If you, or anyone you know, are out of work because of the Coronavirus, here are a few very important things you’re going to want to know.  This past Friday a $2.2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill was passed, and President Trump signed it into law over the weekend. What does that mean for those who are now unemployed? A lot.

First and foremost, apply for unemployment insurance immediately! Otherwise you’re S.O.L. This relief package aims to cover people who cannot work because of the outbreak and extedned unemployment insurance is the first line of defense. It will also provide individuals an extra $600 each week for the next four months for those out of work and receiving unemployment benefits from their state. 

Whether you were already on unemployment before the outbreak or you’re on it now because of it, you qualify to receive the relief payment. However, if you are working from home and are still receiving some sort of income, you do not qualify…sorry! 

Reply to this email and tell me, do you think they’ve done enough yet or do we need more?

Moderna stock has gained 44% year-to-date

And it may not work

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Many of the stocks that have gained, YTD during this bear market including Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), have rallied on hopes that they can profit from the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another. In fact, of that group of gainers, about one-third — again, including Moderna — are biotech stocks looking to pad earnings with either a treatment or a vaccine for COVID-19.

To be fair, biotechs in general should hold up reasonably well in a bear market, because they are less affected than other sectors by sudden economic shifts. They are working on diseases  so the products they make generally are recession proof. People need their meds and will stop paying their car payment and their mortgage but still get their perscriptions. 

But even taking these things into consideration, the gains in biotech are too broad-base and too much. Not every company is going to win in vaccines (where Moderna is focused), treatment or testing.  We’ve seen this before, like during the the 2014 outbreak of the Ebola virus. Aethlon Medical (NASDAQ:AEMD) quadrupled in a matter of months. AEMD stock is now down over 99% from its 2014 highs or when Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) doubled on hopes that it would develop an Ebola vaccine. It’s up again on coronavirus hopes — and still sits 90% below early 2015 highs. It’s awfully tough to pick winners like this. 

Abbot Labs Quick Coronavirus Test

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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) has developed a game-changer. Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as 5-minutes, and is small and portable which means it can be used almost anywhere.

The medical-device maker plans to build and ship 50,000 tests a day starting Wednesday, according to John Frels who is vice president of research and development at Abbott Diagnostics.

The molecular level test looks for fragments of the coronavirus genome, which is easy to find when there are high levels of it. An even deeper more complete screening to completely rule out the infection can take up to 13 minutes, Frels said, which is still amazing. 

The test starts with taking a swab from the nose or the back of the throat, then inserts the swab into a small box weighing just under seven pounds that has the technology to identify the select sequences of the coronavirus genome and ignore contamination from other viruses. This as a darn good reason to buy ABT. 

With A.I., Humans Lose

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As artificial intelligence becomes more and more advanced, we have to take a step back, look at the big picture and ask ourselves…”have we been developing this properly?” You may not realize this, but AI is already a huge part of our world and it is advancing as each day goes by. Our AI may not be equal to what we’ve seen in sci-fi movies, but it is getting there. 

Alan Turing, a computer scientist, lectured way back in 1951 telling his audience, we should anticipate machines taking control over humans. He said ‘We, as humans, lose. So, we have to take concrete steps to guard against this. And it seems, the path we are on now will lead us to his prediction.

Stuart Russell at the recent TechCrunch Session: Robotics + AI was discussing Turing, among other things AI related. “Our approach to AI is fundamentally mistaken; we’ve thought about AI the wrong way,” Russell said. “The standard model of AI is one we borrowed from the idea of machine intelligence in 1940s and 1950s. This idea being that AI is a rational agent created to achieve an objective. But machines don’t have objectives, so we have to plug them in. The problem here is that we don’t know how to set objectives completely to avoid problems.”

There are plenty of fables that describe humans not really thinking things through, like King Midas almost starving to death because everything he touched turned to gold including his food. Basically, his point is that we need to confine AI to a very strict box and take away the goal of it being able to do anything a human can do. 

Toilet Paper Is Not Rare!

Vineland Veterans Home resident Edward Bairunas greets Cole the Deaf Dog, who is remaining outside to comply with visitation restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You may not know this, but Dog spelled backwards is Love. And for Cole the Deaf Dog, love is his job. Cole is a therapy-certified pit bull who accompanies his ‘Dad’, Chris Hannah, to work every day. Hannah is the music teacher at Mennies Elementary School, and Cole is there to provide cuddles for any student who is in need of a little love. Cole also spreads his love to the residents at the Vineland Veterans Memorial Home and provides ‘at your side’ cuddles for individuals in hospice care. 

When the coronavirus pandemic took hold, and schools and nursing homes closed, Hannah turned to social media to send personal messages to Coles fans at the Veterans home. For the kids who have been missing their loving companion, Hannah started virtual visits in the morning so the kids can say hi and he also reads Cole bedtime stories and shares them on Cole the Deaf Dog YouTube channel. 

Feeling Cole might be missing his students, and knowing the kids miss Cole, Hannah decided to plan a field trip around the school area making sure to pass by all his student’s homes so they could say hello to the happy pup. Hannah alerted the students of their planned drive-by, and the outcome was astonishing! The kids made signs for Cole and hung them anywhere they could to show their support. And they stood in their driveways as they waited patiently for the Cole-mobile to come down their block. 

Hannah plans to continue with these tours regularly while school remains closed. The kids adore the pup and cherish their time with him. Cole loves the attention they give him when they stop to say hello.  And what pup doesn’t like to stick his head out the window as he goes for a car ride to see his friends!