Daily Digest: Feb. 10, 2021
I’ve been doing these Daily Digests now for 11 months—my, how the time flies when you’re having a crippling pandemic—and it’s been fascinating to watch the reader statistics change over time.
MailChimp, the service we use for the newsletter version of the Digest, keeps detailed stats on what percentage of recipients open each one, on which links get clicked, and so on. And in recent months, something fascinating has happened: The percentage of people who open and peruse each Daily Digest has been going up—whereas the percentage of links clicked has been going down.
You may have noticed that over the last few months, the summaries for each of the stories we linked to have gotten longer … and, well, that’s why: I figure that if you aren’t clicking on the links as much, it’s best to give you a little bit more information here.
My guess—and this is just a guess—is that news fatigue has been setting in. As a collective whole, y’all have come to appreciate the Daily Digest as a resource for knowing what’s going on—and I thank you for that—but you’re not crazy about the idea of clicking to read more.
If it is indeed news fatigue, I don’t blame you; between COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter protests, the election, the insurrection and all else, it’s been a humdinger of (not quite yet) a year. If I could read less news, I would, too—but y’all have given me a job to do.
From the Independent
Ignoring the Underserved: The State Initially Left Clinics That Serve Low-Income Californians Off the Vaccine List
By Caitlin Antonios, CalMatters
February 10, 2021
A Los Angeles network of community clinics had a plan to administer thousands of vaccine doses each week. But state officials said they’d have to […]
‘Remember Annie’: An Excerpt From Manuel Padilla Jr.’s ‘Coconut: Brown on the Outside, White on the Inside’
By Manuel Padilla Jr.
February 10, 2021
Set in the San Fernando Valley, Coconut examines the lives of the Rodrigos, a second/third generation Mexican-American family. The novel opens with the young protagonist […]
And Now, the News
• A new COVID-19 vaccination site will be opening at the Palm Springs Convention Center. It’s going to be a joint effort of the county, the city of Palm Springs and Curative, Inc. It’ll open for limited operations on Friday, and will be open starting next week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, according to a county news release. I will be part of a media tour, taking place tomorrow (Thursday), of the happenings there; watch CVIndependent.com for details on that.
• As of this writing, some county vaccine-clinic appointments for people age 65 and up are open in Perris, Menifee and Beaumont. Head to and/or bookmark rivcoph.org/COVID-19-Vaccine-with-Registration
• Here’s the latest Riverside County District 4 COVID-19 report. (District 4 is the Coachella Valley and areas eastward.) Again, the numbers are trending in the right direction but remain way too high. Please don’t be desensitized to the fact that 25 of our neighbors died from this damned virus during the week ending Feb. 7. As I have said before … how huge of a deal would it have been one year ago if something had killed 25 Coachella Valley residents at once?
• From the News-That’s-Not-At-All-Surprising-But-It-Serves-As-A-Reminder-That-We-All-Must-Remain-Diligent File: More SARS-CoV-2 variants, including that scary one from the U.K., have been officially found here in Riverside County. The Press-Enterprise says: “In an emailed statement, Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Riverside County’s public health officer, said the arrival of the B117 variant in the county was ‘inevitable.’ ‘But it doesn’t change the need for people to take precautions with facial coverings, social distancing and good hygiene,’ he said. ‘It works for other things and it works for this, too.'”
• And the even-scarier variant from South Africa has been found in California. As explained by the Los Angeles Times, the governor announced today that cases were found in two Bay Area counties: “The announcement comes amid growing concern that variants of the coronavirus, some of which are believed to be more contagious, may be spreading with increased frequency at a time when California is still digging out from the devastation of its winter surge.”
• The second day of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial was quite dramatic, largely due to previously unreleased footage showing how shockingly close Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Mitt Romney and others were to being found by the violent throng. Graphic footage of the domestic terrorists assaulting Capitol Police officers was also shown. The Washington Post’s live-coverage page is a good place to catch up on the day’s news—and watch that aforementioned footage.
• The former president may find himself in trouble in Georgia, too. The Associated Press reports: “A Georgia prosecutor said Wednesday that she has opened a criminal investigation into ‘attempts to influence’ last year’s general election, including a call in which President Donald Trump asked a top official to find enough votes to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state.”
• The CDC is now recommending double-masking. Per NPR: “The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionreleased new researchon Wednesday that found wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask offers more protection against the coronavirus, as does tying knots on the ear loops of surgical masks. Those findings prompted new guidance on how to improve mask fit at a time of concern over fast-spreading variants of the virus. For optimal protection, the CDC says to make sure the mask fits snugly against your face and to choose a mask with at least two layers.”
• Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to say that schools should reopen soon, at least for the youngest students. According to SFGate: “‘I am of the firm belief that we can safely get our youngest children back into schools in small cohorts,’ Newsom said. … ‘K-2, K-6, we can get this done, and we must get this done if we care about equity, if we care about diversity, if we care about the values we preach, then we have to get our youngest kids back into in-person instruction, in-person environments where their social-emotional needs are being met, not just their intellectual and academic needs are being met.’ … Newsom said Tuesday he believes schools can reopen safely before every single person in the school is vaccinated.”
• Good news on the COVID-19 treatment front, as reported by Reuters: “Eli Lilly’s combination antibody therapy to fight COVID-19 has been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Lilly said on Tuesday. Lilly’s combination therapy of two antibodies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, helped cut the risk of hospitalization and death in COVID-19 patients by 70 percent, data from a late-stage trial showed in January. Lilly said the therapy will be available immediately.”
• Vaccinations for SARS-CoV-2 may very well become a regular thing—at least for the next several years—much like the flu shot is today. That’s what Johnson and Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC yesterday: “Public health officials and infectious disease experts have said there is a high likelihood that Covid-19 will becomean endemic disease, meaning it will become present in communities at all times, though likely at lower levels than it is now. Health officials will have to continuously watch for new variants of the virus, so scientists can produce vaccines to fight them, medical experts say.”
• If you want to learn more about the big-picture philosophies on how to battle COVID-19, a doctor has written about the pros and cons of each for MedPage Today: “There are two schools of thought for the future of COVID-19.#ZeroCOVIDis an emerging idea that all nations can nearly eliminate SARS-CoV-2 transmission, and occasional outbreaks can be rapidly dealt with by public health services. #HarmReductionis an alternate philosophy that emphasizes that the goal of policy is to minimize the harms of the virus, but #ZeroCOVID may not be possible. Imperfectly pursuing perfection can be worse than steadily pursuing good. Which is the best path forward? Does it vary by country?”
• Finally, The Washington Post delves into a topic discussed in this space last week: the fact that many of us are hitting the “pandemic wall.” A snippet: “(Ashley) Murcia had run headlong into the pandemic wall, a term popularized by New York Public Radio hostTanzina Vegato capture the particular and sudden feeling of spiritual and emotional exhaustion with life during COVID times. ‘Hitting the wall’ is a running metaphor, describing the phenomenon of suddenly running out of energy partway through a long race. And the pandemic has been a super-marathon: We’re heading toward Month 12, one complete lap around the calendar. ‘It kind of felt like I was just running until the end of the year, and that January time frame hit, and that wall was in front of me,’ Murcia says. The year 2020 was cursed; this is widely acknowledged. But New Year’s Day brought little relief. The first month of this year felt a lot like the 13th month of last year.”
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