The US is desperately short on blood. People are dying in hospitals from a lack of blood supply. Please consider donating. If folks tell me in the comments they’re going to go donate, I will pop on that n95 and go donate in solidarity, too.
A volcano in Tonga erupted in spectacular fashion this week. The plume was visible from space and was about the size of Germany. Shockwaves in the atmosphere were also visible from space. Tsunami warnings and advisories were widespread. My family was under a tsunami advisory from this as well, although nothing occurred in the vicinity where I live. Tonga’s communication lines were severed and countries are still assessing the fallout:
This animation shows the short-term atmospheric response to the eruption from the Hunga Tonga volcano, based on GOES West satellite data. Each frame shows the 10-minute change in satellite data. The leading wave has been observed in surface pressure readings all over the world https://t.co/GCqo1OtVld
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) January 17, 2022
Russia continues with aggressive rhetoric as the military asset buildup near Ukraine continues. The Defense Minister of the UK has written a blunt summary of Russia’s aims here—including the aim to discourage countries from volitionally joining NATO. Farcically, both the US and Russia are making claims that the other has plans for false flag attacks in Ukraine:
News: The Biden administration is dismissing Russia's threat of military deployments to Cuba and Venezuela as "bluster," but warns of a decisive response if Moscow follows through. (w/ @ngameztorres) https://t.co/2LsAzUTRUY
— Michael Wilner (@mawilner) January 13, 2022
FedEx wants anti-missile lasers on some of its planes so it can more safely fly crews and cargo over dangerous or contested areas. I find this development slightly disturbing. People are going to get their Shein hauls come missiles or no missiles! Sarcasm helps me process headlines like this.
There was a massive chlorine chemical fire in New Jersey a few days ago. Folks were told to close their windows but were not evacuated. Of note, if there is a chlorine chemical fire or spill in your neighborhood, LEAVE whether authorities tell you to or not. Winds can shift and chlorine gas is exceptionally deadly:
Latest from the chemical warehouse fire in Passaic. Mayor tells me no injuries reported. Two large chemical companies are burning. One makes Chlorine. Again, residents asked to keep their windows closed. @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/HWZOZsZwwj
— Nick Caloway (@NickJCaloway) January 15, 2022
I’m still keeping my eyes on the avian flu. It’s still spreading:
The deadly avian flu that I wrote about last week in Israel that killed all those cranes and has torn through Europe?
Yeah it was just found in a wild bird in the U.S. That's the first time the H5 avian flu has been found here since 2016.https://t.co/ExJ2ToofNv
— Dina Fine Maron (@Dina_Maron) January 14, 2022
The White House plans to allocate monies towards the repair of tens of thousands of bridges in the US. Infrastructure repair and maintenance are desperately needed, and I’m happy to see initiatives like this one.
The world has nearly 331.1 million COVID cases. The world has gained 20.8 million cases in the last week—the largest gain I’ve seen during this pandemic. There have been nearly 5.6 million deaths in total. The US has had about 67.5 million cases cumulatively. The US gained about 5.4 million cases in the last seven days. Over 874,000 Americans have died during the pandemic—over 12,000 in the last week. The US gained over 373,000 new cases on Sunday and over 323,000 by later afternoon Monday. Cases seem to be peaking in the US and are likely to start declining soon. The case decline is nice to visualize:
Leaders of the US Omicron case descent
(None are declining as rapidly as they ascended) pic.twitter.com/CfCv95uFvH
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 16, 2022
I don’t know how accurate case counts are going to be in the coming weeks:
👀 I’d love to understand why the federal government will no longer require hospitals to report the daily number of #COVID19 deaths as of February 2nd
— Jorge A. Caballero, MD (@DataDrivenMD) January 14, 2022
Two thirds of Poland’s pandemic advisors have quit, citing government failures to respond to their recommendations. Less than 58% of the population in Poland is fully vaccinated, and less than a quarter have received a booster dose. Over 100,000 have died of COVID in a population of fewer than 38 million people.
The White House is opening up a website for ordering free, at-home COVID tests starting Wednesday. Insurers are also now required to provide COVID tests or help to reimburse (in part) the costs of tests you now purchase. Here’s a breakdown of how that works. The process is not exactly easy. And getting the free tests shipped to you could take almost two weeks.
The White House has announced the website for free at-home test kits will be https://t.co/S8YWtBheDB
Orders will open up next Wednesday, 1/19
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) January 14, 2022
The CDC is a few years behind on recommending high quality masks. N95s offer the best protection, and I will make that recommendation public if the CDC won’t. The CDC is hesitant to tell people to wear an n95 because they’re afraid folks won’t prefer them. They are less comfortable and they’re harder to wear for long periods of time. But n95s are still the safest option if you’re going to be indoors near lots of other people:
The CDC conceded on Friday that cloth masks won't protect Americans against the coronavirus as effectively as surgical masks or respirators. In East Asia, where people have worn surgical masks in public for years, it was already common knowledge. https://t.co/Wwa54MIen1
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 15, 2022