News roundup for Tue, Apr 27, 2021

85% of Mexico is suffering from drought and dry conditions. Lakes and reservoirs are drying up, and dust storms are brewing. It’s the worst set of drought conditions the country has seen in decades.

California plans to ban fracking by 2024. Although a post-petroleum energy industry is needed to help fight climate change, it’s unclear at this time which jobs will replace the ones lost to the ban.

There’s a gardening startup for home gardeners that will help you plan your planting based on your geography and what you’d like to grow. Gardening businesses have been doing well during the pandemic as interest has grown.

Does the Second Amendment cover the right to carry guns outside of the home? The Supreme Court will hear the case.

Huge amounts of DDT were dumped off the coast of Los Angeles—the dumping grounds cover more than 45 square miles.  Tens of thousands of barrels have been found, but hundreds of thousands of barrels may have been dumped.

The world has over 148.4 million COVID cases. The world has gained 5.8 million cases in a week, which is a large increase. There have been over 3.1 million deaths in total. The US has had over 32.8 million cases. Over 586,000 Americans have died—10,000 in the last week. The US gained 38,000 cases since yesterday. There have been 422 deaths in the US in the last day. India leads the world in deaths per day, with over 2,700 in the last day.

The pause on the J&J vaccine has been lifted:

An article from 2020 claiming that cigarette smoking was protective against COVID has been retracted. Reasons for retraction include missing smoking data (it’s not possible to ascertain smoking status of all) and because some authors had ties to the tobacco industry.

MIT researchers say that the amount of time one spends indoors impacts COVID transmissions risk, and argue that the six-foot distance recommendation falls flat without timing data. They add that the risk can be as great at 60’ as at six. Gathering in small, unventilated spaces is the riskiest, especially if people aren’t wearing masks.

Oxygen supplies are perilously scant in India, and armed escort is required for oxygen transport. The COVID crisis is so severe in India that some families are burying their dead at home. The US is heeding the call for help and is sending supplies and personnel to help our ailing ally. The US is also planning to release its 60-million-dose stock of AstraZeneca vaccine doses, which India desperately needs:

There’s hunger in Brazil as the pandemic burns on. Brazil gave out stimulus monies last year that helped to keep people fed but has scaled those payments back. Over half of the country is facing food insecurity now.

The restaurant industry is having trouble staffing workers as the pandemic eases with vaccinations rising. More and more people are leaving their homes and eating out, but there are fewer workers willing to take on the work (and the risk) in the industry. There’s some argument that we’re not really experiencing a labor shortage—we’re experiencing ridiculous job expectations and demands on workers:

Turkey announces a national lockdown due to rising cases: