News roundup for Tue, Aug 31, 2021

The most recent eviction moratorium has been blocked by the Supreme Court:

North Korea might be producing plutonium again. Their reactor has not been active since 2018.

Hurrican Ida left 1 million people without power around the Gulf Coast. Multiple transmission lines were damaged and it will take one or more days to repair the lines and restore power to residents. The storm did significant damage to the area but the levee system appears to have done its job this time around. Ida has now been downgraded to a tropical storm:

South Lake Tahoe is evacuating because of the Caldor fire, but gridlock is preventing an effective route out:

The supply chain is still borked and it’s going to stay borked for a while.

The world has officially stopped using leaded gasoline. Algeria is the last country on Earth to use it, and it ceased in July. It took 50 years to stop the practice.

The world has over 217.8 million COVID cases. The world has gained 4.6 million cases in the last week. There have been over 4.5 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 39.9 million cases. Over 655,000 Americans have died. The US gained over 92,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 80,000 by late afternoon Monday. Over 1,000 people are dying per day (on average based on 7-day data) in the US, up from a daily average of 830 last week. The US, India, Iran, and the UK currently have the highest daily case gain in the world. Delta remains the dominant global variant.

Insurance companies are beginning to impose share-of-cost with COVID patients. One thing to keep in mind as this happens is that a couple weeks on a ventilator can rack up a $500,000 bill:

It’s not just water utilities in Florida running into trouble with lack of liquid oxygen–SpaceX is also impacted by that particular shortage. SpaceX needs it for rocket launches as it’s a propellant. Liquid oxygen is being diverted to hospitals as they run low on oxygen supplies for COVID patients.

Denmark plans to lift virtually all COVID restrictions in September. Denmark has fully vaccinated over 70% of its population.

A judge in Cook County initially denied a mother visitation rights with her son secondary to her refusal to be vaccinated. He later reversed his position.

We are still having to air-lift patients very far from home to secure needed hospital beds—this is very, very scary. It is not a good time for anyone to need hospital treatment in this country:

Delta appears to have some capacity for immune evasion, making previous infection with the wild-type virus more effective than vaccination in some cases. Previous infection with the 2003 SARS virus also appears to confer some protection.

Japan has had big problems with particulate contamination of their Moderna vaccines. Over 2 million doses have been suspended as the problem is investigated.

New antibody therapies stemming from those who had SARS back in the day might help with COVID now:

Cases are beginning to wane in the United States but school start could reverse that trend:

The US has been removed from the EU’s Safe Travel List because of COVID numbers.