Skimm'd while watching how a mom and her newborn recovered from COVID-19

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Skimm'd while watching how a mom and her newborn recovered from COVID-19

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Quote of the Day

"One of the jewels we have in the community" – A stem cell biologist on the importance of fruit flies in science. Still don't larvae them.


The Story

As some countries distribute COVID-19 vaccines, others are being left behind.

Like who?

Poorer nations. Since the pandemic began, the coronavirus has further exposed the inequalities in health care systems and economic power between rich and developing countries. Think: Richer countries like the US, UK, and Canada have spent hundreds of billions of dollars (combined) on vaccine research and development. And while that's helped lead to results (hi, Pfizer and Moderna), it has also widened the global gap to access. One analysis found that wealthy nations have essentially cleared the vaccine shelves, with some claiming enough doses to immunize their populations by the end of 2021. But developing countries could have to wait until 2024 to do the same. Here's where access stands so far:

In AfricaThe continent's CDC director has said it's unlikely any vaccine will be distributed before the middle of 2021. But the World Health Organization urged the continent to get ready for a vaccine rollout – since it faces challenges like lack of trained health care workers, resources like refrigeration materials, and community support. The WHO also added that it's helping secure enough doses to provide for 20% of the African population – far from the 60% officials say is needed to achieve herd immunity.

In Asia…China and Russia have already rolled out their own shots – which had some experts questioning its efficacy and safety. India is reportedly trying to roll out its vaccine soon. And Singapore approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and expects the first doses to arrive by the end of the month. In countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, vaccinating a portion of the population could take over two years. And govs will likely need to tackle how they will distribute vaccines to remote areas that lack proper transportation and infrastructure.

In the Americas…Many countries in these regions are unprepared for a vaccine rollout because of things like gov corruption and failing health care systems (think: Brazil, Venezuela). Mexico and Argentina are looking to produce at least 150 million doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine for most of Latin America, which will reportedly be cheaper to produce there than in other places. In the US and Canada, Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine is already being distributed. And Moderna's could be approved for emergency use in the US soon.

In EuropeThe UK became the first Western country in the world to vaccinate its citizens. And the EU could approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine before the end of the year. Italy, Germany, France, and several other EU countries have also agreed to coordinate vaccination campaigns (think: sharing data, fighting disinformation).

In Australia and OceaniaAustralia and New Zealand have been relatively successful at containing the virus. But New Zealand still made a deal to get 1.5 million vaccines from Pfizer – once it's approved there. And Australia, which had to scrap its own experimental vaccine, is banking on AstraZeneca to come through in March.

So, what's being done to help?

The WHO saw this problem coming and set up the COVAX initiative earlier this year. Its goal is to make a vaccine available to high-risk people around the world and to discourage countries from hoarding it once it's developed. So far, over 170 countries have signed on. But, the effort's far behind on funding and it hasn't approved or secured a vaccine to distribute. Meanwhile, the US's friendly upstairs neighbor is reportedly saying 'we might be able to give you our leftovers, eh.'


The disparities between rich and poor countries have always existed, but the pandemic is widening the gap even more. Some developing countries are months (if not years) away from getting a vaccine, and experts say not sharing could make the world more susceptible to new outbreaks.

And Also...This

What's got people asking questions...

The International Criminal Court (ICC). Earlier this week, it decided it won't investigate China's mass detention of Uighurs. Reminder: Beijing has been under a microscope for years over its treatment of the Muslim minority group. And has been accused of placing them in internment camps, forcing sterilization measures, and coercing over half a million people from this group and other ethnic minority groups to pick cotton, among other human rights abuses. Activists and Uighurs in exile have called on the court to step in. But the ICC decided not to (for now) because China's not a part of the ICC. And there wasn't enough evidence to show Chinese officials committed the crimes.

  • 'Wasn't us': China denied the human rights abuse allegations, saying that the camps are training centers and that Uighurs "enjoy peaceful, harmonious coexistence" with others.

  • Under pressure: Many Uighurs reportedly said they were disappointed by the decision but promised to continue to lobby other govs to punish China.

What's making changes…

Pornhub. This week, the adult entertainment streaming giant removed a majority of its content from unverified users. The move came after The New York Times published an opinion piece earlier this month that said the company had videos of unconscious women being assaulted, spy cams, and child rape. Pornhub denied the allegations, calling them "irresponsible and flagrantly untrue." But Discover, Visa, and Mastercard pulled their payment services from being used on the site, citing unlawful content. Now, Pornhub says it's taking "comprehensive safeguards" to make sure videos are verified.

