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IronLionZion

Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Hometown: PA
Home country: USA
Current location: DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 07:36 PM
Number of posts: 33,271

About Me

I was born in Brooklyn, Trump was born in Queens. The only thing that makes people think I'm an H-1b stealing jobs from Americans is that my Grandparents immigrated from India, while Drumpf's immigrated from Germany. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

Journal Archives

WHO SARS-CoV-2 variant naming scheme

https://www.who.int/en/activities/tracking-SARS-CoV-2-variants/

Variants of Concern
A SARS-CoV-2 variant that meets the definition of a VOI (see below) and, through a comparative assessment, has been demonstrated to be associated with one or more of the following changes at a degree of global public health significance:

Increase in transmissibility or detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology; or
Increase in virulence or change in clinical disease presentation; or
Decrease in effectiveness of public health and social measures or available diagnostics, vaccines, therapeutics.

Hope these image screenshots display below. There are good tables showing the variants and names at the WHO link above.



Variants of Interest
A SARS-CoV-2 isolate is a Variant of Interest (VOI) if, compared to a reference isolate, its genome has mutations with established or suspected phenotypic implications, and either:

has been identified to cause community transmission/multiple COVID-19 cases/clusters, or has been detected in multiple countries; OR
is otherwise assessed to be a VOI by WHO in consultation with the WHO SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution Working Group.

Opinion: Why so many Republicans talk about nonsense

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/06/20/why-so-many-republicans-talk-about-nonsense/



The latest numbers on vaccination rates are telling: Mississippi has the lowest percentage of vaccinated residents, followed by Alabama, Arkansas, Wyoming, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee. All except Louisiana have both Republican governors and legislatures, as do the next seven on the list. Among the 14 U.S. senators representing the bottom seven, only two (both in Georgia) are Democrats. The Post reports, “Ten states, concentrated in the Deep South and rural West, report fewer than 35 percent of residents are fully immunized.”

Health care in these deep-red states is generally dreadful. Among the 12 states that have neither expanded nor voted to expand Medicaid, all but three have GOP governors and in those three (North Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin), a Democratic governor faces a GOP legislature.

Of the 15 poorest states, all but two (Maine and New Mexico) are also deep red. Among the 30 Senate seats from those states, 27 are held by Republicans.

By these or just about any other measures, Republican states are failing to meet the basic needs of their residents. Among unvaccinated Americans, infection rates are climbing. More will get sick in those places, and some will die. Republicans are unwilling or incapable of meeting the challenge.

This sorry sight is unsurprising given that Republicans have all but given up on the notion of governance. At the national level, they consume themselves with race-baiting (e.g., scaring Americans about immigration and critical race theory), assailing private companies (e.g., corporations that defend voting rights, social media platforms, book publishers) and perpetrating the most ludicrous and dangerous lie in memory — that the 2020 election was stolen.

IN BRIEF: DOL delays Trump-era H-1B wage rule for 18 months

https://www.reuters.com/business/legal/brief-dol-delays-trump-era-h-1b-wage-rule-18-months-2021-05-13/

The U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday delayed until November 2022 the effective date of a Trump administration rule significantly raising the minimum wages employers must pay to highly skilled H-1B visa holders.

DOL in the rule said that putting off the new wage rates for 18 months "will provide a sufficient amount of time to thoroughly consider the legal and policy issues raised in the rule, and offer the public ... an opportunity to provide information on the sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels."

In April, two weeks after proposing the delay, the department called for public input on how it should calculate prevailing wages levels for H-1B workers.

DOL said it was considering whether it should continue to set the wage levels at the same point for all occupations and geographic areas, or choose different levels, and whether it should continue to set prevailing wages as a percentile of what comparable American workers earn. Comments are due by June 1.


Maryland And Virginia Will Lift Indoor Mask Mandate Starting Saturday

https://dcist.com/story/21/05/14/md-va-mask-mandate-covid19/



Virginia and Maryland have lifted their indoor mask mandates in line with CDC guidance issued earlier this week. Starting Saturday, residents in both states will no longer have to wear masks inside — with some exceptions, including while riding public transit and indoors at health care facilities and schools.

Businesses in both states can still require patrons to wear a mask, and employees in certain industries including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment must wear masks until they are fully vaccinated. The announcement applies to everyone, but both Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged individuals who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.

“If you’re fully vaccinated, which means two weeks have passed since you received your second shot or your one dose of Johnson & Johnson, you should feel free to safely resume any activities,” Hogan said during a press conference Friday.

Virginia will relax additional COVID-19 restrictions — including expanded capacity for sports and entertainment venues, and increased social gathering limits, and allowing bars to sell alcohol after midnight — starting at midnight Friday. Maryland issued similar guidance earlier this month; all capacity restrictions on outdoor entertainment and sports venues, indoor entertainment venues, and indoor dining will drop on May 15.


Good luck with that. I'll still wear a mask indoors around people, especially gym, shopping, etc. The weather is nice, so I've been dining outdoors when I go to restaurants.

