News roundup for Thur, Feb 11, 2020

3 people stayed alive for 33 days eating coconuts on a deserted island. The Cuban nationals were rescued by the US Coastguard. Coconuts are an excellent survival food.

10 pounds of C4 explosives are missing from a Marine Corps base in Twentynine Palms, CA. The explosives are believed to be stolen. NCIS is working with local law enforcement on the investigation.

This cool site lets you listen to live radio from around the world, which could be neat/helpful during disasters.

A global semiconductor shortage is cutting into vehicle production—GM has 3 affected plants in the US. It’s also why you might be having a hard time getting a PlayStation 5. The shortage is due to a spike in demand for personal computing for those schooling and working from home during the pandemic.

A former head of the Bank of England fears deaths related to climate change could eclipse deaths lost to the COVID pandemic and advises aggressive investment in sustainable energy and infrastructure.

The world has over 107.8 million COVID cases.  The world has gained 3 million cases in a week. There have been nearly 2.4 million deaths in total. The US has nearly 28 million cases. Over 482,000 Americans have died at a steady rate of about 3,000 per day for months. The US has gained over 90,000 new cases since yesterday. The US still leads the world in case growth. Mexico has jockeyed with the US for most daily deaths and is currently in second place.

CDC says those who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine after known exposure. The rationale is that symptomatic and pre-symptomatic people pose a much greater risk of transmission than the asymptomatic vaccinated.

Countries with strong vaccination programs are seeing big benefits:

California now leads the nation in cumulative COVID deaths, surpassing New York. In per capita deaths, CA is 32nd.

Over 60% of surveyed Americans have been living paycheck to paycheck since the start of the pandemic. Many reported that they had been living beyond their means prior to the pandemic. The rising cost of living coupled with stagnant wages is no help. Many are using credit to stay afloat.

Rent relief is harder to come by in more expensive and more populated states. 40 million Americans are behind on rent. Rent relief programs are 30 billion dollars short of meeting actual need.

The CDC officially endorses double masking:

Biden team doesn’t anticipate reaching herd immunity through vaccination until Thanksgiving or later.

We’re vaccinating about 1.2 million people per day on average (7-day rolling average). Here’s a CDC vaccine tracking website.

Trends are looking better (but be wary—there are variants out there):

B.1.1.7. is not an escape variant. This is good:

Hug tents for the elderly? Too dystopian for me…