The Future of Wood in Electric Guitars Reverb. From 2020, still germane.
SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Hospitalizations Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years, by Vaccination Status — Los Angeles County, California, May 1–July 25, 2021 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC. From the Abstract: “During May 1–July 25, 2021, among 43,127 SARS-CoV-2 infections in residents of Los Angeles County, California, 10,895 , 1,431 (3.3%) were in partially vaccinated persons, and 30,801 (71.4%) were in unvaccinated persons. On July 25, infection and hospitalization rates among unvaccinated persons were 4.9 and 29.2 times, respectively, those in fully vaccinated persons. In July, when the Delta variant was predominant, cycle threshold values were similar for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, and vaccinated persons.”
Detection of SARS-CoV-2-Specific IgA in the Human Milk of COVID-19 Vaccinated Lactating Health Care Workers Breastfeeding Medicine. n = 22. From the Abstract: “Human milk produced by mothers with a history of COVID-19 infection contains SARS-CoV-2 IgA and IgG. The purpose of this study is to determine whether SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulins are found in human milk after the COVID-19 vaccination, and to characterize the types of immunoglobulins present…. We found .”
COVID Vaccines Show No Signs of Harming Fertility or Sexual Function Scientific American
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The continuous evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in South Africa: a new lineage with rapid accumulation of mutations of concern and global detection (preprint) medRxiv (GM). From the Discussion: “We have identified a new SARS-CoV-2 variant assigned to the PANGO lineage C.1.2. This variant has been detected throughout the third wave of infections in South Africa from May 2021 onwards and has been detected in seven other countries within Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. The identification of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants is commonly associated with new waves of infection. Like several other VOCs, C.1.2 has accumulated a number of substitutions beyond what would be expected from the background SARS-CoV-2 evolutionary rate. .” Like the Kent variant, IIRC.
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County-Level Estimates of Excess Mortality Associated with COVID-19 in the United States (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abstract: ” In the present study, we estimate a generalized linear model of expected mortality in 2020 based on historical trends in deaths by county of residence between 2011 and 2019. We use the results of the model to generate county estimates of excess mortality and excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 for each county in the US. Overall, we estimate that 437,849 excess deaths occurred in 2020…. Across individual counties, the percentage of excess deaths not assigned to COVID-19 varied substantially, with some counties’ direct COVID-19 tallies capturing only a small fraction of total excess deaths. Our findings suggest that consideration of excess deaths across counties is critical for a full accounting of geographic inequities in mortality during the pandemic.” Scientific American has a summary and this handy chart:
On the negative excess deaths: “Some New England counties actually had negative excess deaths last year—fewer people died than usual—possibly the result of reductions in other causes of death while people stayed at home, the researchers say.” Freedom isn’t free.
Study: Patients, not staff, source of most hospital COVID spread Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. n = 38. “Viral loads were similar among superspreaders and others in the study. ‘We note that, while prolonged or increased viral shedding would increase the chance of an individual becoming a superspreader, behavioural and environmental factors may also be influential,’ the researchers wrote.” Hmm.
Room-Level Ventilation in Schools and Universities (preprint) chemRxiv. From the Abstract: “For many universities and schools, ventilation data on a room-by-room basis are not available for classrooms and other key spaces. We present an overview of approaches for measuring ventilation along with their advantages and disadvantages. We also present data from recent case studies for a variety of institutions across the United States, with various building ages, types, locations, and climates, highlighting their commonalities and differences, and examples of the use of this data to support decision making.” Given the stately progress of academic budgeting, we would have had to start taking these measurements last year, in order to start work this year. So, a pandemic-ready built environment for universities and schools is at least two years out. But do let’s mandate in-person teaching by the “essential workers” in the academic precariat (which now seemingly includes the tenured, at least the ones that aren’t bringing in the big bucks).
Rural schools shut down to keep COVID-19 from overwhelming their small communities Texas Tribune (Re Silc).
China Economists Say Common Prosperity Won’t Rob Rich Bloomberg. “What are we? Communists?”
China to strengthen financial support for common prosperity China Daily. Commentary:
…unchanged from previous policies. This will make it hard to understand exactly what the real policy implications of "common prosperity" are likely to be.
— Michael Pettis (@michaelxpettis) August 25, 2021
Top Beijing official tells Hong Kong young people to embrace work opportunities in mainland China South China Morning Post
Harris trip to Vietnam delayed over ‘health incident’ in Hanoi Nikkei Asia. “Health incident” is Blobspeak for
mass hysteria the “Havana Syndrome.”
OnPolitics: Will the war in Afghanistan actually end? USA Today. I’ve always assumed that “Doctor” Biden took personal charge of President Biden’s medications; now would be a good time to have them on her person at all times. Not that I’m foily.
What Future Presidents are Learning from Afghanistan Mischiefs of Faction
How Will the Taliban Rule? Foreign Affairs
The Taliban have shown themselves to be the most effective political organization in Afghanistan. For two decades, while Afghan politicians have bickered and democracy has faltered, the Taliban’s values, organization, and cohesion have proved enduring. Girded by their notions of unity and Afghan identity, the Taliban surmounted two leadership transitions, the rise of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), and a 20-year U.S. military presence. They are now in charge and likely to stay in charge for some time.
A very belated dose of realism.
Around 30 Myanmar Junta Troops Killed in Magwe Ambush The Irrawaddy. Big if true. But a lot of stories like this.
The Afghanistan crisis has exposed Global Britain’s delusions of grandeur New Statesman (Colonel Smithers).
Schools in England to receive CO2 monitors to improve ventilation Richmond & Twickenham Times. What a concept.
New Cold War
Lessons for Russia From the U.S. Leadership Crisis Carnegie Moscow Center
Rahm’s Reward Daily Poster
Our Famously Free Press
The propaganda of it all. It’s no surprise our state run media is pushing it all with zero hesitation. https://t.co/BNtRZnzsUf
— AshleyStevens (@The_Acumen) August 24, 2021
I wish there were something like a weather app, but for propaganda, so I’d know when to take an umbrella to protect myself from the deluge of b***s***. There could be little icons for “Chance of Showers,” and so forth. A 10-day forecast would be especially useful. I could time my media fasting.
I watch the desperate Afghans wade in the sewage as hope fades… and tears fall: Sky News’ STUART RAMSAY, the TV reporter who’s seen the Kabul chaos unfold first hand, pens a vivid and harrowing dispatch Daily Mail (BC).
Imperial Collapse Watch
Nothing but Pitch Black Darkness Foreign Policy. The entire Bush national security team should be tried in the Hague. But W. gave Michelle candy, so it’s all good. Also too, look forward and not back.
How we paid for the War on Terror Adam Tooze, Chartbook. “Pay for.”
Let’s Try to Make Sense of That $600,000 Rock NFT Bloomberg. The Deck: “Could it be that there’s just too much money sloshing around?”
For Cities, Big-Box Stores Are Becoming Even More of a Terrible Deal Institute for Local Self-Reliance (example). And now “fulfillment centers” are pulling the same scams.
Charlie Watts, Rolling Stones Drummer, Dies at 80 Variety. Tried to find “best Charlie Watts drum solo” on YouTube. Nothing came up. Excellent. What a mensch.
Antidote du jour (via):
Capybaras flawless auric proportion pic.twitter.com/oKabmJ5e6q
— CAPYBARA MAN (@CAPYBARA_MAN) August 23, 2021
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.