News roundup for Fri, Mar 19, 2021

12.6 million people have been displaced because of climate change in the last six months alone. The Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies report that most of these displacements were due to natural disasters. Asia has been hit hardest.

Louisiana is losing land to sea level rise. The state has a $50 billion plan to restore the coast and literally reroute the Mississippi River. British Petroleum is going to help foot some of the bill.

Iceland has had 40,000 earthquakes in recent weeks, and a volcanic eruption is probably imminent. In the meantime, Icelanders aren’t getting much sleep. The Big Island of Hawaii also has a rumbling volcano, and it’s one of the biggest volcanoes in the world.

There are reports of tornadoes in multiple states yesterday and today and there’s continued severe weather all over the Southeast. 26 million people are under storm risk.

In the era of remote work, cities that pay you to relocate are very attractive. Over 9 million people relocated in 2020.

The IRS Tax Day deadline for individuals has been pushed back to May 17th in recognition of a chaotic, stressful 2020.

That microchip shortage could create a serious kink in smart phone supply. Apple, smartly, produces its own processors and does not anticipate a shortage.

The Great Texas Outage shuttered multiple chemical plants, and now the plastics supply chain is in trouble. PVC products, face shields, and phone parts are a few examples of impacted products.

The world has nearly 122.3 million COVID cases.  The world has gained 3.2 million cases in a week. There have been over 2.7 million deaths in total. The US has over 30.4 million cases. Over 552,000 Americans have died. 9,000 Americans have died in the last week. There have been over 1,500 deaths in the last 24 hours in the US. The US gained nearly 60,000 new cases in the last day. Brazil is leading the globe in daily deaths, with over 2,600 in the last day.

Moderna has begun testing its COVID vaccine in children under 12. Johnson and Johnson will soon begin vaccine trials in 12 to 18-year-olds.  It’s possible that a vaccine for children will be available by the fall.

People with long-COVID are reporting some relief after receiving a COVID vaccine. Placebo effect is one possible contributor to relief, but so is the general immune boost people get after getting an immunization. It’s hard to even define long-COVID, making teasing out mechanisms for its relief even harder.

France joins Italy in another significant lockdown:

A new COVID variant in France might be bypassing PCR tests. But before we jump to conclusions, be advised that this could be due to sampling error. It’s best to wait for more data.

A baby born to a partially vaccinated mother had COVID antibodies. The baby has probably some protection from COVID now, although it’s not clear how much.

Some mouthwashes may actually help reduce transmission of the virus by killing the virus. Colgate Peroxyl and Listerine are a few listed as deactivating the virus:

The CDC says COVID testing could be used in place of other screening strategies in the workplace. It’s a good recommendation, but most places of business do not have the funding necessary to do this. Issues of consent, privacy, and confidentiality must also be considered.

A large study of reinfection in Denmark found that fewer than 1% of people have been reinfected with COVID. Previous infection protects for at least 7 months. People over the age of 65 are more likely to get reinfected:


  • 2 Comments

    • DuskStar

      > That microchip shortage could create a serious kink in smart phone supply. Apple, smartly, produces its own processors and does not anticipate a shortage.

      Common misconception – Apple does not produce their own processors. Instead, they make their own processor designs which are then subcontracted out to TSMC/GloFo/Samsung. (In recent years it’s all been TSMC IIRC)

      If they don’t anticipate shortages, it’s because they’ve paid for priority, because they’re using the same set of manufacturing capacity as everyone else.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor DuskStar

        Yes, I see that you’re right (I regurgitated what the article said, but the article is not quite right). They did switch over from Intel in 2020. In any case, it’s definitely an argument for self-reliance (or at the very least some measure of production flexibility) in making these components. 

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