Dr. Gupta's reaction to the CDC's big announcement

D.C.'s Recent Drop In COVID-19 Case Counts Was Due To A Reporting Error, Say Health Officials

https://dcist.com/story/21/05/11/dc-low-covid-numbers-due-to-reporting-error/



Just one day after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser cited the city’s plummeting case counts in her decision to end to most capacity limits in the coming weeks, DC Health said those case counts were actually incorrect.

On Tuesday, the city’s daily coronavirus update came with the news that DC Health identified “a backlog of cases from the past 3-4 days.” According to the health agency, some of the missed cases are reported in today’s daily tally of 87 new positive cases, and more will be reported tomorrow. The error was due to an IT issue, which has since been resolved.

On Saturday, May 8 the city reported only 28 new cases, and on Sunday, that number dropped to 16. On Monday, the day Bowser announced that the city would lift nearly all of its coronavirus-related restrictions later this month, only 15 cases were reported.

The low — and now incorrect – numbers brought the city’s average daily case rate, a key metric that guides reopening decisions, down to 5.9 per 100,000 residents as of May 9. (The average daily case rate lags a few days behind each daily case count.) The goal is to get that number below 5.0, which would indicate minimal community spread.


Just after announcing reopening plans.

Nothing quite like some excitement followed by disappointment.

Indian Americans Don't Know What to Feel Right Now

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/05/indian-american-covid-pandemic/618748/

On April 15, Gargi Shindé, a 43-year-old nonprofit executive, logged onto Zoom at 5 a.m. From her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, she watched her relatives huddle around a bright-yellow body bag at a crematorium in Pune, India. They were performing the final rites for Shindé’s aunt, Vijaya, who had just died from COVID-19. All she could do was watch. The bag was almost fully zipped, revealing only Vijaya’s face, which appeared tiny and blurry through Shindé’s phone. “The only contribution I had was writing an obituary,” she told me, “and I’m scared I’ll have to do another one soon.”

On top of the grief and anger she’s feeling, Shindé has been struggling to comprehend the “surreal, stark contrast” between her own safety in Charlotte—where restrictions are loosening—and the catastrophe upending life back home. Then, on Thursday, Shindé emailed to tell me that another one of her aunts had just died from COVID-19.

Over the past two weeks, tragedies like what Shindé experienced are becoming a horrific new reality for Indian Americans. Many are glued to WhatsApp through the night, checking in on relatives as India confronts one of the world’s worst coronavirus surges. Every day, India is breaking grim global pandemic records, and even these numbers may be dramatically lower than the actual toll. The situation has become so dire that it verges on apocalyptic: Hospitals are running out of beds and oxygen, and people are dying while waiting for treatment. Crematoria are so overcrowded that workers are building makeshift funeral pyres in car parks, where grieving families wait for up to 20 hours for access.

Meanwhile, although the pandemic is very much still not over in the United States, it’s hard not to feel optimistic about where things are headed: Almost a third of all Americans are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, allowing people to return to some semblance of normal life. If vaccination rates hold, President Joe Biden has promised that by July 4, the U.S. will “begin to celebrate our independence from the virus.” But for Indian Americans, a majority of whom are immigrants, the widely divergent realities unfolding in India versus the U.S. are disorienting and even guilt-inducing. Seeing your loved ones suffer is hard enough, but when your own situation is so full of hope, it can be tough to know how to feel.


It's rough for those who are checking on loved ones overseas in hard hit countries like India.
Posted by IronLionZion | Sun May 2, 2021, 04:01 PM (0 replies)

Ban On Menthol Cigarettes Could 'Solve A Fundamental Problem' In The U.S., Says Surgeon General

Harris Speaks On U.S. Restricting Travel To India MSNBC

Posted by IronLionZion | Sat May 1, 2021, 12:27 PM (0 replies)

DC Water Just Finished Digging A 5-Mile Tunnel 100 Feet Below The City

https://dcist.com/story/21/04/27/dc-water-finishes-digging-tunnel-stop-flooding-sewage-overflow-anacostia-river/



Chris has been underground since 2018, diligently digging, starting at RFK Stadium and slowly moving northwest. Now, Chris’s work is complete — a 5-mile long, 23-ft. wide tunnel that will soon prevent sewage overflows into the Anacostia River and stop flooding in low-lying neighborhoods, including Le Droit Park and Bloomingdale.

Chris is a massive tunnel boring machine, longer than a football field, that simultaneously digs the tunnel and constructs its concrete walls, all 100 feet below ground. The tunnel runs underneath Metro’s tunnels (and everything else humans have built underground) and is wider than a Metro tunnel, too.

“It’s amazing accomplishment,” says Carlton Ray, vice president of DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project. The project aims to build 18 miles of such tunnels, capturing sewage overflow that would otherwise flow into the Anacostia, the Potomac, and Rock Creek. This sewage overflow is a result of D.C.’s antiquated sewer system, and one of the major reasons the city’s water bodies are too polluted to swim or fish in.

“The federal government left D.C. this undersized sewer system that basically when it rains, we have raw sewage or combined sewage overflows into the river,” Ray says. “We’re capturing that that sewage and ultimately are going to make the Anacostia River fishable and swimmable.”



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