Editor’s note: We’re thinking about how to improve these roundups and want to hear your ideas in the comments!
Ukraine invasion: Siege tactics are increasing and some cities are beginning to fall to Russia. Huge convoys are converging on Kyiv, and at least 6 active nuclear reactors are under Russian onslaught but still operating. Shelling is occurring on at least one of those reactors.
Ukraine is moving to gain acceptance into the EU. Moldova is probably going to follow suit. Finland and Sweden are considering NATO membership despite explicit threats from Russia should they move forward with the plan.
Normally neutral Switzerland is jumping on the bandwagon and endorsing sanctions against Russia. Russia’s currency has lost one third of its value during the Ukraine invasion.
Supply chain: Battling very high gas prices, the US government is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve. The US has called on OPEC countries to release more oil as well, but OPEC has not budged.
Russia and Ukraine are some of the world’s largest wheat producers. In the wake of the war, the price of wheat is skyrocketing. The price of food, already elevated across the globe, is going to follow.
Pandemic: The White House is ushering out a Test-to-Treat program in pharmacies, where folks can rapid-test and get access to needed therapeutics at no cost on the spot:
Test-to-Treat for COVID at pharmacies is a very smart idea.
1. Free access to testing & COVID therapeutics
2. Pharmacists are experts in drug-interactions (an issue with some therapeutics)
3. Many pharmacies are well equipped for testing
4. Lower barriers to receive TIMELY care https://t.co/5UEuYgMbh9
— Isaac Bogoch (@BogochIsaac) March 2, 2022
The Test-to-Treat program is part of the new National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, which includes 1) Pfizer antiviral pills available ubiquitously at pharmacies (Test-to-Treat), 2) treatments and high-quality masks available to the immunocompromised, 3) a new round of free coronavirus tests starting next week, even for people who previously ordered four free tests, and 4) response to new variants with new vaccines within 100 days.
While the White House ramps up COVID response, our other institutions seem to be ramping down instead:
The CDC is no longer recommending universal contact tracing. Nearly 2 years after the agency's director called for 100k contact tracers to contain SARSCoV2, officials are scrapping the program. New York City announced earlier this week it will halt tracing https://t.co/UwTzb5brXe
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) March 3, 2022
Almost half of all Americans have contracted COVID (and over half of the children in the US):
140 million Americans have had coronavirus, according to blood tests analyzed by CDC (Johns Hopkins says 79 million) https://t.co/7d33yQLzbj
— Crawford Kilian (@Crof) March 1, 2022
Deer-to-human transmission of COVID has been confirmed. It’s probably not a frequent event, but now we know for sure that it’s possible.
Floods: An atmospheric river that is thousands of miles long is slamming into the Pacific Northwest. 5 million people are under flood watch.
Australia has been slammed by severe flooding after a large, low-pressure storm system parked itself over New South Wales and dumped rain continuously for more than a week. It still hasn’t stopped. 500,000 people across the region have been under evacuation orders.
The rest: We’re still keeping an eye on bird flu, and there have been a few more reports of jumps to humans:
H5N6 avian flu infects 4 more people in China, with 1 death https://t.co/8hXPiKoynv
— Dr. Syra Madad (@syramadad) March 1, 2022
The US trucker convoy fizzled out. Thousands were anticipated, but very few showed up in DC.