News roundup for Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Supply chain disruptions are hitting school lunch lines. Those relying on school breakfast and lunch programs should send along extra snacks with kids if at all possible.

65 container ships are now languishing off the coast of California. It gets worse and worse. Do your holiday shopping early, folks.

We are once again facing a possible debt default and government shut down. It would be a disastrous choice to default, so the debt ceiling is likely to be raised again (and again, and again, and again…). I wonder if they’ll ever mint that trillion-dollar coin?

Supply chain woes are hitting bookshelves. Book production and printing processes have been slowed and will be slowed for the rest of the year.

The Evergrande crisis is a slow-motion train wreck. It’s possible a soft landing can be engineered if the government steps in, and it’s also possible that it can be done more thoroughly than could even be attempted in the US. The company could face restructuring under government control. The stock market is starting to react.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands is erupting for the first time in decades. Thousands have been evacuated:

Some parts of Louisiana are still without power (or trash services) three weeks after Hurricane Ida.

The world has over 229.7 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3.7 million cases in the last week. There have been over 4.7 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 43 million cases. The US gained over 900,000 cases in the last seven days. Nearly 693,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. The US gained over 67,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 63,000 by late afternoon Monday. 1,600 people are dying per day in the US based on a 7-day average. The US, India, UK, and Turkey have the largest case gains over the last week. Hospitalizations in the US are on a downtrend:

The US reached a 4th wave peak of 2,000 deaths per day, although we’re down from that now:

Deaths are a lagging indicator and although hospitalizations are slowing in the US, deaths are still quite high:

The FDA opposes a broad recommendation for third vaccine doses, instead opting for more narrow recommendations of a third dose for those over 65, healthcare workers, teachers, and perhaps essential workers. Clear recommendations will be forthcoming.

Very few people are getting off-label third vaccine doses. This might be because ACIP has been actively discouraging the practice.

The healthcare costs of treating unvaccinated patients for COVID is astronomical. The US is spending billions of dollars in tertiary COVID care instead of much lower preventive, primary care. It stands to reason that spending some dough on vaccine outreach would pay for itself many times over.

Moderna is doing very well at preventing hospitalizations from COVID—better than Pfizer right now. It might be wise to get a third dose of Moderna (if possible) when third doses are rolled out.

Pfizer says its data on 5- to-11-year-olds is looking good. It’s possible the vaccine could be available to this age group by Halloween.

The US is easing some travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers from the EU, UK, and other countries. The US is tightening restrictions on unvaccinated nationals returning from overseas—COVID testing will be required.


  • 15 Comments

    • Karl Winterling

      It’s likely the debt ceiling will be raised on time in some way or another (with or without political concessions) because a default would hurt almost everyone. But remember that what made Lehman Brothers different was almost everyone thought it couldn’t fail because people made sure it wouldn’t. I hope Jerome Powell explicitly says he has a “just in case” game plan.

      Are some people stupid enough to make really bad decisions that hurt themselves and others or simply Chaotic Evil? Yes.

      I would maybe make some astute investing decisions and then bring out the popcorn assuming this is just those knuckleheads doing political theater. In the event that it does go south, I would prepare for a bug-in and civil unrest (I recommend peanut butter). One of the reasons a default is so unlikely is that people in charge are aware that certain events can pose a threat to social stability.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Karl Winterling

        They know that deliberately causing a recession during a pandemic would be a very bad call. I can’t imagine they’d do it. 

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      • My feeling is that most people regardless of political ideology simply want crises to be over with sooner rather than later and aren’t terribly invested in a specific political agenda (but idk, maybe a left-wing or right-wing plan of some sort would be better than trying to find common ground). I will probably vote a certain way no matter what because of my values, but in general it seems like most ordinary people agree on 80% and disagree on 20%, with the 20% about the “how.”

        So my feeling is people will concoct some ploy so that nobody presses the very attractive shiny large red button once they’ve gotten all the enjoyment they can get out of the button.

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      • Nonpartisan experts say a default is unlikely because the Budget Control Act of 1974 allows one reconciliation vote per fiscal year on taxes, one vote per fiscal year on spending, and one vote per fiscal year on the debt limit. The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget thinks default is unlikely.

        Politicians are not necessarily informed about various issues and it’s better to listen to people who know what they’re talking about.

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      • Thats got me thinking about China and Evergrande again, if that defaults it could be weaponised.

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    • Captain Peanut

      In response to the above mentioned [Moderna is doing very well at preventing hospitalizations from COVID—better than Pfizer right now. It might be wise to get a third dose of Moderna (if possible) when third doses are rolled out.]

      I got both rounds of Pfizer a few months ago and if I were to go get a third dose could I get a shot of Moderna, or are they not compatible? Maybe just thinking out loud here but I wonder if getting some of both companies would give me wider protection.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Captain Peanut

        You could get a third dose of a different vaccine but providers are not giving off-label doses and are waiting for the FDA/CDC/ACIP to give the green light first. 

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    • Bill Masen

      The volcano in gran canaria has been on my radar for over 20 years , since a couple of documentaries warned that structural faults and fissures along its flank could trigger an enormous land slip which in turn would create a massive tsunami that could do damage to Europe and the US east coast.

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      • Nick Bill Masen

        This was also the first thing I thought of when I saw this information.  Half of the island could potentially slide off into the ocean.  While, the odds of this are relatively low, it’s worth keeping a close eye on.

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      • Bed Bill Masen

        I did a lot of research into this recently, and it’s pretty overhyped/fearmongered. Research done after those documentaries said the original study was not only a worster case scenario, but is apparently impossible and/or highly, highly unlikely at this point and time. A lot of the research papers are cited on the Wikipedia articles for La Palma, Cumbre Vieja, etc.
        I think what spurred my research was seeing social media go into a frenzy, which tends to occur with things that’re over-exaggerated now that I think about it.

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    • CedarBloom

      Hi! Long time TP reader here.

      If you’re going to post about a health risk, how about 70% or more of the articles posted are on how to increase your health and general well-being?

      Topics like: Anger management techniques, ways to reduce stress (stress = reduced immune system functioning), building healthy intimate relationships, eating foods that boost the immune system and general well-being, using herbs and supplements that support natural health, etc… all these and more are invaluable to boosting the immune system and prepping for biological catastrophe.

      Covering articles about how to find a strong reason for living will save lives and, more importantly, make the saved lives worth living. You’ve said many times to invest in QUALITY not QUANTITY.

      So please help guide your viewers to find out for themselves how to increase the quality of their lives (with connection, love, sense of belonging, etc).

      Thank you!

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor CedarBloom

        Those are wonderful topics for health/wellness blog posts and/or site forum topics here on The Prepared. We’ll keep your recommendations in mind. If you have a particular passion for or interest in those topics, please also feel free to contribute. Forum posts are a great place to share your interests and knowledge with the community.

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      • My approach to COVID is pretty much:

        1. Vaccine.
        2. Social Distancing (less strict now that I’m vaccinated).
        3. Physical health for a better immune system.
        4. Reduce stress for a better immune system.

        I would say your attitude and mental health are a big part of being able to get through a crisis.

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