Indy Digest: June 30, 2022
I am going to be completely honest, folks: The last two weeks have been pretty crappy.
On a personal level, I’ve been dealing with COVID-19. I am at the point where I am out of quarantine and feeling mostly better … but there’s this cough that just won’t go away. Half of me is grateful the COVID cases of my husband and me weren’t worse; another half of me is really just tired of coughing.
Branching out to the world at large … at this moment in time, I know more people who either currently have COVID-19, or are just getting over it, than at any other time during the pandemic. These BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants are contagious little buggers.
Then there’s the series of baffling, precedent-disregarding decisions that have oozed out of the U.S. Supreme Court. While the overturn of Roe v. Wade has gotten the lion’s share of the attention, the court has also severely weakened Miranda rights, diminished the recognition of Native Americans’ tribal sovereignty, allowed more people to carry concealed weapons and, today, significantly limited the Environmental Projection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions of power plants.
Anyway … I mention all of this for one reason, and one reason alone: A lot of you out there are probably feeling pretty similarly in terms of the last couple of weeks’ crappiness. If you are, I have one important thing to say to you:
Take some time to find some joy. Please.
All is not lost. You are alive in a world where there’s still a lot of pretty great stuff. Find whatever makes you happy—a hike in nature, a favorite movie, a delicious meal, a phone call with a loved one, whatever—and revel in it for a bit.
Life, as effed up as it can be a times, is meant to me lived. Find your joy. Revel in it. Take care of yourself—and you’ll be in a better, stronger place to deal with all the crappiness, too.
From the Independent
By Matt King
June 29th, 2022
For the last nine years, Adryon de León has split time between solo shows with a backing band, and performing as a lead vocalist for the unapologetically funky band Orgone.
By Kevin Carlow
June 28th, 2022
These are some of the better fruits and vegetables to use in cocktails, and the right ways to use them—as the mercury rises here in the desert, and we chase those precious electrolytes!
Sisterhood in the South: Desert Rose’s ‘Crimes of the Heart’ Is Funny and Poignant With a Touch of Melancholy
By Bonnie Gilgallon
June 30th, 2022
Groundbreaking back when it premiered in 1979, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Crimes of the Heart offers themes of domestic abuse and racism that still resonate today.
By Robert Victor
June 30th, 2022
A look at what the July skies have to offer.
June 30th, 2022
Topics touched upon via this week’s comics page include stupid names, delivering the goods, hamburgers, an impartial judiciary—and more!
• The national plan is for booster shots targeting the aforementioned BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants to be available come October. CNBC explains: “Dr. Peter Marks, head of the FDA’s vaccine division, said manufacturers should update their shots to target omicron BA.4 and BA.5 in addition to the original strain of the virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019. The FDA wants to update the booster shots to provide longer lasting protection ahead of the fall, when public health experts expect another wave of infection as immunity from the vaccines wanes and people head indoors — where COVID spreads more easily—to escape the cold. The two-dose primary vaccination series won’t immediately change, Marks said. In other words, people who are fully vaccinated will not start from scratch in the fall. They would simply receive an omicron shot to increase their protection against the virus. People who are not yet vaccinated will get two doses of the original vaccine first, and then likely a jab with the new version.”
• In other virus-related news: The Palm Springs Post talked to a local doctor about monkeypox, and she said the disease is here—and that there’s not a great system in place to deal with its possible spread: “Dr. Phyllis Ritchie, a board-certified infectious disease physician, said she saw a patient last week at her Palm Springs-based clinic, PS…Test, who reported a sore throat and other flu-like symptoms after attending LA Pride. The patient had gotten a letter from Los Angeles County saying they may have been exposed to monkeypox. That’s when the confusion started, she said, both for the patient and the medical professionals trying to help. ‘I don’t know exactly how to test,’ Dr. Ritchie explained Monday. ‘We haven’t been given exact guidelines on that. I know they did need to get a vaccine post-exposure, but when I reached Riverside County, they’re just not set up yet to administer the vaccine, which was disappointing.’ When the patient reached out to Riverside County for assistance, Dr. Ritchie said they were told to get the vaccine in Los Angeles County.”
• KESQ confirms that a Coachella Valley resident is the first confirmed monkeypox case in Riverside County: “Lee Rice, Eisenhower Health spokesperson, said the patient was treated at an Eisenhower facility. The county’s first probable case of monkeypox was announced by health officials. last week. County officials said the patient was a man, under the age of 60, located in eastern Riverside County. … On Wednesday, county health officials confirmed to News Channel 3 that they will be receiving monkeypox vaccines in the next few weeks.”
• Native American tribes could possibly provide some sort of work-around for abortions access … but they don’t seem to be wild about that idea and the messes that could develop as a result. Kaiser Health News says: “Rachael Lorenzo started hearing the questions several weeks ago from strangers on Twitter and reporters seeking interviews: Since Native American tribes are sovereign nations, with their own laws, could they offer abortion services on Native land within states that may soon outlaw abortion? And would they? … Lorenzo and other Indigenous abortion rights advocates say the questions have mostly come from non-Native people. The advocates said they hadn’t heard of any tribe or Indigenous organization advocating for opening clinics on tribal land to offer abortion services. Planned Parenthood, the nation’s leading provider of abortions, told KHN that it is not exploring this option and that such decisions should be left to Indigenous people. Any such plan would be fraught with legal, financial, and political hurdles, the advocates said. And they wondered why many people now asking about opening clinics on reservations didn’t seem interested in health care access there before abortion rights were threatened nationwide.”
• The latest supply-chain-related issue? Automobile quality. CNBC says: “New vehicle quality declined by 11% this year amid parts shortages, shipping snarls and global trade disruptions, according to J.D. Power’s 2022 Initial Quality Study. Buick, Dodge and Chevrolet topped the list while Volvo, Chrysler and Polestar landed in the bottom three. The 2022 Initial Quality Study found four times as many new models were worse than their segment averages. Disruptions such as a semiconductor chip shortage and personnel dislocations contributed to vehicle problems reaching a record high in the 36-year history of the study, J.D. Power said Tuesday.”
• Record-high has prices have led to higher credit-card holds. KTLA reports: “When gas prices originally started skyrocketing, gas stations increased the ‘hold amount’ for consumers who use credit or debit cards to pay for gas. That change could cost you more money if you can’t cover the hold. For example, the gas station may place a $100 hold on your card even if you’re only buying $50 worth of gas. The hold is to ensure consumers have the funds available to cover the total cost. It could take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days for the hold to be released. Visa and Mastercard are now allowing gas stations to place holds of up to $175 on their cards.”
• And finally … TikTok is in some degree of trouble after Buzzfeed exposed a serious foreign privacy breach. Buzzfeed says: “An FCC commissioner has asked Apple and Google to remove popular video platform TikTok from app stores days after a BuzzFeed News report showed how the company’s China-based employees repeatedly accessed data of American users despite the TikTok’s repeated denials over the years. ‘It is clear that TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data,’ Commissioner Brendan Carr wrote in his letter to Tim Cook and Sundar Pichai, the CEOs of Apple and Google, respectively. ‘TikTok is not just another video app,’ he added. ‘That’s the sheep’s clothing.’ Earlier this month, BuzzFeed News published a report after accessing leaked audio from more than 80 internal TikTok meetings that contained 14 statements from nine different TikTok employees showing that the company’s engineers in Beijing had accessed data of American TikTok users between September 2021 and January 2022. This leaked audio significantly corroborated previous reporting that suggested that China-based employees of TikTok parent company ByteDance did in fact access data of U.S. users.”
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