Back by popular demand! We didn’t intend on being a “news blog.” We started doing this when we were one of the first western publications to ring the alarm bells on COVID back in January 2020 when the mainstream media was seemingly dropping the ball. It seemed like the New Year was a good time to end this project, but so many of you loved it that we’ve brought it back. Expect twice-weekly roundups of news that’s relevant to preppers, sans political agenda, etc.
Will Business as Usual (BAU) cause catastrophic climate change in the short-term? It’s not just scientists and environmentalists ringing the warning bell—it’s a warning made by the Pentagon and the British military as well. Seas are rising faster than even the most pessimistic modelling predicts.
There’s been a military coup in Myanmar. The military says it will take power for one year. Controversial leader Suu Kyi has been detained.
Wildfire smoke is horrible for you for reasons you might not be aware of—fungal spores, bacteria, and their toxins are transported huge distances and sometimes into your lungs.
The world has over 104.8 million COVID cases. The world has gained 1.3 million cases in 72 hours. There have been nearly 2.3 million deaths in total. The US has over 27.1 million cases. Over 461,000 Americans have died—about 3,000 per day. The US has gained over 105,000 new cases since yesterday—we remain on a downtrend for now. The US still leads the world in case growth and number of deaths.
Some good news—the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine appears to significantly reduce COVID transmission:
Another great result on COVID vaccine! AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine resulted in 67% reduction in positive swabs (i.e., infection) among those vaccinated. Vaccine will reduce transmission. Data also support 12 week prime-boost dosing interval.
— Prof. Akiko Iwasaki (@VirusesImmunity) February 3, 2021
We’ve known for some time that fomite contamination is rare (although not unheard of). Airborne and droplet transmission are the biggest drivers of spread, and this has been known for some time. Agencies need to get with the program and shift their focus to airborne precautions.
The Brazilian P.1 variant is evading natural immunity and re-infecting communities that reached near-herd-immunity from an attack rate of ~76% of the wild-type variant in Manaus in April. This is really, really bad news.
Masks are now federally mandated on public transit or in transit hubs. We’re about a year too late on this mandate, but better late than never, I guess:
New rules took effect just before midnight Tuesday requiring millions of travelers in the United States to wear masks on airplanes, trains, buses, ferries, taxis and ride-share vehicles and in airports, stations, ports and other transit hubs. https://t.co/O54OKQ7Tvb
— Reuters Health (@Reuters_Health) February 2, 2021
We’re in a downtrend now, but when the B.1.1.7 variant picks up, we could be facing a 4th surge:
US cases, deaths, and hospital census, Rt, Rt for census, and CFR. The cases RT appears to be settling at around 0.85. That would cause 60% reduction per month, 84% in two. pic.twitter.com/JkzceoUA5u
— Dave Blake, PhD (@_stah) February 1, 2021
The Administration has made a 230-million-dollar deal with Ellume for COVID home test kits. They won’t be produced at scale until the end of the year, though. The Administration appears to be anticipating this pandemic to burn into 2022.
Pregnant women pass COVID antibodies to their unborn babies and in larger amounts if infected earlier in the pregnancy versus later. There may be implications for vaccinating pregnant women here—vaccinating earlier in the pregnancy may be more beneficial than later.