Indy Digest: May 26, 2022
This Indy Digest intro was supposed to be about monkeypox.
It was more or less written in my head. I was going to talk about the disease, and all the coverage it’s been getting as of late—even though, barring something highly unforeseen, the threat it poses to the vast, vast majority of people is almost zero—and then conclude with an argument that all this coverage is actually a GOOD thing, because it shows we may have learned some sort of lesson from the lack of attention SARS-CoV-2 received at first.
Then Tuesday came, and brought with it yet another horrific school shooting. (I almost typed “unfathomable.” But that’s incorrect. How can something be unfathomable if it keeps happening?)
And now … I got nuthin’, folks.
Yeah, I have opinions. I have thoughts. I have a lot of emotions—but I really have nothing to add that hasn’t been said.
I’ll just say one thing: The talking points coming from some within the no-gun-control-whatsoever crowd are sickening. The gist I’ve heard is that mental illness is what caused this, and therefore, there’s nothing that can be done.
No. That’s not acceptable.
Things CAN be done and MUST be done. And if you’re not willing to take action—like, say, universal background checks, for starters—or at least TRY, in the aftermath of 19 dead grade-schoolers and two dead teachers, you’re evil. Period.
From the Independent
Restaurant News Bites: Get Ready for Restaurant Week; Certified Farmers’ Markets Manager Says Goodbye
By Charles Drabkin
May 24th, 2022
The latest restaurant news, including cookies in Palm Desert; a new home for Cork and Fork; and more!
Touring, Not TikTok: Please Do Not Send The Nude Party, Coming to The Alibi, Pictures of Your Erections
By Matt King
May 26th, 2022
The Nude Party provides a high-energy and enjoyable set, which you catch when they perform at The Alibi in Palm Springs on Friday, June 17.
By Jimmy Boegle
May 25th, 2022
The element of this sea bass dish that propelled it from decent to divine was the green curry-coconut sauce.
By Matt King
May 25th, 2022
The Witches of Mars is a concept band, and debut EP The Passenger kicks off the story.
May 26th, 2022
Topics tackled on this week’s comics page include sliceable milk, the NRA, basketball tickets, toasters, and more!
• Related: Did you know the National Rifle Association was, at one point … reasonable? A political science professor, writing for The Conversation, says: “The organization initially leaned on government support, which included subsidies for shooting matches and surplus weaponry. These freebies, which lasted until the 1970s, gave gun enthusiasts a powerful incentive to join the NRA. The NRA played a role in fledgling political efforts to formulate state and national gun policy in the 1920s and 1930s after Prohibition-era liquor trafficking stoked gang warfare. It backed measures like requiring a permit to carry a gun and even a gun purchase waiting period. And the NRA helped shape the National Firearms Act of 1934, with two of its leaders testifying before Congress at length regarding this landmark legislation. They supported, if grudgingly, its main provisions, such as restricting gangster weapons, which included a national registry for machine guns and sawed-off shotguns and taxing them heavily. But they opposed handgun registration, which was stripped out of the nation’s first significant national gun law.”
• And now, finally, I can talk about monkeypox. Our partners at Calmatters break down the status of the disease in California, where the total number of cases is … one: “‘It’s absolutely 100% not going to be the next COVID-19,’ said Dr. George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. ‘It’s a-difficult-to-transmit disease and it’s not a particularly severe disease.’ What makes COVID-19 so dangerous is that it can spread easily through the air. This isn’t the case with monkeypox. The coronavirus was also novel; monkeypox isn’t. In 2003, six U.S. states — not including California — reported 71 monkeypox cases to the CDC. In that instance, most people were exposed to infected prairie dogs. Two children were hospitalized, but recovered.”
• Some disturbing news about COVID-19 from a VA study via The Washington Post: “A large U.S. study looking at whether vaccination protects against long COVID showed the shots have only a slight protective effect: Being vaccinated appeared to reduce the risk of lung and blood clot disorders, but did little to protect against most other symptoms. The new paper, published Wednesday in Nature Medicine, is part of a series of studies by the Department of Veterans Affairs on the impact of the coronavirus, and was based on 33,940 people who experienced breakthrough infections after vaccination. The data confirms the large body of research that shows vaccination greatly reduces the risk of death or serious illness. But there was more ambiguity regarding long COVID.”
• That followed up some more bad news about long COVID that came out a couple days before. The New York Times explains: “One in five adult COVID survivors under the age of 65 in the United States has experienced at least one health condition that could be considered long COVID, according to a large new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among patients 65 and older, the number is even higher: one in four. In an indication of how seriously the federal health agency views the problem of long COVID, the authors of the study — members of the C.D.C.’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team — recommended ‘routine assessment for post-COVID conditions among persons who survive COVID-19.’”
• Cases are spiking so much that we’re having papers like The Los Angeles Times again publish articles with headlines like “With California hit by new coronavirus wave, time to start wearing masks? Limit gatherings?” A snippet: “Unlike in earlier waves of the pandemic that were marked by defined limitations on what people could do and how businesses could operate, officials have not demonstrated an appetite for renewed restrictions, unless hospitalizations dramatically worsen. But it’s still important for residents to take action to reduce their infection risk, experts say — both to avoid potentially serious health consequences and reduce the chance of contracting long COVID, in which symptoms of illness, including fatigue and brain fog, can persist for months or years.”
• So here’s where we are at: The state is having to force insurance companies into covering some homeowners—who have taken proper precautions—because of all the wildfires. Our partners at CalMatters explain: “In response to wildfires that have blazed across the state, some Californians have spent thousands of dollars trying to fireproof their homes—often at the urging of state and local officials—to reduce their risk of burning. But some have confronted an unpleasant reality: Taking those steps doesn’t prevent their premiums from ballooning, or keep them from being dropped by their insurance company. Now the California Department of Insurance has proposed new rules that would require insurance companies to take homeowners’ preventative steps into account when setting premiums. The rules would also require companies to be more transparent about how they gauge a home’s wildfire risk. But some consumer groups are ringing alarms about what they see as loopholes that would leave homeowners stuck … with a fire-hardened home and a non-renewal letter. Insurance industry trade groups, on the other hand, worry that the rules are getting ahead of science, and that transparency requirements would expose intellectual property.”
• And finally, lets end with a happy story: The Associated Press reports: “A couple hundred people grabbed their pool noodles and headed to a Nebraska park again this weekend to battle over the right to the name Josh. The event started as an online joke when Josh Swain from Tucson, Arizona, sent out a tweet challenging anyone who shared his name to fight over it. After it took on a life of its own, Swain turned it into a real event last year at the random coordinates he included in his original note, which happened to be in Lincoln, Nebraska. … Several of the competitors this year donned costumes, including masks, animal suits and football helmets, before heading out to Bowling Lake Park. But that wasn’t enough to dethrone 5-year-old Josh Vinson Jr., who defended his title as the No. 1 Josh. Saturday’s event raised nearly $21,000 for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, and the owners of the Josh Cellars wine label pledged to match that amount with a donation of their own.”
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