five employees, is raising funds online to fight the legal battle.
Middlemarch by Mary Ann Evans is hitting shelves. That’s George Eliot’s real name, and the classic is one of several reissues of novels that were written by women using male noms de plume.
Stem cells could bring back an extinct rhino. And a horse could be used as a surrogate.
Russell Crowe donated $5,000 to a Beirut cafe. At first, other donors weren’t sure if it was him, but the Oscar-winner later confirmed it.
Our best wishes for a productive day. Please send any news, comments, updated versions of Middlemarch, and the Brentmeister General to email@example.com. Get the most out of Quartz by downloading our app on iOS and becoming a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Hasit Shah, Liz Webber, and Susan Howson.