News roundup for Tue, Apr 6, 2021

Rates of reproductive harm by industrial and environmental contaminants are growing. Some projections seem almost hyperbolic—half of people will need clinical help to conceive in two decades? But folks have been studying this for decades, and the trends are very concerning. It’s tough to address in everyday life because plastic and plasticizers are ubiquitous and they’re not the only chemicals responsible for this mess.

If you’re eligible for COBRA because of job loss or hours reduction, you’re probably eligible for FREE COBRA, which started this month–free health insurance for up to six months!

The coup d’état in Myanmar could lead to all-out civil war—some would argue that the military has been waging a civil war in the country for decades. In any case, the military (which is now in control) continuously shuts off the country’s internet. The UN says the military is using violence against peaceful protesters and citizens. Thousands of refugees are fleeing to other countries.

Things aren’t looking great for Ukraine right now. The Russian military buildup is quite large. The last time this happen, Russia annexed Crimea. It’s unclear what will happen now—Ukraine is not part of NATO, and nobody wants large-scale war defending Ukraine from Russia:

Radioactive wastewater is posing a very real threat of spill and contamination in Florida:

The world has almost 132.4 COVID cases.  The world has gained 3.7 million cases in a week. There have been over 2.87 million deaths in total. The US has had nearly 31.5 million cases. Over 569,000 Americans have died. The US gained 47,000 cases since yesterday. There have been only 404 deaths in the US in the last day, which is a good sign. Brazil leads the world in deaths per day, with over 1,600:

So far pharma companies haven’t released their patents for COVID vaccines. In the absence of modern-day Jonas Salks (and really, there should be a much larger global outcry about this), the next best thing might be Stanford scientists posting the whole mRNA gene sequence for the vaccine to Github. The process of making the vaccine is far too complex for anyone to make their own, sadly.

The US added almost one million jobs in March. Leisure, hospitality, and travel industries are heating back up again as nearly 1/3 of US residents have received at least their first COVID vaccine. The CDC says fully-vaccinated people can travel again, and it’s a good thing, too, because about one million people are flying per day in the US.

Concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clotting events continue. I remain unimpressed with a rate of 30 adverse events in over 18 million doses given, which is still far below baseline for large clots, far below clotting rates of those infected with COVID, and deaths orders of magnitude lower than we get in infected individuals.

See how well vaccination is going in your County with an interactive map.

Folks who don’t get big reactions to the vaccine often worry it’s not working. Don’t worry, it’s definitely working:

Cases are rising sharply in India:

Italy has mandated vaccines in its health care workers. It looks like we’re not able to do this in the US if the vaccines in question are approved under Emergency Use Authorization:

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