Monday, April 12, 2021

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Week That Was In Our World

Our team was on assignment this week contributing to Operations Independence, the Orange County's COVID 19 Vaccination Effort.    This is as a visit was made to the UC Irvine Medical Center to remind all on how truly Healthcare Worker Heroes Are.

As a new week dawns, please enjoy a snapshot of the week that was that saw in our World courtesy the team at the Visual Capitalist, the Economist of London, the Washington Times, the Washington Post, the Financial Times  and Bloomberg: 

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Senate Democrats can pass Biden infrastructure package on party-line basis, parliamentarian says

Senate Democrats can pass Biden infrastructure package on party-line basis, parliamentarian says

Senate Democrats will not have to court Republican votes on a Biden administration infrastructure package if they don't want to, according to a friendly ruling from the chamber's parliamentarian on Monday.

Biden infrastructure plan calls for employing oil workers to plug leaking wells: How it would work

Biden infrastructure plan calls for employing oil workers to plug leaking wells: How it would work

President Joe Biden’s massive green infrastructure plan contains a proposal to address a long-standing environmental hazard while helping fossil fuel workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic or who are threatened by the administration’s push for cleaner energy.

Read the full story here.

Biden’s twofer 'infrastructure' approach could doom both bills


Biden’s twofer 'infrastructure' approach could doom both bills

By Naomi Lim

Read the full story here.


Here’s the latest news from the global pandemic.

How vaccine skeptics created a movement

In early 2015, as news broke that a significant measles outbreak had hit Disneyland, Carl Krawitt was outraged.

His son Rhett had been battling leukemia since he was 2. That meant his immune system was too weak to handle routine childhood vaccines. A disease like measles could be extremely dangerous, so it was crucial that others around Rhett be vaccinated.

But there was a problem: Rhett had recently started kindergarten in Marin County, a San Francisco suburb with triple the number of vaccine exemptions of the California average at the time. Measles requires more than 95% of kids to be vaccinated to prevent outbreaks. Krawitt was aghast that children couldn’t take peanut butter to school because someone might be allergic, but it was OK for parents to forgo vaccinations for their kids and put his son’s life at risk.

As millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines roll out across the country, Krawitt’s story provides an important lesson in the urgent necessity of mass vaccination. Every person who hesitates puts people like Rhett at greater risk. Yet it’s a debate that’s still raging five years later amid the global pandemic.

In the aftermath of the outbreak, the Krawitts began speaking out in support of a bill that sought to tighten state vaccine laws by getting rid of personal-belief exemptions. Rhett became the face of the bill, which passed. Vaccination rates went up, but there was an unintended consequence.

“The anti-vaxxers came out,” Krawitt recalls in the third episode of “Doubt,” a new podcast from Bloomberg Prognosis that explores vaccine hesitancy. “They threatened us, they threatened my kid. They told lies. And it was scary.”

The Disneyland measles outbreak made clear that the number of people opting out of vaccination was significant. But it also changed the people protesting vaccines. Before that, activists speaking out mainly had been parents concerned about their children’s safety. The push to get rid of personal-belief exemptions changed the conversation. It became political. It became about choice and freedom and democracy. And it’s where many of the arguments against vaccines that we’ve seen during the Covid pandemic first took shape. 

“This is where we really saw this coalescence around the idea of vaccination as a civil liberties issue,” says Amelia Jamison, a doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University who studies health misinformation. “The anti-vaxxers kind of felt endangered or in peril. And then they started to mobilize.”

In the new episode, we look at how the events of 2015 would foreshadow our current situation, when millions of Americans say they don’t trust the government when it comes to public health policy. The anti-vaxx movement that galvanized five years ago may become the biggest threat to ending the Covid pandemic.—Kristen V. Brown

The vaccine drive

The U.S. Vaccinates Its Way Out of Pandemic

After a year of anxiety and isolation, millions of Americans a day are getting immunized against Covid-19, and starting to get their lives back. “It feels like a more optimistic time,” says Joseph Kanter, a Louisiana Department of Health official. See the stories here.


What you should read

Skepticism, misinformation curb efforts to protect most diverse communities.
Telecommuting can save energy and reduce emissions, unless it doesn’t. 
CDC report suggests shots effectively cut transmission, not just illnesses.
Not enough Americans are vaccinated to stave off a new wave amid strains.
Treaty could provide the WHO with more power to fight new health threats.

Sunday, April 11, 2021