Southwest cancels more than 2,800 flights in a ‘full-blown meltdown’ NPR. Handy map of airports with flight delays from Flight Aware:
I placed a red check next to the airports in counties that have the highest “viral levels” for SARS-CoV-2 (“red dots”), according to the CDC wastewater map. The major airports that are not red dotted are BOS (no data) and DCA/IAD/BWI. I can’t find an average delay time, but one imagines what the unmasked people waiting in the airport are doing: Eating, drinking, and flushing toilets with no lids, all in close proximity with each other. I guess we’ll find out the results in a couple weeks.
Local Sports Reporter Goes Viral for Grumpy Weather Report WSJ (MR). MR: “Maybe a bit of the zeitgeist underlying the viral sympathy? He is basically complaining about his work conditions. in a public venue where that is ‘not allowed.’ People are tired of being told (via euphemistic commands) to ‘pretend to like it.’ We might be getting some great humor out of the current situation when enough people start telling it like it is. Also: russians are no strangers to such winter conditions. Why would we ever think we could dominate russia?”
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The Last Holdouts NYT. The deck: “What it’s like to wear masks for Covid when most others have long since moved on.” Astonishingly crude anti-mask propaganda, even for the Izvestia on the Hudson. The article provides some clues:
A Kaiser Family Foundation poll this month found that Americans making less than $40,000 per year were on average much more likely to express worries about getting seriously ill from Covid than those with higher incomes.
In other words, not the Times readership, but the people who serve the Times readership. (The article also provides a link — here — to Ipsos polling, claiming that “30 percent” of Americans “wore masks at least some of the time … with only 10 percent saying that they use masks at all times outside of their home.” But there’s nothing at the link to prove the claim. Sloppy.)
Price Of Nasal Vaccine INCOVACC For Private Hospitals Will Be Around Rs 1000: Sources Republic World. 1000 Rupees = $12.08 (as of this writing).
China to reopen borders, drop Covid quarantine from January 8 and China’s potentially grim Covid death toll is avoidable, new study says South China Morning Post. Here is the study: “Mitigation with vaccination, antiviral therapies, and NPIs.” Here are the NPIs:
No mention of ventilation or airborne transmission. Naturally. Meanwhile:
A lot of people in my WeChat who have stayed entirely at home, not even getting delivery, are furious they still got infected. There's been no education about or mitigation for fecal aerosol transmission. Roof fans for apartment buildings and inexpensive add-on traps can help.
— Naomi Wu 机械妖姬 (@RealSexyCyborg) December 25, 2022
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In Vietnam, the mighty Mekong’s banks are crumbling as illegal sand miners run riot South China Morning Post
Dear Old Blighty
UK to stop publishing COVID R number as cases fall Reuters. Whoever the memelord was who invented “living with Covid” earned every penny:
“Now that vaccines and therapeutics have allowed us to move to a phase where we are living with COVID-19, with surveillance scaled down but still closely monitored through a number of different indicators, the publication of this specific data is no longer necessary,” UK Health Security Agency Chief Data Scientist Nick Watkins said in a statement.
“Still closely monitored through a number of different indicators” [nods vigorously].
New Not-So-Cold War
The Visegrad Group isn’t shy about Ukraine’s affiliations, is it? Or its own:
Every year, the soldiers of the Azov Regiment gather on the shortest night of the year to honor their fallen brothers-in-arms
This year, especially after Azovstal they had more men to honor than ever
Through new recruits, the group has grown significantly in size since Azovstal pic.twitter.com/STQDWfSkM2
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) December 24, 2022
Hey why are they flying the Nazi collaborator version of the flag?
— Lee 🖖 Carter (@carterforva) December 25, 2022
The original, from an Advisor to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine:
Our Defenders celebrate!🇺🇦
📹: General Staff pic.twitter.com/X7Dt04Jkwi
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) December 25, 2022
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The CIA Is Using a European NATO Ally’s Spy Service To Conduct a Covert Sabotage Campaign Inside Russia Under The Agency’s Direction, According To Former U.S. Intelligence And Military Officials Jack Murphy. Big if true. Worth a read. Of course, Mandy Rice-Davies applies: “They would, wouldn’t they?” Plus, who doesn’t want to cosplay T.E. Lawrence? Or “the Resistance”?
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‘Big war is back’: 5 lessons from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine FT. “‘Much of Ukrainians’ success on the battlefield depends on a heterogenous and self-confident civil society, capable of supporting soldiers,’ said Timothy Snyder, a Yale University historian.” Also Nazis!
Trapped in the Trenches in Ukraine The New Yorker. “International fighters.”
The War In & On Ukraine Madras Courier
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In Nord Stream Mystery, Baltic Seabed Provides a Nearly Ideal Crime Scene NYT. The deck: “As investigators piece together clues, Russia has quietly taken steps to begin expensive repairs on the giant gas pipeline, complicating theories about who was behind September’s sabotage.” ‘Tis a mystery!
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Vladimir Putin answered questions from journalists (transcript) President of Russia
A Free World, If You Can Keep It Robert Kagan, Foreign Affairs
Looking back at a ‘Golden Age’ of US-Russia diplomacy Responsible Statecraft. On Lynne Tracy, our new ambassador to Russia.
Ukraine aims for UN-backed peace summit in February Guardian. The deck: “Russia can only be invited if it has faced a war crimes tribunal first, says foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba.” Dude. Come on,
2020 Post Mortem
Why I’m Glad Joe Biden Beat Donald Trump Caitlin Johnstone
The Great Big Medicare Rip-Off Ezekiel J. Emanuel, The Atlantic
Explainer-How natural gas is traded in Europe Hellenic Shipping News
Our Famously Free Press
This has a bad smell:
Much more to The Twitter Files: Covid Editon than this introductory thread.
Follow-up piece to come next week, featuring leading doctors & researchers from Harvard, Stanford & other institutions. https://t.co/TeEeCvMZa2
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 26, 2022
First, I’m not familiar with Zweig, and I read a lot of Covid material. Zweig’s written all of two articles on Covid for The Atlantic, both over a year old and neither inspiring confidence. He’s an opinion-haver, not a reporter; as a reporter, he coudn’t carry Taibbi’s jockstrap. So who gave him this beat, and why? Second, “researchers” from Harvard and Stanford sound an awful lot like the Great Barrington cabal to me; like so many well-funded wingers, they’re adept at claiming to be censored while dominating the discourse (indeed, the Biden Administration adopted their policies). Call me foily, but this Twitter Files episode looks like it’s shaping up to be an effort to close the door on non-pharmaceutical interventions and the very notion of public health; a “Promontory” moment, we might call it.
Police State Watch
I tried out a bunch of pariah state OSes to find out which is best for gaming PC Gamer. The answer may surprise you!
Xmas Post-Game Analysis
For Kaiser therapists, the strike is over but the work goes on Sacramento News Review
Did Rail Strike Threat Matter? Just Maybe… Omaha Daily Record
How to Walk (12 miles a day) Chris Arnade
Final Episode- Adieu Mes Amis (podcast) Mike Duncan, Revolutions. 368 episodes, starting in 2013 (!). I highly recommend it, even if your primary use case for podcasts is falling asleep to a soothing voice.
Antidote du jour (via):
See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.