News roundup for Tue, May 18, 2021

Demands are up, supplies are down, shortages are everywhere, and the US economy is revving fast. We’re hoping for transient inflation, here. The imbalance between supply, demand, and rising prices is putting pressure on businesses. Some business owners find themselves panic buying business supplies–it’s not just individuals panic-buying anymore. Companies are doing it to fulfill back orders or in anticipation of the rising prices of materials.

There are global calls for ceasefire between Israel and Palestine, but I’m not confident a ceasefire is imminent:

A building housing journalists from the Associated Press and Al Jazeera (among other agencies) has been razed in Gaza by an airstrike:

The US Army is operationalizing opportunities and assessing threats posed by climate change:

It’s a good thing that the Army is recognizing climate change, because look at what’s coming for Russia… A giant heat wave! 86 degrees F in the Arctic Circle? Why not:

Over 11,000 gas stations are still struggling to get gas to the pumps after the Colonial Pipeline hack, despite restoration of the use of the pipeline:

The world has nearly 164.2 million COVID cases.  The world has gained 4.6 million cases in a week. There have been over 3.4 million deaths in total. The US has had over 33.7 million cases. Over 600,000 Americans have died. The US has gained over 21,000 cases since yesterday. Weekly case gain is declining in all 50 states. There have been 336 deaths in the US in the last day. India leads the world in deaths per day, with over 4,300 in the last day. India gained over 263,000 cases in the last day.

Delaying the second Pfizer shot elicits a greater immune response in the elderly:

Things aren’t looking spectacular in Japan, and I can only hope that the Olympics will be held there without spectators. It might be best not to hold the Olympics at all. Japan has been achingly slow to vaccinate, and they are already experiencing regional health care COVID saturation:

Keep your eyes on Singapore. Singapore seems to be having trouble with the variant from India. Only 22% of the population is fully vaccinated in Singapore. Alarmingly, Singapore also reports dozens of “breakthrough” infections (I’m using the term loosely, here) of the variant from India in vaccinated airport workers. Singapore has also closed schools, citing risk to children from the variant from India. It’s important to watch what happens here—is this an escape variant, or is the vaccination rate just too low? If the variant from India takes off in the US, will we see large numbers of unvaccinated children getting sick?

A tale of two (types of) cities:

India is one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. With COVID raging through the country, vaccine and vaccine-parts deployment to countries that rely on India are suffering. Africa is struggling to get second doses, and India’s struggle only makes Africa’s woes worse.

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