It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your regularly scheduled 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.
‘No One Is Listening to Us’ (from the Atlantic): “Hospitals have put their pandemic plans into action, adding more beds and creating makeshift COVID-19 wards. But in the hardest-hit areas, there are simply not enough doctors, nurses, and other specialists to staff those beds. Some health-care workers told me that COVID-19 patients are the sickest people they’ve ever cared for: They require twice as much attention as a typical intensive-care-unit patient, for three times the normal length of stay. “It was doable over the summer, but now it’s just too much,” says Whitney Neville, a nurse based in Iowa. “Last Monday we had 25 patients waiting in the emergency department. They had been admitted but there was no one to take care of them.” I asked her how much slack the system has left. “There is none,” she said.”
Why the Myths of Plymouth Dominate the American Imagination (from Smithsonian Magazine): “In fact, much of what Americans associate with “the Pilgrims” is the product of centuries of mythologizing, beginning with making Native Americans part of the European story rather than the other way around. The English were far from the first Europeans to be seen in those regions; explorers, fishermen and traders had been passing through for a hundred years before, some of them kidnapping Native men. In 1614, an English ship captain took two dozen men from the area near the future Plymouth to sell as enslaved labor in Spain. One of them was the interpreter the Plilgrims would know as Tisquantum, or Squanto.”
Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won’t be ‘a walk in the park’ (from CNBC): “Both companies acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild Covid-19, such as muscle pain, chills and headache.
One North Carolina woman in the Moderna study who is in her 50s said she didn’t experience a fever but suffered a bad migraine that left her drained for a day and unable to focus. She said she woke up the next day feeling better after taking Excedrin but added that Moderna may need to tell people to take a day off after a second dose.”
A man without a tribe: The true story of Squanto (from the Cape Cod Times): “But Squanto’s enigmatic eloquence goes unquestioned and unexplained in many contemporary history texts, thus avoiding a more honest portrayal of him as the kidnapped, lost son of Patuxet, held hostage, spared of the plague, who returned as an orphaned Wampanoag.
His is such a seminal backstory to Plimoth Colony that the lack of historical reference to it is conspicuous. While Squanto avoided the Great Dying — an epidemic from 1616 to 1619 that wiped out tens of thousands of Natives from Maine to Cape Cod — his life was nonetheless tragic.”
52 Years Later, IBM Apologizes for Firing Transgender Woman (from the New York Times): “Ms. Conway was on the verge of such a breakthrough — working on the architecture team of a project centered on creating a computer that would work at top speed — when she began undergoing medical treatments. In early 1968, she told a supervisor that she was “undertaking a gender transition to resolve a terrible existential situation” she had faced since childhood, she wrote.
Her direct supervisors wanted her to stay at the company and came up with a plan: She would take a leave from IBM, complete her transition and return as a new employee with a new identity, Ms. Conway said.
But company executives were alarmed, she said. Ms. Conway said she later learned that IBM executives feared “scandalous publicity” if her story got out.”
Attorney heading up Trump campaign’s Wisconsin recount effort is seeking to throw out his own vote (from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel): “Christ Troupis, another representative for Trump’s campaign and the brother of Jim Troupis, told the Dane County Board of Canvassers on Friday when the recount began that it should eliminate all in-person early votes; all mailed-in absentee ballots if written applications for them could not be tracked down; all votes submitted by those who say they are indefinitely confined; and all absentee ballots where clerks wrote in the addresses of witnesses.”
Dinosaurs would have continued to thrive had it not been for the asteroid, researchers say (from CNN): “The University of Bath researchers say that, after looking at a greater number of dinosaur groups, their more up-to-date and detailed family trees show that dinosaurs on every continent were in fact flourishing, with plant-eating animals such as hadrosaurs, ceratopsians and ankylosaurs dominant in North America, and carnivorous abelisaurs continuing to thrive in South America.”
False reports claim election servers were seized in Germany (from the Associated Press): “George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign adviser who pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, tweeted on Friday afternoon: “Breaking: Congressman Louie Ghomert has stated that The U.S. Army has seized servers for Dominion in Germany.”
When asked by The Associated Press if the Army had engaged in an operation to recover servers in Germany, an Army spokesperson responded Saturday, “Those allegations are false.”
Scytl also refuted the claim. As the false conspiracy spread online, the company released a statement Friday titled, “Fact Checking Regarding US Elections: Debunking Fake News.””
Cautious Optimism in America Under Biden (from Splice Today): “Meanwhile, Trump was rolling back protections for LGBTQ people, locking children in cages at the border, banning Muslims from entering the country, and saying there were “good people on both sides” at Charlottesville. All my hopes for a strong anti-Trump resistance movement died a year after Trump’s inauguration. Calling senators and representatives didn’t work. Conversations with the other side didn’t work. Punching Nazis didn’t work. Everyone was too busy shouting at each other on the Internet. Democracy wasn’t dying in darkness, but in apathy and helplessness.”
COVID-19 cases are surging in America. What I saw there helps explain why (from ABC.net): “On the weekend before the election, I visited a solidly Republican area of Pennsylvania centred around the historic town of Gettysburg. Masks were pretty sparse there too.
Visiting the relatively crowded local Republican Party campaign office, I counted only one volunteer sporting a mask.
None of the people there seemed too worried about how wildly infectious the disease was.
My cameraman colleague Toby and I got what we needed, then cleared out as soon as we could.”
That’s all for today. But I’ll be back next week with more articles you might want to read. Until then, have a great Thanksgiving and happy reading!