Coronavirus, U.S. Jobless Claims, Amazon: Your Friday Briefing


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Good morning.

We’re covering new risks, symptoms and hot spots of the virus, the burgeoning number of unemployed Americans and labor’s challenge to Amazon in Europe.

The findings support experts’ warnings that populations are still far from achieving “herd immunity,” which occurs when enough people are resistant to slow a virus’s spread.

And because so many people are susceptible, public health officials fear that relaxing social distancing rules risks causing new waves of the pandemic.

“This is a very protracted, painful situation for the labor market,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, “and I just don’t see anything positive.”

Some of those being called back to work, like Sarah Parker, 26, of Ohio, fear exposure to the virus on the job, or face less pay than they got in unemployment insurance — or both. “I’m afraid I’m going to put myself at way more risk working harder for less pay,” she said.

“The only way to push Amazon to action is through confrontation,” said Jean-François Bérot, above, an Amazon employee and union member south of Paris.

His union successfully sued the company last month, leading a French court to order Amazon to stop delivering “nonessential” items as part of measures to protect worker health.

In Europe, national labor laws require companies to deal with unions, even if employees aren’t members. Still, the labor activism against Amazon in France, Germany, Italy and Spain hasn’t stopped the company from dominating Europe’s online retail market.

First, soak a cup of soybeans, almonds or oats in plenty of water overnight. Soy, especially, will grow two or three times in volume, so make sure you do this in a big bowl.

In the morning, use a colander to drain the water, and rinse the soy, almonds or oats. This is especially important if you’re using oats to prevent the milk from getting slimy and glutinous.

Then put your soy, almond or oats in a blender together with three cups of water and blend for about two minutes. Thorough blending will maximize how much milk you can squeeze out.

Next, pour out the mixture into a clean cheesecloth — a dedicated “nut milk bag” makes this part really easy and prevents any spills — and squeeze out the milk. And I mean squeeze and squeeze, until you get the last drops out.

Then, if you’re using soy or almonds, gently heat the milk, but stop before it reaches a boil. That’s common practice in Japan, because people there tend not to eat raw nuts. But I wouldn’t heat the oat milk, which can easily get slimy.

You can add a little sugar or maple syrup to any of the milks, to taste. It should keep in the fridge, covered, for about five days.



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