Tuesday, June 22, 2021
Vaccinating Wildfire Fighters, Vaccinated V.I.P.s
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If you’ve been out on the trails, you know how dusty the trail beyond this Chocolate Lily is already, even though it’s still May.
   
Sunday, May 23, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Gov. Brad Little told members of the Idaho State Land Board this week that wildland firefighters need to get vaccinated before what could be a horrendous fire season.

Lives could be lost if firefighters get sidelined and can’t fight fires due to COVID, he said.

Eighty-four percent of the West is suffering from drought—47 percent of it, extreme drought. Idaho experienced the third driest March and April since 1895. And the Sun Valley area is the driest in the state for a second year in a row.

The Big Wood Basin has just 15 percent of its normal snowpack for this time of the year. The Little Wood Basin has 23 percent.

IDAHO CONTINUES TO LAG IN VACCINATION RATE

More than half of adults are fully vaccinated in 19 states, including Colorado, Washington and South Dakota.

Idaho’s vaccine rate is 31 percent—one of the lowest in the nation. There are 10 states that have vaccinated fewer than half of their adult residents—Idaho, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming. And all have seen increases in COVID cases.

New Jersey, which had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 during periods of the pandemic, now has the third lowest rate of new cases—less than five cases per 100,000 people per day. It’s one of seven states that has vaccinated more than 70 percent of its adults.

Health officials warn that the virus has many chances to change and become more dangerous as it finds geographic areas that are under-immunized.

“It will continue to smolder, will continue to make people sick, will continue to send people to the hospital and will continue to cause deaths,” Dr. William Schaffner a member of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices told CNN.

Nationwide nearly half of those ages 18 and older are fully vaccinated.

OREGON OFFERS CASH PRIZES FOR VACCINES

Oregon is trying to entice residents to get vaccinated with 36 prizes of $10,0000—one for each county. It also is offering five $100,000 college scholarships for youth ages 12-17.

The drawing will take place on June 28. And, yes, even the first Oregon residents to be vaccinated will be entered. Oregon is using money from the Coronavirus Relief Act to fund the enticements.

Ohio, Maryland and New York are also offering lottery prizes. Vaccinations spiked after Ohio became the first to announce its program. The day of the announcement 13,137 Ohioans got shots; the day after the announcement 31,063 people got shots.

VACCINATED V.I.P.s

Vaccinated Americans are being treated as V.I.P.s in some quarters, says an article in the New York Times. Dodgers Stadium has a special seating area for the vaccinated. Madam’s Organ Blues Bar in Washington, D.C., is not admitting people to work, drink or play music unless they’ve had their shots.

The Bayou restaurant in Salt Lake City is opening its doors only to those who have had shots. Fort Bragg is offering vaccinated soldiers the chance to work out at a gym where unvaccinated troops cannot. And in some quarters vaccinated troops may now eat in groups, while the unvaccinated grab their grub and go.

Evite and other party goods businesses are even offering customized invitations for those who want guests to be fully vaccinated.

YOU COULD BE VISITING THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA

The European Union has approved a vaccine passport system that will allow American tourists and others from low-risk countries to visit without needing to test or quarantine.

VACCINATIONS TO DETERMINE WASHINGTON’S REOPENING

The State of Washington is on track to fully reopen its economy by June 30. But a full reopening could happen sooner if 70 percent or more of those over age 16 get at last one dose of vaccine, Gov. Jay Inslee said. Currently, restaurants, bars and gyms are operating at 50 percent indoor capacity.

AVOIDING COVID ON EVEREST

Some Mount Everest climbers are spending weeks in oxygen-deprivation tents at home in places like New Jersey to reduce their exposure to the coronavirus ahead of their attempts to summit the world’s tallest mountain. At least three mountaineers have been evacuated from base camp after contracting the coronavirus, according to Agence France-Presse.

The plastic oxygen-deprivations tents are attached to a machine that sucks oxygen from the air, replacing it with nitrogen. Climbers can also avail themselves as of face masks that reduce their oxygen supply as they exercise on stationary bikes.

Nepal, a country of 28 million people, has been averaging 9,000 daily COVID-19 infections. A climbing guide told the Associated Press in Kathmandu this week that there are at least 100 climbers with COVID.

Meanwhile, Mongolia has received enough vaccine from Russia and China to inoculate all its adults.

BOOSTER SHOTS HOLD UP AGAINST VARIANTS

Moderna says data from a clinical trial shows its booster shots improve people’s immune responses against two variants of concern: The South Africa and Brazil variants. The variant-specific booster performed better than the original shot, producing twice as many neutralizing antibodies.

DIABETES INCREASES IN WAKE OF COVID

Researchers have found that COVID survivors utilizing the Department of Veterans Affairs  are 39 percent more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes within six months after infection than non-infected users of the VA health system.

They’re not sure why, Bloomberg says. It’s possible the virus may damage the pancreas, which makes insulin to convert blood-sugar into energy. Or, it could be the sedentary lifestyle brought on by lockdowns.


 

 

 

 

 

~  Today's Topics ~


Wildfire Season-Know the 5 Ps

Fire Chief Looks at Ways to Reduce Risk of Wildfire to Your Home

Former Gobi Desert Laborer Examines Whether China Can Sustain Its Economic Expansion
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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