News roundup for Fri, May 28, 2021

Biden plans to double emergency spending to help with natural disasters. The Administration also plans to work with NASA to help forecast extreme weather events and climate change impacts more granularly. The Administration hopes that spending and planning more proactively will ultimately help cut the costs of after-the-fact disaster response.

There’s been a large volcanic eruption in the Congo, with thousands fleeing Goma. Goma was hit by lava flow from the same volcano in 2002 and prior to that in 1977. It’s one of the world’s most active volcanoes.

Soil loss in the Corn Belt coupled with rising temps and increased incidence of drought could make for another round of American Dust Bowl. For every one degree C rise in temperature in the future, the Corn Belt could lose 25% or more of its crops.

This is an interesting thread on the US housing market. The pandemic caused people to flee big cities from coast to coast—particularly those with the flexibility to work from home (and those jobs tend to be high-paying). People are snapping up houses in more affordable areas as fast as they can, many times sight-unseen:

There are egg shortages in Sweden caused by bird flu (and the culling of poultry necessary to contain it):

Organic meat is less likely to be infected by MDROs (multi-drug resistant organisms). MDROs in meat are a result of over-use of prophylactic antibiotics in livestock.

The world has over 169.6 million COVID cases. The world has gained over 3.8 million cases in a week. Global cases appear to be on a decline. There have been over 3.5 million deaths in total. The US has had nearly 34 million cases. Over 606,000 Americans have died. There have been 594 deaths in the last 24 hours in the US. The US gained over 22,000 new cases in the last day. India still leads the globe in daily deaths, with over 3,500 in the last day. India has gained over 179,000 new cases in the last day. Case growth and deaths in India are on a downtrend. Brazil had over 2,000 deaths yesterday.

Countries with high rates of vaccination are all seeing results similar to this:

We need to get more vaccines to more people in more countries as soon as we can:

Malta says it has reached herd immunity through vaccination:

Only half of the US population has been vaccinated, and fewer fully vaccinated, so we’re not out of the woods yet:

Pfizer plans on testing the safety and efficacy of adding a COVID booster to a pneumococcal vaccine. The mixed vaccine will be tested in those aged 65+:

Critical oxygen shortages continue:

Immune cells in the bone marrow might help people get a persistent immune response to COVID. Those who were infected and then later got vaccinated might have the strongest immune response. Those with immunity through vaccination only may need boosters. We don’t quite know yet.