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:
BREAKING: The U.S. State Department has ordered the families of all American personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine to leave the country amid heightened fears of a Russian invasion. https://t.co/uZrsOLhiRe
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 23, 2022
American markets are responding:
North American markets plunge amid growing concerns about a military conflict in Eastern Europe if Russia attacks Ukraine. Dow down about 800 points (2.4%) in early afternoon trading, S&P 500 off 125 (2.9%) while TSX loses 700 (3.3%).
— CBC News Alerts (@CBCAlerts) January 24, 2022
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:
If you're hitting the grocery store to prepare for winter weather, please just buy what you need and leave some for others!
You may have noticed empty shelves in some stores due to national supply chain issues, but there is no need to buy more than you normally would. pic.twitter.com/RcCNNa4Zj4
— DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management (@DC_HSEMA) January 15, 2022
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:
"Hundreds of dockworkers, who have logged long hours for more than a year to clear the backlog of ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been sidelined recently as the omicron variant of the coronavirus sweeps through their ranks, officials said this week." #ILWU https://t.co/ZzT0UUud7i
— ILWU Coast Longshore Division (@ilwulongshore) January 20, 2022
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.
— Public News Service (@PNS_News) January 24, 2022
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:
The Omicron wave in the US 4 most populous states (~1/3rd of the population)
All but one (TX) are showing solid signs of descent pic.twitter.com/5VGpKINJVv
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) January 24, 2022
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:
The FDA has expanded the use of remdesivir to patients who are not hospitalized. The infused antiviral, which has been widely used for hospitalized Covid patients, is now approved for high-risk patients who aren't sick enough to be hospitalized https://t.co/LwLaQVMBaO
— delthia ricks 🔬 (@DelthiaRicks) January 22, 2022
Non-US citizens crossing borders will need to show proof of vaccination. It’s laudable and probably necessary, but it could impact trucking logistics:
NEW: Beginning Saturday, January 22, DHS will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the U.S, via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for #COVID19 and provide related proof of vaccination.
— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) January 20, 2022
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:
— Diana Zicklin Berrent 🧣 (@dianaberrent) January 24, 2022
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.