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Austria to Put Millions of Unvaccinated People in COVID Lockdown

The Guardian reported:

Austria is to introduce a lockdown for unvaccinated people in two of Europe’s worst-hit coronavirus regions from Monday and could extend it across the country, the chancellor, Alexander Schallenberg, has said.

Millions of people not fully vaccinated against COVID in the regions of Upper Austria and Salzburg will be allowed to leave their homes only for reasons considered essential to life, such as going to work, grocery shopping or visiting the doctor, Schallenberg said — measures believed to be unprecedented in Europe.

“Unvaccinated people will only be allowed to leave their flats to go to work, for food shopping or when they need to stretch their legs,” he said.

Hundreds Gather Near Golden Gate Bridge to Protest Vaccine Mandates, Evening Commute Grinds to Halt

ABC 7 News reported:

Five people are injured after a car crash on the Golden Gate Bridge during an anti-vaccine mandate rally that caused major traffic delays Thursday night, the CHP says. Two California Highway Patrol officers and three Golden Gate personnel are among the injured, a spokesperson said.

Hundreds of protesters gathered around 3 p.m., not far from the toll plaza at the Golden Gate Bridge welcome center. ABC7 News Reporter Cornell Barnard talked to some of the protesters. “I’m advocating for choice in this issue, I don’t want people to be forced to put anything in their bodies,” said Black Lives Matter advocate Hawk Newsome.

CHP moved in Thursday evening to stop the protesters from getting on the bridge, closing down at least one lane of northbound traffic.

Aussie Health Chief Says People Who Don’t Get Vaccinated Will Be ‘Miserable’ and ‘Lonely’ for Life

Summit News reported:

The Queensland president of the Australian Medical Association said during a television appearance that people still refusing to get the vaccine will be “miserable” and “lonely” for the rest of their lives.

“Oh, they’re crazy not to get vaccinated, life will be miserable without getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Chris Perry.

“You won’t be able to hide, you won’t be able to get a doctor to sign off that you got an exclusion because there’s quite a set rules on that and doctors will be audited, every one of their exclusions will be looked at very carefully,” he added, before threatening doctors with fines and termination.

Judge Overrules Texas Governor’s Ban on Mask Mandates in Schools

Reuters reported:

A federal judge overruled Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s ban on mask mandates in schools, clearing the path for districts to issue their own rules.

Judge Lee Yeakel of U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas ruled the governor’s order violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, a landmark 1990 federal law that includes protections for students with special needs. In his ruling, Yeakel said the executive order put children with disabilities at risk.

COVID Vaccine Mandates Get Attention in Pennsylvania Legislature as Lehigh Valley Hospital Doctor Speaks Out

The Morning Call reported:

The issue of whether Pennsylvanians should be mandated to get the COVID-19 vaccine continues to percolate in the state Legislature, fueled by concerns of people like Dr. Chaminie Wheeler.

The pediatric hospitalist recently lost access to work inside St. Luke’s University Health Network — where she supervised a newborn nursery and taught medical students — because she spoke out against such mandates.

“It is not right for my employer to tell me what I need to do with my own body,” said Wheeler, who said she lost her hospital system access a few hours after the airing of a television interview in which she spoke out against mandates.

Last 3 Florida School Districts Drop Student Mask Mandates

Associated Press reported:

The last three school districts in Florida that required at least some students to wear masks are dropping their mandates for student facial coverings.

Starting Friday, grade school students in Miami-Dade schools can opt-out of wearing a mask if they have their parents’ permission. Masks already had been optional for high-school and some middle-school students.

Many Latin American Travelers Shut Out From Visiting U.S. by New Vaccine Policy

NBC News reported:

As soon as COVID-19 vaccines became available for her age group in Guatemala, Ilse Samoyoa lined up with hundreds of other people for 9 hours to get her shot. Samoyoa, 56, never imagined that the Sputnik vaccine she got in June would eventually bar her from traveling to the U.S.

For Samoyoa and others who had been traveling back and forth throughout the pandemic from Latin America, where there was no travel ban, the shift in policy the U.S. announced this week left them out. Many countries in the region have bought millions of doses of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and others that still haven’t been approved by the WHO.

​​Facial Recognition Marches Forward, No Matter What Facebook Says

Bloomberg reported:

Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. said on Nov. 2 it was shuttering the facial recognition system it used to automatically identify people in images posted to its social network. The company is working to repair a public image crisis — there’s a reason it’s not called Facebook anymore — and facial recognition has become an increasingly toxic concept in many circles.

About 20 U.S. cities have passed legislation limiting use of the technology in various ways. But privacy advocates are calling for further restrictions on the technology, which they say is ripe for abuse by private companies as well as governments. Even some applications that seem innocuous or convenient could end up being problematic, according to critics.

YouTube Hides Dislike Count on Videos to Reduce ‘Attacking Behavior’

Spectrum News 9 reported:

Video sharing platform YouTube announced on Wednesday that they will be removing the public dislike count across all content, an effort to foster “respectful interactions between viewers and creators,” the company wrote in a blog post.

The dislike button will not disappear altogether — users can still dislike a video so that YouTube’s algorithm can better target their desired content. Video creators will also be able to see the amount of dislikes on any given video through the YouTube Creator Studio, but those counts will no longer be available for public consumption.

Maine’s Vaccine Mandate Won’t Include Dental Workers

Associated Press reported:

Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare providers will not include dental workers or emergency medical service personnel.

The state released the final version of the rules this week. Lots of EMS workers remain covered by another mandate from the Maine Board of Emergency Medical Services.

The mandate applies to workers at hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient surgery centers and other health facilities, the Portland Press Herald reported.

Vaccine Mandates Are Spreading. Italy Shows What to Expect.

The Washington Post reported:

Italy last month took a groundbreaking step for a Western democracy: Requiring the nation’s workers — public and private — to get government-issued health passes. The move amounted to a grand experiment to persuade the unvaccinated, who could keep receiving a paycheck only by getting inoculated or undergoing regular testing.

The emerging lesson seems to be that a forceful policy can indeed reap a payoff — at least, a modest one. Many minds won’t change, but some might. For the price of some resistance, a country can vaccinate a sliver of its population that otherwise would have stayed out of reach.

Gen Z Is Behaving Recklessly Online — and Will Live to Regret It

TechRadar reported:

Members of Generation Z, the cohort of people born in the first decade of the 21st century, care about digital privacy, but their desire for online fame and popularity is greater, a new study from ExpressVPN suggests.

The survey found that Generation Z isn’t trusting of the social media platforms they frequent, expressing concern that platforms may be using their images for facial recognition (67%) and wariness about oversharing personal information (66%).

They also typically use at least one privacy and security setting on their social media accounts, such as two-factor authentication (64%) and disabling contact syncing (50%).