News roundup for Tue, Jan 25, 2022

There’s been a massive deployment of Russian war ships, and their path towards the Black Sea is evident. Tensions continue to mount between Russia and the West, and the US seems to be operating as if conflict over Ukraine might happen.  Canada is loaning Ukraine monies to help in a defense effort. The US Administration is weighing whether it will deploy assets to the region or not. The US is also drawing down embassy staff in the area:

American markets are responding:

Black-eyed peas help with nitrogen fixation in soils and are a great addition to gardens when chemical fertilizers and amendments are scarce. Alternating these legumes with other crops can help boost plant health and harvests.

In dystopian fashion the District of Columbia, trying to stave off panic-buying, has the following message for us:

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are still up to their elbows in backlogged barges, and now they’re getting hammered by COVID, too:

The volcanic eruption in Tonga may have contributed to an oil spill near Peru. Peru has called for help in cleaning up the mess, caused by a ruptured underwater pipeline.

Big Sur is on fire and there have been some evacuations. Highway 1 is closed in both directions as the wildfire continues to rage. The fire is about 35% contained.

In some good news, a novel California jobs corps will help needy college kids earn good money for community work.

In more good news, drone-deployed defibrillators are successfully saving people and reaching people who need them within minutes.

The world has nearly 354.5 million COVID cases. The world has gained 23.4 million cases in the last week—another large gain. There have been over 5.6 million deaths in total. The US has had about 72.6 million cases cumulatively. The US gained about 5.1 million cases in the last seven days. Over 891,000 Americans have died during the pandemic—over 17,000 in the last week. The US gained over 371,000 new cases on Sunday and over 336,000 by later afternoon Monday. Case gains in this most recent Omicron wave are plateauing in general and falling in many states:

Alabama is not looking so hot with regard to COVID—test positivity is upwards of 45%.

Throat swabs alone are NOT superior to nasal swabs with Binax tests, but throat swabs followed by nasal swabbing are a good method for testing. Rapid antigen testing for kids is holding up as a robust way to determine COVID status—and it’s faster and more convenient than PCR testing.

Californians have written up a bill proposing to allow kids 12 and over to request any FDA-approved or recommended vaccine they’re eligible for without needing parental consent. There’s already some precedent for this in the state as minors 12 and older are already granted control over some reproductive healthcare decisions.

I’ve seen remdesivir help COVID patients turn the tide—I’m glad to see the expansion of its use to the non-hospitalized:

Non-US citizens crossing borders will need to show proof of vaccination. It’s laudable and probably necessary, but it could impact trucking logistics:

Long-COVID in kids is a huge problem, and it’s not being talked about enough–and I know this from the rates of vaccinations in kids:

A patent-free COVID vaccine could help the globe put this pandemic to bed. Corbevax can also be stored in a regular refrigerator, which makes logistics for this vaccine more promising than those requiring very cold storage temperatures.


    • brownfox-ffContributor

      What you can do about it:

      • Take a deep breath.
      • Unplug from constant news media.
      • Focus on one thing you can control.
      • Get back to basics. Sometimes it helps to return and approach with the mind of a beginner. What are your goals? Do you have a core plan?
      • Think about a garden. In addition to Black Eyed Peas, are there other helpful plants or perennials you could sow?
      • Keep building your pantry. Slow and steady wins this race. Track the foods that you enjoy eating; watch for sales; pick up an extra can.
      • Prepare for wildfires. If you’re in a wildfire zone, it’s good to be ready in advance.
      • Check your first aid kit. Do you know what you have? Do you know how to use it?
      • Consider a first aid course.
      • Consider avoiding risky acts. Now is a great time to not need to go to the hospital. Drive defensively. Be careful or get help when working with ladders, chemicals, or machinery. Perhaps delay your chainsaw juggling lessons.
      • Get your vaccine or booster shot.
      • Get some exercise

      Good luck out there.

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      • Colorado Jones brownfox-ff

        Drat!  Postponing the new chain saw juggling hobby for another month . . . 

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      • brownfox-ffContributor Colorado Jones

        Seems wise!

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      • GB brownfox-ff

        Love these helpful notes. They are teaching me to do something similar with other facets of my life – rather than be overwhelmed, what steps can I take in my little patch to mitigate against my anxiety and stress over a situation that I really can’t control.

        I was going to try chainsaw juggling lessons while my sword swallowing course was put on hold, but I guess I’ll just have to look at something else… 😛

        Thanks for posting them Brownfox. They help a lot.

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      • brownfox-ffContributor GB

        Hello. Thank you for the kind words. I am very glad if the prompts are helpful.

        Kudos on taking more control of your own thoughts, and working toward positive steps for success. That is commendable. Great work.
        Often that seems like the best path to success for any of us.

        Good luck with your steps.

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    • Bill Masen

      Its becoming pretty clear that Germany is not going to play its full roll in NATO over this Russia / Ukraine issue. Its because Germany is about 90% reliant on Russian natural gas.

      First they have banned other allied nations who have bought German made weapons like Artillery from donating them to the Ukrainian military. And now they have banned British aircraft from overflying Germany to get to the Ukraine with military supplies.

      As a Brit I would think it best if America and the UK stand aside and let the Europeans sort themselves out of this mess. most of them have failed to meet their fair share of NATO defence spending and just as many are very reluctant to say no to Russia.  Personally I do not think europe is worth the loss of any of our military forces lives.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Bill Masen

        I see Germany’s choice to shutter nuclear power and become reliant on Russian gas as exceedingly short-sighted. They’ve painted themselves into a corner. 

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      • Bill Masen Stephanie Arnold

        Unless of course Germany and Russia have plans to carve up the UK and the baltic states AGAIN  ( yes I’m a cynic)

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    • TraceContributor

      Our family appreciated the advice—found here—to use throat swabs in addition to nose swabs. Unfortunately, despite our best attempts, our family of 4 all tested positive for Covid this past weekend. Due to vaccinations, mild cold like symptoms, but the tests showed us what we needed to know to be able to quarantine properly. 

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