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Monday 08.09.21


The Tokyo Olympics just ended, but can you believe the Beijing 2022 Winter Games are less than six months away? Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On With Your Day.
 

By AJ Willingham

A medical worker rests last week at a Covid-19 ICU ward in Jonesboro, Arkansas.

1

Coronavirus

The average number of new coronavirus cases in the US has increased ninefold since the beginning of July, and hospitalizations are at their highest rate since February. In some parts of the country, hospitals are at capacity, and loved ones of those battling the virus are pleading for access to life-saving equipment. As if the situation isn’t bad enough, new concerns are starting to arise: Dr. Anthony Fauci says the continued spread of the virus could allow new variants — possibly ones more resistant to vaccines — to emerge and spread if more people don’t get vaccinated. Experts are already seeing more cases of the Lambda variant, which is designated by WHO as a coronavirus “variant of interest.”

2

Afghanistan

The Taliban has seized five provincial capitals in Afghanistan and let loose a string of violence as foreign forces, led by the US, complete their withdrawal from the country. Among the areas now under Taliban control is Kunduz, a strategically important provincial capital that marks the first major city to fall to the Taliban since it began its offensive in May. Afghanistan’s swift descent into violence has been alarming and follows international warnings that a foreign troop withdrawal could lead to a Taliban resurgence. Now, there is concern that even the country’s capital of Kabul could fall. In the past week, the US has increased airstrikes against Taliban positions in a bid to halt its advances.

3

Infrastructure

The Senate has voted to cut off debate on the massive $1.2 trillion infrastructure package, clearing the way for a vote on the final passage of the bipartisan bill. Sixty-eight senators, including 18 Republicans, voted to invoke cloture (quickly halting the debate) to break the filibuster and push the process forward. The Senate is now expected to hold a final vote tomorrow morning. Senators are confident the bill will pass, but there’s been some recent shuffling of necessary Republican support of the bill. If it passes, it wouldn’t just be a win for President Biden’s agenda; it would also be a win for both parties, which have worked for months to come to an agreement on the bill. An affirmative Senate vote wouldn’t make it a done deal, though. The bill would still face significant challenges in the House. 

4

Climate

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released a new report, and the message is clear: Deadly and irreversible effects of climate change are already here. Unlike previous assessments, the report also concludes it is “unequivocal” that humans have caused the climate crisis. It states the world has rapidly warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels and is now careening toward 1.5 degrees — a critical threshold that world leaders have agreed should represent the upper limit of global warming. Scientists say the only way to keep from reaching this point of no return and to prevent even more catastrophic damage is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero.

Starfish

No Safe Place 3

Attachment

Last night between midnight and one am a Starfish

The last

crept through my dream of a beach in Maine. It was pale and

faded. I couldn’t feel it. Because the starfish is losing

its ability to function normally, dreams may have to

be revised.

 Starfish are Echinoderms, belonging to the class Asteroidea,

soon there will be

starfish only in certain tide pools located in certain

cool climates with freeflowing water. The starfish may not

exist in dreams.

The starfish

will not know what happened to her.

Passports will be unavailable

for marine invertabrates.

Yesterday I spoke with another single

person about the numbness that happenes

with detachment and I thought of the starfish,

unable to attach, their tube feet operated by a hydraulic

system which is now obsolete just as human connection.

The Northern Pacific Sea Star is considered one of the 100

worst invasive species. Very comparable to what the

Human is and has done to our oceans and

all the other starfish.

No Safe Place 1

No Safe Place                                                             

 

 

 

Minnow

 

 

Today I was watching an

insignificant film in which a

young girl traveling in Italy with her

Dad was swimming in a hotel

pool doing laps inside of the

20 feet length back and forth

and I started to

cry. Only in Italy do they have

hotel pools carved out of marble

lipped with travertine, lined with

Carrera, filled with the water of

Aquaducts and baptizing tears.

I saw my daughter at 12, a minnow,

Black haired and glistening, and I

remember promising her we

would return with her

daughter to a pool in Italy

someday. I wonder if anything

I promised will come true