‘We are struggling’: Unemployed Americans face a bleak Christmas

Last Christmas, Shanita Matthews cooked up a feast for her family of three: Roast chicken, barbecue spareribs, spinach, macaroni and cheese.

This year? They’ll stick with tuna fish and crackers, among the few items she can afford at the supermarket.

“We’re not really doing Christmas — I guess you can say it that way,” said Matthews, who lives in Suwanee, Georgia. “We are struggling. We are tired, and all I have is my faith.”

Like nearly 10 million other Americans, Matthews has been jobless since the viral pandemic ripped through the U.S. economy in March, triggering a devastating recession and widespread unemployment. Now, many months later, they face a holiday season they hardly could have foreseen a year ago: Too little money to buy gifts, cook large festive meals or pay all their bills.

Nearly 8 million people have sunk into poverty since June after having spent $1,200 checks that … Read More

S.African health workers stretched as COVID-19 infections near 1 million By Reuters

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© Reuters. South Africa approaching 1 million COVID-19 infections as battles new variant

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By Shafiek Tassiem and Wendell Roelf

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Matron Annamarie Odendaal has cancelled all staff holiday on the COVID-19 ward at the private Arwyp Medical Centre in Johannesburg as a second wave of the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm South Africa’s health system.

“I called them back because we are in a peak period now, so it’s not easy for the staff because they also want to go back to their family members,” she told Reuters on the ward on Christmas Day.

“Sometimes they are tired but they never say ‘I can’t come to work’. The patient is really always first for them.”

A confluence of school holidays, public laxity and a new, potentially more infectious variant of the virus has left authorities scrambling to counter an earlier-than-expected resurgence of infections that saw new

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