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Posted by What's Newin
Reporting for NPR, Sean McMinn and Selena Simmons-Duffins on staffing shortages:
On data availability:
This is the first time the federal agency has released this data, which includes limited reports going back to summer. The federal government consistently started collecting this data in July. After months of steadily trending upward, the number of hospitals reporting shortages crossed 1,000 this month and has stayed above since.
The data, however, are still incomplete. Not all hospitals that report daily status COVID-19 updates to HHS are reporting their staffing situations, so it’s impossible to tell for sure how much these numbers have increased.
The first time.
It was back in March, a few lifetimes ago, when we were talking about flattening the curve so that hospitals could provide care to those who needed it. This federal dataset is just coming out now in November? Obscene.
A small gathering of 10 people or fewer can seem like a low-risk activity, and at the individual level, it’s lower risk than going to a big birthday party. But when a lot of people everywhere are gathering, small or large, the collective risk goes up. For FiveThirtyEight, Maggie Koerth and Elena Mejía illustrate the reasoning.
The collective part is where many seem to get tripped up. “Flattening the curve” only works when everyone works together. Lower your risk, and you lower the collective risk. You’re helping others. You’re helping those you care about.
Then, collectively, we all get out of this mess.
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Weekend reads: Stem cell trouble?; retractions of articles on a newborn’s death; facial recognition papers draw scrutiny
Posted by weekend readsin
For The Pudding, Michelle McGhee analyzed representation in crossword puzzles. Some crossword publications do better than others.
As of December 2019, The USA Today puzzle is edited by Erik Agard, a 27-year old crossword champ who told me, “bringing some balance on the representation front is something I actively try to do.” A prominent crossword blogger called USA Today’s puzzle “the most interesting, innovative, and provocative daily crossword” out right now. Let’s take a look at how USA Today, and other publications, are taking a puzzle that’s been called too old, too white, too male, and changing it up.
The story also comes with playable, data-generated puzzles so that you can feel the difference over decades.