A Long Time Coming
Long Covid, Nood Figures, Ginni the Coup
As if we needed a reminder that Covid is still here and still infecting us, there's this. Fauci tests positive for Covid-19. For most current Covid sufferers, today's version of the illness comes with fairly mild symptoms. But for massive number of people, the really bad part comes after they stop testing positive, yet some symptoms go on and on. Benjamin Mazer in The Atlantic: Long COVID Could Be a 'Mass Deterioration Event. "As many as 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant. A similar number have acne, allergies, hearing loss, or chronic pain. Think of all the people you know personally who experience one of these conditions. Now consider what it would mean for a similar number to have long COVID: Instead of having blemishes, a runny nose, or soy milk in the fridge, they might have difficulty breathing, overwhelming fatigue, or deadly blood clots. Even if that 30 percent estimate is too high—even if the true rate at which people develop post-acute symptoms were more like 10 or 5 or even 2 percent, as other research suggests—the total number of patients would still be staggering, many millions nationwide. As experts and advocates have observed, the emergence of long COVID would best be understood as a 'mass disabling event' of historic proportions, with the health-care system struggling to absorb an influx of infirmity, and economic growth blunted for years to come." That's the broad problem. The more narrow problem is the suffering encountered by individuals impaired by long covid and further debilitated by an overtaxed health system that isn't quite sure how to help them.
2. Nood Figures
"Noodles are a staple for millions of people around the world, but especially in Asia. According to the World Instant Noodles Association, there are 290m servings of instant noodles eaten every day, which means 106.4bn servings a year." And like everything else, noodles are in shorter supply and more expensive. Floods in China, war in Ukraine, strained supply chains, yada, yada. Ramen a leg: noodle prices heat up as wheat supply goes to pot. (As you can see from this work by The Guardian, quality headline puns aren't as easy as they look.)
+ "The Federal Reserve has hiked its benchmark interest rate by 0.75%. But what does that actually mean for hundreds of millions of Americans – Americans who have jobs, who buy things, who have bank accounts?" Who are the winners and losers of the Fed hiking interest rates? (Warning. There are not equal numbers of each.)
3. Denial is a River in Colorado
Now those memories come back to haunt me / They haunt me like a curse / Is a dream a lie if it don't come true / Or is it something worse / That sends me down to the river / Though I know the river is dry. —Bruce Springsteen
"What has been a slow-motion train wreck for 20 years is accelerating, and the moment of reckoning is near. We are 150 feet from 25 million Americans losing access to the Colorado River, and the rate of decline is accelerating.'" Federal official warns of Colorado River water supply cuts.
+ "The heating is occurring in the North Barents Sea, a region where fast rising temperatures are suspected to trigger increases in extreme weather in North America, Europe and Asia. The researchers said the heating in this region was an 'early warning' of what could happen across the rest of the Arctic." New data reveals extraordinary global heating in the Arctic.
4. Ginni the Coup
"The emails show that Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known, two of the people said." WaPo: Ginni Thomas corresponded with John Eastman, sources in Jan. 6 House investigation say. (The plot was happening. The effort was real. And those involved were part of a large and powerful group. But we know this. What we don't know is whether there will be any price paid by those involved or whether they'll be free to carry-on with an election-overturning plot that still hasn't ended.)
+ Today's Jan 6 hearings will focus on the relentless effort to get Mike Pence to overturn to the election. (See above parenthetical). Updates here.
5. Extra, Extra
Keep Your Powder Dry: The closing of Abbott's formula plant for a Cronobacter sakazakii bacterial contamination was one of the central stories related to the formula shortage. After months, the plant finally re-opened. Now it's closed again for a few weeks due to flooding caused by severe thunderstorms. (Maybe it's a good time to go straight to solid food...)
+ Less Fam, More Bam: French President Macron: "My colleagues and I have come here to Kyiv today with a clear message: Ukraine belongs to the European family." And nothing says family like a more shipments of weapons. Leaders pledge arms and EU path for Ukraine in Kyiv visit.
+ Protection Racket: "Stealthing also figured prominently in Michaela Coel’s 2020 critically acclaimed HBO series I May Destroy You. Some viewers reported that watching the show helped them name and process their own sexual trauma." WaPo: Stealthing, the act of removing a condom during intercourse without the other partner’s consent, is gaining attention among lawmakers.
+ Quick Layover: "A monitoring group said troops were dropped by two helicopters in al-Humayra, close to the Turkish border in opposition-held Aleppo province. There were seven minutes of armed clashes between the troops and people inside the village before the helicopters flew off." US-led coalition capture senior IS leader in north Syria raid.
+ He Always Could Find the Open Hole: "The Trump-backed former running back, who criticized Black fatherless homes in 2020 as having a 'major major problem,' went from having one 22-year-old son, to another 'secret' 10-year-old son, to a total of four children, all in a matter of days. A real-life nesting doll. And the week isn't over yet." Herschel Walker admits he now has not 1, not 2, but 3 extra children he forgot to mention. (OK, but aside from this, Walker has none of the qualities one associates with a senator...)
6. Bottom of the News
In baseball, an immaculate inning means a pitcher struck out all three batters with only 9 pitches. Yesterday, for the first time ever, two Houston Astros pitchers each pitched an immaculate inning in the same game. And against the same three batters. "They were the 107th and 108th immaculate innings ever thrown in MLB. The achievement is so rare, it was also the first time multiple immaculate innings had been thrown on the same calendar date, let alone the same game or by the same team."
+ And some prep for what could be the end of the NBA Finals tonight. Draymond Green Is the Michael Jordan of Mindf*ckery.