News roundup for Tue, Apr 20, 2021

The US is bracing for the possibility of a “not guilty” verdict in the Chauvin trial and the civil unrest that verdict would precipitate. Cities like Beverly Hills are placing concrete barriers on sidewalks. The National Guard is present in Minneapolis and has already faced danger in the form of a drive-by shooting.

There’s a gigantic typhoon near the Philippines, but it seems to be moving away from it slowly. We don’t normally get typhoons this big in April:

There are around 100,000 Russian troops stationed near the border with Ukraine. This is about 10% of Russia’s active force, and it’s more than they had when they annexed Crimea:

The Western US isn’t just facing drought, it’s facing a water shortage. Lake Mead is only 39% full, and it’s the largest reservoir we’ve got.  The Western US may face water delivery reductions as soon as next year. Farmers in Arizona will be the first to feel the pinch. Low water levels could also put Hoover Dam hydroelectric generation at risk:

It’s already dry, and it’s going to get drier. This year’s fire season is going to be ugly. If you live in fire season country, it’s a good time to update your go bags:

Coal miners are lobbying for a transition to greener jobs.

The world has almost 142.6 COVID cases.  The world has gained a staggering 5.4 million cases in the last week–one of the largest 7-day case gains we’ve seen. There have been over 3 million deaths in total. The US has had over 32.4 million cases. Over 581,000 Americans have died. The US has gained 49,000 cases since yesterday. There have been 464 deaths in the US in the last day. India now leads the world in deaths per day, with over 1,700, with Brazil not far behind with over 1,600. Cases are rising dramatically in India, Turkey, and South America:

Just to settle the hydroxychloroquine debate once and for all, a large meta-analysis of all its trials found hydroxychloroquine made COVID-19 patients 11% likelier to die.

People have been putting off routine office visits and care for chronic conditions, and cancer cases are rising because of it. People are showing up with far more advanced cancer cases than usual. The National Cancer Institute anticipates 10,000 excess deaths from untreated or undertreated cancers caused by pandemic-induced missed visits. Cancer isn’t the only problem—there will be excess deaths from other un- or undertreated chronic diseases as well.

Very, very few breakthrough infections are occurring in the vaccinated, fewer than 1/1000, and this is great news:

Everyone over 16 is now eligible for a vaccine in the US:

The US is going to revise its Do Not Travel list to roughly 80% of the globe as COVID case rise:

Meanwhile, we’re still vaccinating like hell. Cases are rising globally, but they’re plateauing here. Hospitalizations are down and deaths were on a downtrend in recent weeks and are holding relatively steady in the US. 25% of Americans are fully vaccinated, and we’re approaching 50% with partial vaccination. Let’s keep getting shots in arms!

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