The theme for today? Being on hold. Cue music.
From revelations of a potential vaccine being on hold; to relations between Australia and China being put on hold (if not ice) after a number visa revocations; and Tom Hanks holding his horses in mandatory quarantine on the Gold Coast - it's been a holding kind of day.
The federal government is keen to reassure us that any vaccine approved for COVID-19 will be safe after the much-lauded Oxford University vaccine candidate paused phase three trials due to an adverse reaction in a participant.
Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said it was "quite normal" for a pause in a clinical trial to investigate an adverse reaction, and that a review could take just a few days.
Regardless of how long it's on hold, Canberra Times journalist Steve Evans has asked the question "where to now". Find out what happens next here.
An escalating diplomatic crisis between China and Australia took another turn today when the visas of two leading Chinese scholars in Australia were revoked.
That action, along with allegations authorities secretly raided the homes of four Chinese journalists in Australia in late June, prompted a "furious response" from the Chinese Government, the ABC reported.
Dual Oscar winner Tom Hanks is back to where his "COVID journey" began and again is in quarantine on Queensland's Gold Coast as not even a pandemic can lay low filming of an Elvis biopic.
With an election looming in the US, the pandemic has morphed into a political football of sorts. For many, the reality is more stark.
Just as is the case in Australia, hardest hit in the pandemic across the US have been low-wage workers. It's been seven months since coronavirus began spreading in the US and now 29 million people are receiving unemployment.
And here's the Catch-22. Like never before has cleaning work been in such demand. But the humans who carry out that work also pose the greatest risk to the environment. So, the answer? Robots.
Well, for those who don't find the cost of automation prohibitive anyway.
In the US businesses are buying into new technologies which automate cleaning - from floor scrubbers to disinfecting drones. Retail stores, warehouses, airports, stadiums and public transportation have been early adopters, the Washington Post reports.
One hospital in California has two robots disinfect rooms of COVID-19 patients on a daily basis using UV light. The job takes a human 90 minutes. It takes the robots 12.
So .. here we are in the 21stcentury - essentially dealing with the same philosophic conundrum the Industrial Revolution posed. About that hold music ... keep it going a bit longer.
News you need to know
- Vaccines will be safe, government says after trial paused
- Man in custody after incident near ASIO building
- That magic mark: Zero active COVID-19 cases in Ballarat
- Premier suggests regional Victoria could jump two steps ahead
- Tasmanian Liberal senator denies robodebt deaths link
- Nationals out of touch on climate change as farmers bear its brunt
- COVID guidelines issued to keep students safe during HSC exams
- Hanks in mandatory quarantine, Qld premier