News roundup for Tue, Sep 21, 2021

Has the supply chain disruption affected book production

Supply chain disruptions are hitting school lunch lines. Those relying on school breakfast and lunch programs should send along extra snacks with kids if at all possible.

65 container ships are now languishing off the coast of California. It gets worse and worse. Do your holiday shopping early, folks.

We are once again facing a possible debt default and government shut down. It would be a disastrous choice to default, so the debt ceiling is likely to be raised again (and again, and again, and again…). I wonder if they’ll ever mint that trillion-dollar coin?

Supply chain woes are hitting bookshelves. Book production and printing processes have been slowed and will be slowed for the rest of the year.

The Evergrande crisis is a slow-motion train wreck. It’s possible a soft landing can be engineered if the government steps in, and it’s also possible that it can be done more thoroughly than could even be attempted in the US. The company could face restructuring under government control. The stock market is starting to react.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands is erupting for the first time in decades. Thousands have been evacuated:

Some parts of Louisiana are still without power (or trash services) three weeks after Hurricane Ida.

The world has over 229.7 million COVID cases. The world has gained 3.7 million cases in the last week. There have been over 4.7 million deaths in total. The US has a cumulative 43 million cases. The US gained over 900,000 cases in the last seven days. Nearly 693,000 Americans have died during the pandemic. The US gained over 67,000 new cases on Sunday, and over 63,000 by late afternoon Monday. 1,600 people are dying per day in the US based on a 7-day average. The US, India, UK, and Turkey have the largest case gains over the last week. Hospitalizations in the US are on a downtrend:

The US reached a 4th wave peak of 2,000 deaths per day, although we’re down from that now:

Deaths are a lagging indicator and although hospitalizations are slowing in the US, deaths are still quite high:

The FDA opposes a broad recommendation for third vaccine doses, instead opting for more narrow recommendations of a third dose for those over 65, healthcare workers, teachers, and perhaps essential workers. Clear recommendations will be forthcoming.

Very few people are getting off-label third vaccine doses. This might be because ACIP has been actively discouraging the practice.

The healthcare costs of treating unvaccinated patients for COVID is astronomical. The US is spending billions of dollars in tertiary COVID care instead of much lower preventive, primary care. It stands to reason that spending some dough on vaccine outreach would pay for itself many times over.

Moderna is doing very well at preventing hospitalizations from COVID—better than Pfizer right now. It might be wise to get a third dose of Moderna (if possible) when third doses are rolled out.

Pfizer says its data on 5- to-11-year-olds is looking good. It’s possible the vaccine could be available to this age group by Halloween.

The US is easing some travel restrictions for vaccinated travelers from the EU, UK, and other countries. The US is tightening restrictions on unvaccinated nationals returning from overseas—COVID testing will be required.

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