If you see any signs of child abuse in anyone you know, or are a victim of child abuse yourself, call 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) for help or visit

Who's seen the headlines…

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Yesterday, the Senate majority leader recognized President-elect Joe Biden's win for the first time, saying "the electoral college has spoken." Reminder: earlier this week, US electors voted to cement Biden as the winner. This acknowledgment is important because McConnell is a leading Republican and an ally of President Trump. And because many Senate Republicans still haven't recognized a Biden win. While McConnell has congratulated Biden, the White House has yet to do so.

...Oh and speaking of Biden, he's expected to nominate former Democratic rival, Pete Buttigieg, as transportation secretary. Buttigieg could be the first openly gay cabinet secretary if confirmed by the Senate.

While this new podcast gets ready to feature inspiring stories...

Check out Giannis Antetokounmpo's.

On the Skimm Screen

Ahhhh the holidays. A magical time when we wear PJs for days, pray mom doesn't hate her gifts, and try to pick a movie everyone agrees on. We partnered with Hulu to help you with that last part. But they've got a LOT of options, so we're Skimm'ng one of our new faves. Learn more about...

"Happiest Season"

It's...a holiday rom-com with an A+ cast of familiar faces. Like, the kind of people you'd want at your holiday dinner table.

Watch with…your family. Because you all know exactly how stressful it is to bring a sig o home for the first time. And it'll jog some funny memories.

And…the all-LGBTQ+ soundtrack is full of original music you'll have on repeat after you watch. Courtesy of Bebe Rexha, Tegan and Sara, Shea Diamond, and more. Alexa, volume up.

You'll laugh. You'll (maybe) cry (a little). You'll feel all holly and jolly inside. "Happiest Season" is now streaming, only on Hulu.


Meet many Americans, her life has been affected by COVID-19. She and her newborn both tested positive for the virus. The CDC says that 7.3% of all coronavirus cases reported to the organization as of August were among children. Watch to see how Jill handled the diagnosis and worked to keep her two other children and husband safe.

PS: The coronavirus has made us all very excited to say goodbye to 2020. And it's never too early to plan ahead for next year. Our How to Skimm Your Life New Year's Challenge starts January 3. It's 21 days of Skimm'ng your way to a smarter life, from work to your wallet, health, pantry, and more. Sign up to get texts from us with more details. We solemnly swear not to spam you.


Here are our favorite picks to help you take a break today…

1. Our absolute favorite products of 2020. Aka, things Skimm'rs (hi, you) really loved. Like a blow-drying brush for salon-like hair, webcam covers for your laptop, and a handbag hook for your car. Grab 'em while they're hot.

2. The houseplants that are going to be trendy next year. Because 2020 was hard. And in 2021, you deserve to live with something called Bunny Ear Cactus. We plant deal with how cute they are.

3. The perfect bra for WFC (work-from-couch) life. It lifts without wires, smooths without padding, and feels so soft you'll forget you're wearing it. Order today to get it by Christmas. Psst...Skimm'rs get 15% off. Bra-mazing.*

PS: Want more? Sign up to get weekly recs in your inbox.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


For when you wanna feel better about your holiday spending…

Shop the Goldman Sachs #MakeSmallBig Holiday Market. It's got great gifts, like artisanal soaps, luxury candles, and custom confections. Plus, your purchases will support small businesses. That's the spirit.*

For when you can't toast the holidays IRL this year...

Send a friend something special. This female-first beverage brand has rosé, sauv blanc, pinot grigio, a new pinot noir, and limited edition holiday sparkling white wines. All five have zero sugar and only 100 calories per serving. Plus Skimm'rs get 25% off their first order, plus free shipping. Cheers.*

For when you've got questions re: down-there care…

Been there. This female-founded brand has cleansers, supplements, lubricants, and other clean personal care products for...whatever you're going through. Oh, and Skimm'rs get 20% off. Get your answer.*

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


Just like us, McDonald's knows that community matters more than ever in times like these. That's why they're dedicated to giving back (see: donating meals to first-responders during the pandemic and after natural disasters). Together, we're highlighting Skimm'rs who are making an impact in their communities. More fries for them.

Community change...Brooke JK (SC). She started "She's The Veteran" – a community for women veterans to help shine a light on mental health. And to educate and empower women vets.

Always booked...Lesley D (MN). She's the founder of The Story Orchard, an org raising awareness and increasing community access to reading materials in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metro area. Bookmark it.

(Some) Birthdays...Claire Oetinger (NY), Jill King (PA), Bernadine Bednarz (CA), Kelsey Noone (IL), Callie McQuaig (MS), Caroline Meyerson (TX), Annie Rauscher (NY), Susan Blevins (OR), Rochelle Bent (DC), Maureen Levy (IL), Aaron Kopolow (NJ), Claire Oetinger (NY), Hillary McDaniel (CA), Julia Buckingham (IL), Natalie Newton (GA)

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Niven McCall-Mazza, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain