Daily Digest 3/11 – National Guard Deployed To NY, UN Climate Report Paints Grim Picture


How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart (Rob B.)

According to infectious disease epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch at Harvard, it’s “plausible” that 20 to 60 percent of adults will be infected with Covid-19 disease. So far, 80 percent of cases globally have been mild, but if the case fatality rate is around 1 percent (which several experts say it may be), a scenario is possible of tens or hundreds of thousands of deaths in the US alone.

U.S. Employers: Paid Sick Leave. Now. (jdargis)

Other developed nations, and a number of American states and cities, already mandate some form of paid sick leave, and some congressional Democrats have seized the coronavirus moment to push for a change in federal law. Such a change is long overdue, and would be welcome news.

But it is not sufficient, by itself, to meet the demands of the moment.

Matt Gaetz ended up sleeping in a Walmart parking lot after potentially exposing Trump to the coronavirus (Thomas R.)

When he sported a gas mask on the House floor last week, critics questioned how seriously Rep. Matt Gaetz was taking the coronavirus outbreak.

But following his self-quarantine aboard Air Force One on Monday after he had been in close contact with President Donald Trump — in the same car on the way to the flight — Gaetz hit the road and skipped staying in a hotel, electing instead to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot.

Walmart sets emergency leave policy for 1.4 million hourly workers (Sparky1)

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

Detroit to restore water service to unpaid homes to allow people to wash their hands to avoid coronavirus (tmn)

Duggan said that financial reasons should not be a reason for Detroiters to live without water amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“As of Wednesday, the only residents in the city of Detroit who don’t have water on are those who don’t reach out,” Duggan said.

New York Gov. Cuomo deploys National Guard to New Rochelle, establishes containment center to stem coronavirus (TS)

Cuomo compared the number of cases in New York to Washington state, where officials said an outbreak has spread to at least 162 people, killing 22 mostly elderly residents. Across the U.S., at least 25 people have died, but none in New York so far. A man in his 60s died from COVID-19 in Bergen County, New Jersey, state officials confirmed Monday.

Putin backs proposal allowing him to remain in power in Russia beyond 2024 (tmn)

The venture began in parliament, where a member of Russia’s ruling party proposed amending the constitution in a way that would “reset” Putin’s presidential term count back to zero.

Putin then announced he would come to address the parliament himself, prompting breathless coverage on state television about whether he would accept or turn down the proposal.

Don’t Be Fooled By The Oil Price Rebound (Michael S.)

The situation in oil looks like a three-person staring contest. With low-cost producer but ambitious spender Saudi Arabia on one side, pumping at will, Russia on the other, braced for lower prices and its previous experience with price crashes, and US oil producing companies on the third side, grappling with insufficient cash for dividends and, for many shale producers, a heavy debt burden. For now, the analyst consensus seems to be that U.S. shale independents will be the ones to blink first.

The UN’s State of the Climate Report Paints a Grim Picture (TS)

In a foreword to the report, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote that the findings indicate the world is far from achieving the goals outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate and illustrate “the urgency for far-reaching climate action.”

Trump Administration Presses Cities to Evict Homeowners From Flood Zones (jdargis)

The willingness to use eminent domain shows how quickly the discussion around climate has shifted. Even as President Trump publicly dismisses the scientific consensus of climate change, his administration is wrestling with how to move people out of the way of rising seas and increasingly intense rainfall.

Still, threatening to push people out of their houses is an extreme step, experts said.

Pesticides impair the brain development of baby bees (Jesper A.)

“Bee colonies act as superorganisms, so when any toxins enter the colony, these have the potential to cause problems with the development of the baby bees within it,” he explains. “Worryingly in this case, when young bees are fed on pesticide-contaminated food, this caused parts of the brain to grow less, leading to older adult bees possessing smaller and functionally impaired brains; an effect that appeared to be permanent and irreversible.”

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