It's time for your "hooray it's almost the weekend but then again what about this horrible pandemic sweeping the globe" update:
• Confirmed cases in the United States now stand at 141, up from 109. And nineteen states are reporting cases, up from eleven. Welcome to the worst club in the world, New Jersey, Delaware, Illinois, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Kentucky.
• The New York archdiocese is telling Catholics that if they're afraid that shaking the hand of the person next to them during the "signs of peace" segment of Mass might give them swine flu, some other acceptable options are "a nod, a bow, and wave."
• St. Francis Prep, the Queens school with 45 confirmed infections, will reopen Monday. Students whose unquenchable thirst for knowledge supersedes their fears of early participation in a global pandemic can report back to class.
• Scientists around the globe are working on a vaccine, the prospects of which actually got a boost from the discovery that the virus has a pretty uniform genetic makeup.
• A flight from Munich to Washington was diverted to Boston after a woman onboard complained of flulike symptoms. The passengers on the plane are being isolated for now. Joe Biden was right!