News roundup for Mon, Feb 15, 2021

Fossil fuel pollution kills more than 8 million people per year. Pollution in the form of fine particulate matter is inhaled and increases rates of respiratory and cardiac diseases. Researchers say these estimates of disease burden, though shocking themselves, are probably underestimates.

Industrial pollutants are also posing dangers to everyday folk—high concentrations of benzene have been found in the drinking water of residents of San Angelo, Texas.

There’s been another large Fukushima earthquake (7.1). No tsunami is expected.

Most of the US is blanketed in snow or very cold winter weather:

Energy prices are surging because of the heating demand.

Palladium prices could be driving catalytic converter thefts:

The world has over 109.3 million COVID cases.  The world has gained 2.6 million cases in 4 days. There have been 2.4 million deaths in total. The US has over 28.2 million cases and has gained over 600,000 cases in 4 days. ~500,000 Americans have died. The US has gained 64,000 new cases since yesterday—case gain is still declining. I am hopeful that the vaccine program is making a difference (and hoping for terminal decline).

Vaccine doses could be wasted by the millions in Japan because of lack of syringes.

COVID vaccines for kids as young as six may be available by fall of this year. Trials are ongoing and will need to be successful for this timeline to be feasible. It’s possible that vaccines for younger kids won’t be ready until 2022. Moderna says it doesn’t expect clinical data for children until next year.

Counterfeit masks are flooding ports and some are being supplied to health care workers. A telltale sign of a counterfeit is immediate fit-failure, where air can be felt escaping the mask as one breathes.

A 15-dollar minimum wage may be included in the pandemic stimulus package.

The Pfizer vaccine seems to have a decent response against certain variants of concern, including the Kent and South African variants.

We’ve got enough doses of COVID vaccine coming to immunize most Americans!

If we keep vaccinating at the rate we’re going, things might start really looking up in a few months. Dare I say it? I’m beginning to feel hopeful:

Bud tenders getting COVID vaccines before teachers? Only in California…

People are falling through legal and regulatory cracks and being evicted despite an eviction moratorium. Many folks don’t know they have to qualify for, sign, and present a declaration to landlords to stop the eviction process.

More good news: There have only been 66 serious adverse allergic reactions, all treatable, to the mRNA vaccines, and this is out of 18 million vaccinations.

Here’s an interesting checklist for forming a quarantine pod—for those who might still be interested.

Tigers are dying of COVID:

There’s been decent containment of the South African variant in South Africa with social distancing mitigation measures:


  • 1 Comment

    • Hardened

      Holy cow the news about fossil fuel air pollution killing people is eye-opening!  Maybe I won’t return to the city after the pandemic is over.

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