Daily Digest 8/13 – NYC Retail Chains and Small Businesses Struggling, Inequity At The Boiling Point


Postmaster General Touts Postal Service Overhaul But Promises On-Time Election Mail (TS)

DeJoy confirmed news reports that part of that transformation will involve cutting back on overtime costs and “running our operations on time and on schedule.” Many Americans on both sides of the aisle worry that the cuts will delay the delivery of important mail, from prescriptions for veterans to mail ballots for this year’s presidential election, during a once-in-a-century health crisis.

As NPR’s Brian Naylor reported last week, that means that among other things, late-arriving mail will now be left behind by carriers and delivered the next day.

Retail Chains and Small Businesses Are Struggling in N.Y.C. (jdargis)

The lack of tourists and commuters has devastated New York City, especially Manhattan. Since March, more than 2,800 businesses in the city have permanently closed, according to data from Yelp. And by the time the pandemic is over, one-third of the city’s 240,000 small businesses could be gone forever, according to a report by the Partnership for New York City, an influential business group.

Bank Street is closing for good this month. The owner of Bryant Park Grill & Cafe said he would never open another restaurant in the city.

How A Cheese Goes Extinct (tmn)

When the lockdown started and restaurants—Innes Cheese’s principal buyers—were shuttered, the dairy’s plans were upended. “For three weeks, we had virtually no sales at all,” Bennett said. “It just all stopped pretty much overnight.” With one young child and a second on the way, Bennett and Lawn felt they had no choice but to stop cheesemaking and sell their herd of goats. On June 15th, the pair drove down to London with the last of their cheeses. Soon, the last of them will have been sold and eaten, and a thread of tradition after thirty-three years in the goat-cheese business will be lost.

‘Western’ Media Falsely Claim That Russia’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is Ready To Go (Roger B.)

In a startling and confusing move, Russia claimed today it had approved the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine, as the nation’s Ministry of Health issued what’s called a registration certificate for a vaccine candidate that has been tested in just 76 people. The certificate allows the vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow, to be given to “a small number of citizens from vulnerable groups,” including medical staff and the elderly, a Ministry of Health spokesperson tells ScienceInsider. But the certificate stipulates that the vaccine cannot be used widely until 1 January 2021, presumably after larger clinical trials have been completed.

The ICE Facility Where Almost Every Detainee Has Coronavirus (edelinski)

Alex, a man currently detained in Farmville, told me in a phone call from the facility that “all they give us is Tylenol.” (The Prospect is using a pseudonym for his safety.) He tested positive for coronavirus in June. “We’re afraid to be here. Afraid some of us are not going to make it.” Hours after I spoke with Alex, on August 5, a 72-year-old man detained at Farmville died at a nearby hospital. ICE has not confirmed the cause of death, but said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Hydroxychloroquine works in high-risk patients, and saying otherwise is dangerous (thc0655)

What do you need to know to evaluate these smears against hydroxychloroquine? The first thing to understand is that COVID-19 has two main stages. At the first stage, it is a flu-like illness. That illness will not kill you. If you are a high-risk patient and begin treatment immediately, you will almost certainly be done with it in a few days. When not treated, high-risk patients may progress. The virus then causes severe pneumonia and attacks many organs, including the heart. In this second stage, hydroxychloroquine is not effective.

‘We just lost two of our anchors.’ Two generations of Hialeah doctors die of COVID-19 (tmn)

A well-established obstetrician in South Florida, Jorge Vallejo delivered what was once considered the smallest baby born in the United States in 1992 at Hialeah Hospital. The little girl, born after 22 weeks and called ‘The Miracle Baby,’ was 15 ounces, or less than 1 pound, when she was born, ultimately tying the record for smallest baby born in the U.S.

How to drive fossil fuels out of the US economy, quickly (Bill M.)

A similar mobilization will be necessary for the US to decarbonize its economy fast enough to avert the worst of climate change. To do its part in limiting global temperature rise to between 1.5° and 2° Celsius, the US must reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. To achieve this, the full resources of the US economy must be bent toward manufacturing the needed clean-energy technology and infrastructure.

Devastating monsoon flooding strikes Mumbai, a city gripped by the coronavirus pandemic (Bill M.)

Mumbai, home to more than 12 million people, is suffering devastating flooding as relentless monsoonal storms and downpours plague the area. Parts of the beleaguered city, already stricken by the coronavirus pandemic, are underwater as flooding rains continue. Wednesday was the second-wettest day in recorded history at one weather station in the southern part of Mumbai.

Canada’s last fully intact Arctic ice shelf collapses (Bill M.)

The Arctic has been warming at twice the global rate for the last 30 years, due to a process known as Arctic amplification. But this year, temperatures in the polar region have been intense. The polar sea ice hit its lowest extent for July in 40 years. Record heat and wildfires have scorched Siberian Russia.

Summer in the Canadian Arctic this year in particular has been 5 degrees Celsius above the 30-year average, Copland said.

Letter from economists: to rebuild our world, we must end the carbon economy (Bill M.)

From deep-rooted racism to the Covid-19 pandemic, from extreme inequality to ecological collapse, our world is facing dire and deeply interconnected emergencies. But as much as the present moment painfully underscores the weaknesses of our economic system, it also gives us the rare opportunity to reimagine it. As we seek to rebuild our world, we can and must end the carbon economy.

This Is Inequity at the Boiling Point (Bill M.)

Extreme heat is not a future risk. It’s now. It endangers human health, food production and the fate of entire economies. And it’s worst for those at the bottom of the economic ladder in their societies. See what it’s like to live with one of the most dangerous and stealthiest hazards of the modern era.

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