News roundup for Tue, Apr 26, 2022

Pediatric hepatitis outbreak first death

One child died from the mysterious liver damage illness that has Europe and the US worried. The source of the disease is still unknown, but adenovirus was present in at least 74 out of 169 patients. Before hospitalization, many children experienced abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice.

For a list of hepatitis and adenovirus symptoms, see our previous coverage.

War in Ukraine

US top officials have visited Kyiv and pledged more aid. The US is planning to reopen its embassy in Kyiv soon. Putin’s strategy now is to seize as much territory as possible, focusing on the east and the south. If he succeeds in keeping hold of those territories, he will effectively create a land bridge between Russia and Crimea. Cutting off Ukraine’s most fertile land and central export hub will also affect global food exports long-term:

The entire province of Luhansk is without electricity. Stark reminders of the impact of war: utilities in the area may not be restored until the war is over, and Ukrainians will face a prolonged health care crisis:

Ukrainian ham operators have been intercepting and jamming Russian communications.

Sweden and Finland will submit their NATO applications next month, despite Russia’s threats of retaliation.

A visual explainer of the battle for Donbas. Live map, and live updates.


New Mexico declared a state of emergency due to the many wildfires that have devastated the state. New Mexico’s officials are worried because they’ve recognized that fire season might be coming early due to climate change-induced drought.

Some Arizona towns might cut their drinking water off as Lake Powell continues to dry up. Lake Powell will get 500,000 acre-feet of water pumped from an upstream reservoir, and the feds will keep nearly 500,000 more acre-feet in Powell instead of letting it flow downstream to Lake Mead, but the fix is only temporary.

Biden signed an executive order to strengthen America’s forests, boost wildfire resilience, and fight global deforestation.

The summer of 2021 was the hottest on record for Europe.

Solar could generate half of the world’s power and become the cheapest energy source by 2050.

Twitter will ban ads that deny climate change.

Latest US weather forecast: Dangerous fire conditions in the southern planes:


A new John Hopkins study dispels the myth that Omicron is milder: Omicron patients might be less likely to be hospitalized, but when they do, they need intubation, ventilators, etc., as much as those infected with Delta.

According to a UK study, only 29% of patients with long COVID recovered within a year, and women and the obese are even less likely to recover.

Covid resources:

The rest

The new lockdowns in China caused global stocks to decline and oil prices to fall below $100 a barrel.

Indonesia banned the export of palm oil to keep inflation down. Indonesia is the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, and the ban could deal a blow to the worldwide shortage of cooking oil.

The EU plans the largest ever ban on potentially harmful chemicals linked to cancers, hormonal disruption, reproductive disorders, obesity, diabetes, and other illnesses.

The EU also passed the Digital Service Act, which will require companies such as Google, Meta (Facebook), and Twitter to be accountable for illegal content and ban ads based on religion, gender, or race:

Over 1 million children in Africa have received at least one dose of the first malaria vaccine.

Robberies on US mail carriers have tripled between 2018 and 2021, and thefts involving a gun have quadrupled.

In 2020, guns were the leading cause of death for children and teens in the US. Deaths from vehicle crashes, drug overdoses, and cancer are close behind.

The White House seeks to expand the government’s authority to detect and disable threatening drones.

A woman was rescued after being lost in deep snow for six days. She survived on yogurts and frozen snow.

The world’s first drone airport opened in Coventry, UK. The developer plans to open 200 other vertiports worldwide in five years.


    • MainPugh

      Reading that utilities in those parts will be restored only after the war was a real eye opening. No one knows how long that will take. It made me think how much a difference even having a bug out bag with some basics in there could make.

      (Edited to add a word)

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    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      • Get some exercise. Regular, low-impact movement to stay healthy is a great way to improve your longevity.
      • Be careful when doing maintenance, operating heavy machinery, or working from heights. Right now is still a great time to *not* go to the hospital. Wear safety equipment. Perhaps get some help with that project. Survival experts advise “operating at half speed”, so you have more time to think, process, and react without wasting energy or making mistakes.
      • Keep building that pantry. If you have the means to stock up on some shelf-stable food, and build a bit extra of items you already eat, it seems prudent. At best you’re reducing the potential drain on food stores by being ready yourself. At worst you’re just buying groceries a bit early.
      • Plant a garden. Growing your own local food is a good extra layer of food security.
      • Consider a portable solar panel. If your power was out for a long period of time, how much of your life could you run off these?
      • Practice using your gear. If you haven’t gone for a hike recently while wearing your Go Bag – try it. If you’ve never charged your battery pack using your solar panel – do it. Try cooking a meal with a rocket stove, or using only shelf-stable ingredients. Go camping in your back yard to try out your tent. The more practice you have, the better. You may identify issues and gain valuable experience.
      • Store some water
      • Be easy on yourself. Hey you’ve made it to today. Great job.
      • Take a break. Meditate, read a book, or do some other activity to recharge.

      Good luck this week

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      • Karl Winterling brownfox-ff

        Also find ways to do your part: join (or start) a community garden, use less fuel/electricity/water. You can find ways to volunteer or help people without telling people you’re prepping (or you can tell them you’re prepping but you don’t have to admit that you’re prepared like Burt and Heather Gummer in the 1990 movie Tremors).

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      • TraceContributor brownfox-ff

        Even if you don’t have “time” or “access” to be able to exercise (you do, but we all have to learn that ourselves) find a good stretching routine to start each day. We’re all sore when we get up in the morning, come up with—or find online—a good 3ish min stretching routine. It’ll get your day started off feeling better and remind you of the benefits of even just a little physical exercise. 

        Plant a garden. Even if you don’t have much space, do a small one. It’s not what you grow or how much — learning how to grow a garden is an invaluable skill. It’s both easier and harder than you think it will be. If you have seeds stored, but don’t have realistic experience gardening — you’re just fooling yourself.

        Practice using your gear can’t be overstated. None of us like to take it out (“it’s so nicely organized”) and use it (“it’ll get dirty / broken / used up”). But if you don’t, again, you’re fooling yourself about your actual level of preparation. Dig through your BOB/GHB regularly until you can mentally list—from memory—every thing in every pocket. If you can afford it, buy extras of the things in your kit so you can use them and get them dirty or even break them (better to find out now). 

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    • brownfox-ffContributor

      Great roundup Carlotta. That is encouraging to hear about such progress with a vaccine for malaria.

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    • Karl Winterling

      From researching the issue over the past several weeks (and admittedly not being an expert), it seems that imminent (through to the end of the year) food shortages are unlikely in the US. However, I think the impact could be pretty austere for the 10% of Americans who already can’t afford groceries.

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