News roundup for Fri, Nov 12, 2021

Is vaccination protection already waning for the elderly

The internet went down briefly across wide swathes of the US this week but was restored relatively quickly:

The FDA has announced hundreds of drug shortages—everything from insulin to iron dextran to Narcan. Check with your pharmacies to make sure your next refill can be filled. If you run into trouble try filling your prescriptions at a large hospital outpatient pharmacy if you can as they’re more likely to be stocked than smaller facilities.

California continues to shutter nuclear power plants even when it struggles to keep the lights on during peak summer demand. Nuclear power, however controversial it is, is clean energy that will help keep the plant cool. I know that the containment of nuclear waste is a huge issue, but so is catastrophic climate change:

Inflation is still rising, and it’s biting into people’s spending power:

Because of the cost of food, fewer donations are being made to food banks. Demand for food banks is simultaneously increasing as families struggle to put affordable food on the table. It’s a concerning cycle.

The China Evergrande Group barely made its interest payments this week, narrowly missing default. A number of news outlets announced it had defaulted, but that turned out not to be true. But it still may be true in the near future. See this thread:

In more “conflicting headline news” there’s this doozy:

A urea shortage is impacting diesel-run vehicles. Urea is used in Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) which helps reduce smog-producing chemical emissions. Some vehicles won’t run without DEF. In response, some countries are going to great measures to help keep things running smoothly:

You can search the Environmental Working Group’s database to see how contaminated tap water is in your area. You can search by zip code. It lists the contaminants found for each relevant water district/company and whether or not that water provider is operating within legal contamination limits. It’s also a good reminder that legal does not necessarily equal safe.

A little girl recently saved her family from carbon monoxide poisoning by thinking fast and calling 911 and neighbors to help her:

The world has 252.6 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3.3 million cases in the last seven days. There have been over 5 million deaths in total. The US has had a cumulative 47.7 million cases—nearly 500,000 cases were added in the last seven days. Over 780,000 Americans have died—over 7,600 in the last week. The US added nearly 94,000 new cases on Wednesday and nearly 1,500 deaths that day as well. The US is trending back up in case gain and is still leading global daily case gain.

Deaths among the double vaccinated elderly (in England) are on the rise as antibodies wane. Uptake on third doses is lower than anticipated in the US—encourage folks who are eligible to get their third jab, especially if elderly.

Nosocomial COVID infections of hospital patients (the spread of COVID to patients who did not come in with COVID), and incidental COVID in already sick patients (people who tested positive because they were exposed just before entering the hospital) are proving to be deadly infections indeed:

That respiratory thing that just burned through Europe and the US? The one where all the tests were negative but the symptoms were there? Might have been COVID:

Cases are rising again in the US. I’m hoping that this is because antibodies are waning, and not because of overwhelming seasonality trends. And I hope that because if its antibodies, we can vaccinate our way out with boosters and kids getting their first dose:

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