Tuesday, January 05, 2021

In The News (1)

100 Notable Books
Politics, Science and the Remarkable Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine The furious race to develop a coronavirus vaccine played out against a presidential election, between a pharmaceutical giant and a biotech upstart, with the stakes as high as they could get. 

At long last we have a Brexit deal – and it's as bad as you thought  We already know its contours: a barely-there treaty that will make trade harder and destroy jobs. Labour should oppose it

Relief Package Grows as Campaign Issue in Georgia Senate Races The two Republicans tried to claim credit for bringing help to Georgians, despite President Trump’s initial waffling over whether to sign the bill. The Democrats said the $600 payments to Americans were too low. .......... The election seemed to be headed for a record turnout in a runoff, with 2.1 million Georgians having already cast ballots either at early voting sites or by mail-in ballots. The heaviest turnout so far has been in Democratic areas around Atlanta.  

Democrats’ Georgia Hopes Rest on Jon Ossoff, 33. How Did He Get Here? Some well-timed introductions and a knack for opportunity have helped Mr. Ossoff’s rise in Georgia politics. Now he is pursuing his most ambitious goal yet, a U.S. Senate seat.  .............  Mr. Ossoff first emerged on the national stage in 2017, when his bid for a House seat in a special election provided Democrats the first opportunity to express resistance to President Trump. Though he lost a close race in a well-off district in suburban Atlanta, the energy surrounding his candidacy enabled him to shatter fund-raising records and build the political network that has put him within reach of the Senate. .............. showed Mr. Ossoff to be the best-funded Senate candidate in history after pulling in $106.7 million from mid-October to mid-December — almost $40 million more than Mr. Perdue’s tally ............. He has stayed on message, hammering Mr. Perdue over his finances, and perhaps more important, he has not made any major mistakes on the campaign trail or in interviews. ........... Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 race for governor, has built a permanent progressive campaign infrastructure in the state. Already, more than two million Georgians have voted in the 2020 Senate runoffs. ............ “You remind me of another time in my own life,” Mr. Lewis said to Mr. Ossoff ..............  had “the most unique blog strategy” and quoted Mr. Ossoff saying that blogs were “effective in reaching out to the people who make the news, the people who determine what’s hot and what’s not.” ............... “Jon believed in having local journalists in places like Africa telling their stories and not having white men coming in.”   

2020 Was the Year Reaganism Died The government promised to help — and it did.  In times of crisis, government aid to people in distress is a good thing, not just for those getting help, but for the nation as a whole. ............ voodoo economics, the claim that tax cuts have magical power and can solve all problems ............. Oh, and the new recovery package does include a multi-billion-dollar tax break for business meals, as if three-martini lunches were the answer to a pandemic depression. ........ Opposition to helping the unemployed and the poor was never evidence-based; it was always rooted in a mix of elitism and racial hostility. So we’ll still keep hearing about the miraculous power of tax cuts and the evils of the welfare state. ..........  what we should fear most is a government that refuses to do its job.

How will you be told when it's your turn for a COVID-19 vaccine? It's complicated  Vaccine rollout has largely been left to the states, and with an "isolated and decentralized health system" in the U.S., as Dai put it, people may not know when they're eligible to get their vaccine. And they may have to be proactive in finding where they can get one and in proving that they meet the criteria to be next in line. ...........   about 50 million people will have received their first of two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of January ....... the government should have enough supply so that every American who wants a vaccine can get it by summer 2021. ..........  As vaccines become more available, New York's plan says its residents will also be to check a website for a "vaccine eligibility screening tool and a vaccine administration site locator."  .......  CVS said in a statement that the public will be able to make appointments to get the vaccine at their pharmacies online or via an 800 number once the vaccine is more widely available.

How to persuade someone to take the COVID-19 vaccine  if most people get vaccinated, "we could really turn this thing around" toward the end of 2021. ........  Many people who plan to get vaccinated are confounded by those who are hesitant. ........... "Shame is likely to achieve the opposite reaction we’re hoping for. Look to more constructive emotions like love, hope and the desire to protect to get people to act." .............. Don't treat people's concerns as dumb. Listen to them, validate them, and figure out how to address them. "The first thing is just understanding the base of those concerns and not trying to dismiss them, but trying to grapple with them" ............. "In a perfect, limitlessly resourced world," the authors of the United Nations paper wrote, "we’d have the opportunity to craft highly specific campaigns for each community and identity." .........  It's unlikely you'll change the mind of a militant anti-vaxxer, but experts say they're rare. Those who are skeptical of vaccines are far more common. To figure out where someone stands on COVID-19 vaccines, be curious. Ask questions like, "Why do you think that?" or "Where are you hearing this?" or "Why do you trust this?" ............  if someone thinks COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the flu, you know which belief you have to correct. ........ trying to correct someone's perception can have a “backfire effect.” When you encounter facts that don’t support your belief, it actually grows stronger. .............  Human beings are hard-wired for bias. If you’re a new mom who believes vaccines cause autism, do you look for research that shows whether they actually do, or do you Google “vaccines cause autism” to find stories to affirm your belief? Likely the latter, which is driven by “motivated reasoning," our psychological tendency to perpetuate our own beliefs and dismiss anything that runs against our own views. However, if you and the person you are trying to persuade share the same identity or social circle, she may be more apt to hear what you have to say. ................ Research shows immediate connections in our social networks matter the most for changing behavior, partly because they set norms about what everybody else is doing. ............. You can also reach out to mutual friends to tell them you know a particular claim is false. ........ "Of course we're going to get the vaccine. That's what everyone's going to do, because that's how we're going to stop this. This is what we've all been waiting for."  

Unemployment aid: When would the $300-per-week benefit begin? "One thing that people don't realize is that the average unemployment benefit is at poverty level in many states." ....... the programs expire in mid-March ........ It could take about two to three weeks for states to start paying out the extra $300 in weekly benefits ..........  lawmakers may be debating more jobless aid in 2021. "I don't think we will be done with the pandemic and the recession in 11 weeks" 

Even With 10 Million COVID-19 Cases, A Doctor Says India 'Dodged A Bullet' India has a population of 1.4 billion people. With fewer than 7,500 coronavirus cases per million people and a COVID-19 fatality rate of just below 1.5%, India's per capita infections and mortality rate are among the lowest in the world. "[The virus] could have been completely out of control in India," she says. .......... It could be our age structure, that we have much fewer elderly people and therefore mortality and severe disease in the population was relatively low. We were hit later in the pandemic so we had a better opportunity to prepare. We may have prior exposure to other coronaviruses which may have led this disease to be less severe. We seem to have higher rates of asymptomatic infection so it may also mean that the virus is behaving differently in our population. .................. A lot of countries in Africa and South Asia are behaving like India with lower severe disease and lower mortality. ............. I'm glad to hear that the government is planning to use the election infrastructure for delivering vaccines. ........... Even with vaccines, I think we are again very lucky in India because we've got all these wonderful vaccine companies that are going to be able to provide to India perhaps more vaccines to more of our population than many other developing countries will have access to. I'm actually more worried about the rest of the world.

हाम्रो साहित्यले छुटाएका कथाहरू लेखकहरू सम्पन्न र विद्वान् हुँदा साधारण ज्यामीहरूका कथा यथार्थवादी ढङ्गले लेखिएनन् । लेखकहरू सहरका हुने भएकाले गाउँका कथा यथार्थवादी रूपमा आएनन् ।  

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