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Photo by Jonathan J. Castellon on Unsplash

The family-run business DemeTech is a medical suture maker based in Miami that pivoted to manufacturing N95 masks in response to ongoing shortages of protective gear for frontline medical workers. Despite sinking tens of millions of dollars into new equipment, navigating a nine-month federal approval process, and ramping up production, DemeTech has not been able to secure enough buyers to sell its surplus of 30 million N95 masks.

As The New York Times reports:

What we know about the current status of digital vaccine passports

It’s been less than one month since President Joe Biden took office, and at the top of his agenda are executive orders to better organize and track Covid-19 data to curb the pandemic. One possible solution that’s been gaining more traction in recent days? Vaccine passports. If you’re unfamiliar with with the concept of a vaccine pass or passport, travel reporter Tariro Mzezewa of The New York Times wrote a helpful in-depth explainer summarized below:

1. What is a vaccine pass or passport?

2. Why would I need a vaccine pass or passport?


From Dilbert through the ’90s to The Office in the early 2000s and Silicon Valley in the 2010s, white-collar office satire has long served as a coping mechanism to process the frustration (and, occasionally, existential dread) that accompanies accepting your role in late capitalism. Pandemic work memes — the latest genre of white-collar satire to proliferate popular media — are no exception. Right alongside the influencers and foodies of Instagram, you can also scroll through satirical accounts like Litquidity, linkdinflex, MBA-ish, and consultingcomedy — proof that not even a global pandemic, the shuttering of nonessential offices, and the near cleaving…

You can thank masks — and Zoom

America is having a plastic surgery and Botox bonanza, thanks to the pandemic. According to, the Yelp for cosmetic procedures, “appointment bookings spiked 71% in October,” Zara Stone reports for Marker, and the trend is expected to continue in 2021. It’s a surprising economic indicator of how people are preparing for the possibility of IRL meetups this year as vaccines continue to be administered across the country. “The stress, inertia, and (for some) carb-heavy diet of the last year has left many feeling prematurely aged, out of shape, and saggy,” Stone writes. The result? A surge in demand for…

‘For much of this year, if not longer, testing will be essential’

Vaccine distribution is underway, but states and cities across the nation will have to remain vigilant about testing its residents on a daily basis to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus during the cold winter months. According to the Harvard Global Health Institute, states like Minnesota will have to process 17,500 tests each day to slow the spread and 63,500 daily tests to fully suppress the virus. To reach these numbers, the state has organized an ambitious yet effective pandemic task force, drawing expertise from its renowned public health systems as well as forging partnerships with health tech startups that…

A strategy from “Black Wall Street” may hold the key to saving struggling Main Street businesses today argues author Douglas Rushkoff. The Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was a thriving Black community during the early 1900s before being razed to the ground by a white mob that killed as many as 300 people on May 31, 1921. Greenwood pioneered circular economics, a vehicle for “locally grounded, mutually supportive, sustainable business networks,” where Black businesses would invest in each other through cooperatives, as Rushkoff writes in GEN. …

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Ling Jin / Getty Images

The $99 billion pet-retail economy is booming, thanks to a surge in pandemic puppies and kittens: Chewy’s shares have more than doubled since the start of the year, Petco rebranded itself as a health and wellness company ahead of its IPO, and dog-supplies startup, BarkBox, recently announced it would go public in a $1.6 billion deal.

As Minyoung Lee wrote in The Bold Italic, the majority of America’s pet parents are millennials who find comfort and stability in their “fur children” after experiencing a series of economic setbacks. “We own less than 5% of the country’s wealth, starting our adult…

A global network of Santas and Mrs. Clauses are reconfiguring how to entertain children via Zoom this holiday season, but it turns out there are silver linings. Families can bypass…

With fewer hours of daylight and countless workers on the brink of mental exhaustion, writer Maya Kosoff argues that it only makes sense to take winter Fridays off. Earlier this spring, Marker made a similar recommendation for corporate America to use this year’s remote work upheaval to adopt a four-day workweek and cancel Fridays. Without daily commutes and other distractions, most workers have gained a couple of hours back into their workday, which has led to increased productivity as well as burnout. “Why not try it?” Kosoff asks. “We have nothing to lose, aside from our futile attempts to force…

Experts are concerned about whether U.S. health officials have prepurchased enough doses and additional vaccine supplies — as an insurance policy against manufacturing issues or scientific delays — to cover the entire population. A Bloomberg analysis of more than 80 country agreements with vaccine makers reveals that the United States ranks behind 31 other countries, per capita, in its allocations to reserve Covid-19 vaccines that are still in development. “[W]hile the U.S. locked up a deal with Pfizer to buy 100 million doses of vaccine for its population of about 330 million, the EU pre-bought 200 million doses for its…

Gloria Oh

Senior Ideas Editor for Marker, Medium’s business publication. Previously, The Atlantic. Pitches:

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