Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 48

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know. The more news, the better, because misinformation can be hazardous to your health right now.

Iceland lab’s testing suggests 50% of coronavirus cases have no symptoms (from CNN): “Crucially, deCODE’s “screening program accepts everybody who is not showing symptoms and not currently in quarantine,” Iceland’s Directorate of Health said in a statement, adding that Iceland-based company was doing it on the behalf of the Chief Epidemiologist and the health agency.”

A president unfit for a pandemic (from The Boston Globe): “The outbreak that began in China demanded a White House that could act swiftly and competently to protect public health, informed by science and guided by compassion and public service. It required an administration that could quickly deploy reliable tests around the nation to isolate cases and trace and contain the virus’s spread, as South Korea effectively did, as well as to manufacture and distribute scarce medical supplies around the country. It begged for a president of the United States to deliver clear, consistent, scientifically sound messages on the state of the epidemic and its solutions, to reassure the public amid their fear, and to provide steady guidance to cities and states. And it demanded a leader who would put the country’s well-being first, above near-term stock market returns and his own reelection prospects, and who would work with other nations to stem the tide of COVID-19 cases around the world.”

Staten Island Amazon worker who planned protest amid coronavirus is fired (from Staten Island Live): “The rally’s organizer, Chris Smalls, an employee at the facility, said he was fired today.

“Amazon would rather fire workers than face up to its total failure to do what it should to keep us, our families, and our communities safe,” said Smalls.”

Trump berates ‘PBS NewsHour’ reporter for ‘threatening’ question, hits ‘nice’ question out of park (from the Washington Post): “One reporter’s question was so nice, she got to ask it twice. The other question was so “threatening,” in Trump’s words, that he responded with an attempt at personal ridicule and then shut her down.

Not surprisingly, the flattering question came from Jenn Pellegrino of One America News Network, a right-wing channel favored by the president.”

Churchgoers all over world come to terms with physical distancing advice (from The Guardian): “The Russian Orthodox church had insisted that mayors could not close churches and that it would continue to “fulfil its pastoral duty” unless given an order from the Kremlin.

But later on Sunday the church’s leader, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, called on believers to refrain from visiting churches.”

Scientists found a secret in old Voyager 2 data. This is why we need to revisit Uranus and Neptune (from CNN): “Only one spacecraft has flown near Uranus and Neptune, the mysterious ice giant planets on the edge of our solar system.

Yet the wealth of data captured by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft some 34 years ago is still revealing tantalizing hints and reminding scientists of why we need to go back.”

The Postal Service Is Breaking Down (from The Nation): “As the coronavirus spreads throughout the United States, the Postal Service has struggled to maintain its crucial role in connecting the country, while also protecting its workers and customers. These challenges are not limited to disinfecting surfaces or social distancing, either: Many post offices have long been understaffed, and the coronavirus is poised to push an already overworked labor force to a breaking point. Without drastic action, the virus could soon threaten the Postal Service just when it’s needed most.”

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life (from The Guardian): “In the two months since that fateful day, the responses to coronavirus displayed by the US and South Korea have been polar opposites.

One country acted swiftly and aggressively to detect and isolate the virus, and by doing so has largely contained the crisis. The other country dithered and procrastinated, became mired in chaos and confusion, was distracted by the individual whims of its leader, and is now confronted by a health emergency of daunting proportions.”

Rand Paul Has More Than a Cold (from The Atlantic): “By yesterday afternoon, Paul had announced that he had tested positive. Graciously, he said that he would start self-quarantining.

Paul is exactly what we’ve been told to worry about. For all the laughing and hate-tweeting directed at spring breakers saying they don’t think the coronavirus is a big deal, they’re at worst dumb, selfish, underinformed 20-somethings. Paul is a medical doctor (he worked as an ophthalmologist before first being elected in 2012). He is a senator. He is an elected official. People look to him for leadership.”

The Kids Aren’t All Right (from The Atlantic): “The country has learned this lesson the hard way before. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina and the crucial failures of federal levees devastated the Gulf Coast and the city of New Orleans, a generation of young people bore the brunt of the long-term damage. The storm and the flood were only the first in a chain reaction that uprooted children from homes and communities, and evacuated many of them to brand-new places across the country. They lost family members and friends, endured bullying in new places, suffered high rates of homelessness and violence, and faced major disruptions in learning and support traditionally provided by school.”

This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus (from The Atlantic): “That’s not true. We can create a third path. We can decide to meet this challenge head-on. It is absolutely within our capacity to do so. We could develop tests that are fast, reliable, and ubiquitous. If we screen everyone, and do so regularly, we can let most people return to a more normal life. We can reopen schools and places where people gather. If we can be assured that the people who congregate aren’t infectious, they can socialize.

We can build health-care facilities that do rapid screening and care for people who are infected, apart from those who are not. This will prevent transmission from one sick person to another in hospitals and other health-care facilities. We can even commit to housing infected people apart from their healthy family members, to prevent transmission in households.

These steps alone still won’t be enough.”

How the Pandemic Will End (from The Atlantic): “Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.””

The Trump Presidency Is Over (from The Atlantic): “What I explained then, and what I have said many times since, is that Trump is fundamentally unfit—intellectually, morally, temperamentally, and psychologically—for office. For me, that is the paramount consideration in electing a president, in part because at some point it’s reasonable to expect that a president will face an unexpected crisis—and at that point, the president’s judgment and discernment, his character and leadership ability, will really matter.”

The Social-Distancing Culture War Has Begun (from The Atlantic): “This dynamic is playing out in small ways across the country. Bret, a sales representative from Plano, Texas, who asked that I not use his last name, proudly told me how unfazed he and his conservative neighbors were by the threat of an outbreak. In his view, the recent wave of government-mandated lockdowns was a product of panic-mongering in the mainstream media, and he welcomed Trump’s call for businesses to reopen by Easter.

When I asked whether the virus had interfered with his lifestyle, Bret laughed. “Oh, I’m going to the shooting range tomorrow,” he replied.”

On that note, we’ll finally put this to bed. Stay safe at home, everyone; together, we can beat this!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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