News roundup for Tue, May 4, 2021

The Senate has passed a large, bipartisan clean water act. The $35 billion dollar infrastructure bill aims to ensure that Americans consistently have access to clean, untainted water.

There’s a chlorine shortage. Some pool supply stores are imposing purchasing caps. Higher demand for pool activities mixed with a devastating chemical plant fire have created these conditions.

Homes in flood zones are terribly overvalued (by over $40 billion in the US) and are dangerous for residents. Markets should discourage development in flood zones and other hazardous areas and incorporating climate risk into analysis could help achieve this.

Gas prices are rising unceasingly in some areas of the country, driven by tanker-driver shortages:

Lumber prices have skyrocketed. Sawmill closures during the pandemic seem to be the cause:

Americans are consuming so much chicken that restaurant chains are scrambling to keep up. Now, I can live without chicken if I must, but not coffee. I can deal with austerity in many arenas of life—but not when it comes to coffee. Let’s hope this is a relatively isolated and transient problem:

Warren Buffet says inflation is starting to take hold in an economy revving back up.

Intel is building out more chip fabrication plants which will bring much needed jobs and increased tech self-reliance with it.

The world has over 154.1 milllion COVID cases.  The world has gained 5.7 million cases in a week. There have been over 3.2 million deaths in total. The US has had over 33.2 million cases. Over 591,000 Americans have died. The US has gained over 37,000 cases since yesterday. There have been 416 deaths in the US in the last day. India leads the world in deaths per day, with over 3,400 in the last day. India has also gained over 300,000 new cases per day for nearly two weeks. The world is essentially experiencing a second dramatic peak:

Hundreds of colleges and universities in the US are going to require students to be vaccinated to attend this fall:

Fewer hospitalized COVID patients are dying in the US. Daily deaths in the US are trending down as well:

The mRNA vaccines appear to be protective against the Indian variant:

DC bans dancing at weddings? What if people are fully vaccinated?

Vaccine hesitancy could throw a wrench in the herd immunity cogs. It’s possible that the virus could become endemic and worsen each winter. It’s important to push for broad vaccination through the summer and fall months.

Pfizer may get an EUA for its COVID vaccine for use in kids 12-15 as soon as next week:

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