covid-19

Scientific American
As Scientific American reported last fall, the drop-off in flu numbers was both swift and universal. Since then, cases have stayed remarkably low. “There’s just no flu circulating,” says Greg Poland, who has studied the disease at the Mayo Clinic for decades.
I wonder if masks could help with keeping flu numbers down post-covid.
mcsweeneys.net
Are you experiencing muscle aches?

A) Yes, I’m so achy.

B) Yes, but to be fair, I think that’s the literal definition of what muscles are? The achy things all over your body?
This article is too on the nose. Not funny.
The Atlantic
"Those who are vaccinated can still be infected by, and test positive for, SARS-CoV-2; they’re just way, way less likely to get sick as a result. The sticky element is whether not-sick-but-still-infected vaccinated people can spread the virus to others and get them sick. So far, the early data have been promising, showing that the vaccines stop at least some transmission, but the matter is not scientifically settled."
It’s complicated but “way, way less likely to get sick” and “stop at least some transmission” is worth it in a pandemic.
New York Times
"We talked to pharmaceutical companies and venture capitalists. No one cared,” Dr. Weissman said. “We were screaming a lot, but no one would listen."
Amazing story of one person’s perseverance and belief in science that delivered the mRNA vaccines.
New York Times
"They also began raising concerns about safety in Amazon’s warehouses at the start of the pandemic. Amazon fired Ms. Costa and Ms. Cunningham last April, not long after their group had announced an internal event for warehouse workers to speak to tech employees about their workplace conditions."
This is powerful. When employees speak to each other it can lead to realizing that they have common interests--even when they work in different parts of the organization that don't normally interact. Firing people advocating for safety during a pandemic is a bad look.
HBO
This documentary uses firsthand video from people who were on the Diamond Princess cruise in February 2020. It’s quite a record of the early pandemic and a reminder of how little we knew and how poorly we handled it in the early days.
The Atlantic
"The good news is that this one is different. We now have an unparalleled supply of astonishingly efficacious vaccines being administered at an incredible clip. If we act quickly, this surge could be merely a blip for the United States. But if we move too slowly, more people will become infected by this terrible new variant, which is acutely dangerous to those who are not yet vaccinated."
Excellent snapshot of where we are with covid-19 and some good information about where we're headed, like this:
"Herd immunity is sometimes treated as a binary threshold: We’re all safe once we cross it, and all unsafe before that. In reality, herd immunity isn’t a switch that provides individual protection, just a dynamic that makes it hard for epidemics to sustain themselves in a population over the long term. Even if 75 percent of the country has some level of immunity because of vaccination or past infection, the remaining 25 percent remains just as susceptible, individually, to getting infected."
tl;dr: lots of light at the end of the tunnel but we're still in the tunnel.
Morning Consult
"While Republicans offered the lowest amount of support, more than half of GOP voters still back the stimulus package at 60 percent. Thirty percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose the package."
People are not divided on this. Everyone knows the country needs help to get through this pandemic and it has been a long time coming. No Republicans in the House voted for the stimulus. Are they representing their constituents who have to live in objective reality or are they owning the libs to score points in conservative media reality? (rhetorical question)
The Guardian
From coronamüde (tired of Covid-19) to Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle), a German project is documenting the huge number of new words coined in the last year as the language races to keep up with lives radically changed by the pandemic.
This is great, Schnutenpulli (pout sweater?) for mask is not in this article but I like it so much better than "mask". The full list.
MIT Technology Review
To Rowe, the doctor at Connecticut Children’s, it’s frustrating to see so much innovation in making vaccines, and so little in actually getting them to people. “How much money was put into the science of making the vaccine? How much money is being put into the distribution?” she asks. “It doesn’t matter that you made it if you can’t distribute it.”
Just over here screaming internally after every paragraph of this article.
wsj.com
"Scientists also point to data from the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics, which conducts a weekly random survey of the population. Just before the Christmas break, when schools were still open, the positivity rate among children was higher than in most adult groups, especially in those older than 11."
Children don’t present as many symptoms but they spread the virus. Open schools may be safe for kids but they aren’t safe for their communities.
Popular Information
"The study concluded that 'lifting [eviction] moratoriums amounted to an estimated 433,700 excess cases and 10,700 excess deaths' between March 13 and September 3. The infections and fatalities occurred across '27 states that lifted eviction moratoriums' during the study period."
This is what our entire national conversation should be right now. Where is congress?
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