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Staying safe this Fourth of July weekend

July 2, 2020, 8:47 PM UTC

Happy Thursday, readers.

As we (or at least those of us in the United States) prepare for the Independence Day holiday, I’d like to highlight what experts and government leaders say are the best ways to stay safe in the midst of the pandemic.

The idea of not being able to freely barbecue with friends and family without precautionary measures, or just head out to the beach, is unsettling. But it’s a reality many Americans will have to grapple with.

In Southern California (my own home turf before I became a New York transplant), cities have been forced to scale back—or scuttle entirely—their reopening plans over the long weekend. This isn’t a surprise given the growing case count in Los Angeles and its proximity to beach havens such as Orange County.

In New York, where cases have flattened after rapidly increasing in April, beaches are open for swimming—but with serious restrictions.

If you live somewhere with more lax considerations, or think that precautionary measures such as distancing and wearing masks are overblown, I would urge you to reconsider given the available evidence.

I enjoy America’s birthday just as much as anyone else. And that’s why it’s so important to protect yourself and anyone else you can in the midst of a crisis.

Happy Fourth of of July to all our readers, and we’ll see you again on Monday.

Sy Mukherjee
sayak.mukherjee@fortune.com
@the_sy_guy

DIGITAL HEALTH

Tech companies edge toward bringing back mass gatherings. COVID has been a particularly harsh public health problem for the in-person conference business. My colleague Michal Lev-Ram reports that tech companies such as Airbnb and Eventbrite are slowly but surely working out how to bring back live events—but with a whole lot of restrictions. For Airbnb? "Some of the new requirements include mandating that hosts and guests wear face coverings and limiting group sizes to allow for social distancing. There’s also an “Enhanced Cleaning Protocol” for all hosts who are hosting in a private space," Michal writes. (Fortune)

INDICATIONS

Regeneron co-founder respond to controversial 'All Lives Matter' graduation speech. Regeneron co-founder, president, and chief scientific officer George Yancopoulos is in some hot water over a controversial high school graduation speech in which he elicited "All Lives Matter" rhetoric—and faced significant backlash from the student attendees and the school district itself. Yancopoulos later said that, "I apologize for being insensitive and to the people I hurt with my remarks." Regeneron emphasized its commitment to diversifying its workforce, including among its executive ranks. (Fortune)

THE BIG PICTURE

A state by state mapping of 50,000 coronavirus cases in a single day. My colleague Nicolas Rapp captures in charts and maps one of the more disturbing milestones of America's battle with the coronavirus. On Wednesday, daily cases of the virus crossed 50,000, a striking figure which explains why many states including Texas, Florida, California, and others have had to roll back their approaches to re-opening businesses. (Fortune)

REQUIRED READING

The best stocks of 2020 so far have made pandemic investors much richerby Jen Wieczner

The end of the 'V-shaped recovery'by Alan Murray

Millions are giving up extra unemployment benefits to go back to workby Lance Lambert

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