Simulation for different immunity scenarios

As vaccinations roll out, we work towards herd immunity, there are various challenges to consider along the way. Thomas Wilburn and Richard Harris, reporting for NPR, used simulations to imagine three scenarios: a more infectious variant of the coronavirus, high initial immunity, and low initial immunity.

Since it’s a simulation it of course doesn’t consider every real-life detail of immunity and viral spread, but the animations and the hexagon grids provide a good overhead view.

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Simulation for different immunity scenarios

As vaccinations roll out, we work towards herd immunity, there are various challenges to consider along the way. Thomas Wilburn and Richard Harris, reporting for NPR, used simulations to imagine three scenarios: a more infectious variant of the coronavirus, high initial immunity, and low initial immunity.

Since it’s a simulation it of course doesn’t consider every real-life detail of immunity and viral spread, but the animations and the hexagon grids provide a good overhead view.

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How the Census translates to power, a cat comic

State population dictates the number of seats in the House of Representatives, so ideally, the decennial Census counts everyone and power is fairly distributed. On the surface, that seems straightforward? For NPR, Connie Jin and Hansi Lo Wang explain with a cat comic.

Because cats.

See also the cat guide on spotting misinformation.

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Where there are hospital staff shortages

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.

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Millions of people experienced unhealthy air in 2020

NPR estimated how many people have experienced unhealthy air this year, largely in part to the wildfires on the west coast:

An NPR analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality data found that nearly 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington live in counties that experienced at least one day of “unhealthy” or worse air quality during wildfire season so far this year. That’s 1 in 7 Americans, an increase of more than 9 million people compared with 2018, the worst previous year.

Oh.

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Millions of people experienced unhealthy air in 2020

NPR estimated how many people have experienced unhealthy air this year, largely in part to the wildfires on the west coast:

An NPR analysis of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency air quality data found that nearly 50 million people in California, Oregon and Washington live in counties that experienced at least one day of “unhealthy” or worse air quality during wildfire season so far this year. That’s 1 in 7 Americans, an increase of more than 9 million people compared with 2018, the worst previous year.

Oh.

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Shift of Covid-19 deaths to medium and small cities

When this all started, Covid-19 was impacting large cities at a much higher rate than everywhere else. This straightforward chart from NPR shows how the share of deaths in small and medium cities has made its way up to over half of all weekly Covid-19 deaths.

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Wearing masks and infection rate

Studies suggest that wide adoption of masks can reduce the spread of the coronavirus. A meta-analysis by Ali Mokdad and his research group at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates at least a 30% reduction and up to 50%, which can lead to a big difference, as illustrated by Connie Jin for NPR:

Wear the mask.

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A comic on spotting misinformation

There’s a lot of misinformation passing through the internets right now. A lot. Connie Jin, for NPR, made a comic that explains how to spot it.

I suspect FD readers are better than average at staying skeptical, but maybe pass this along to the family members who aren’t so good and picking out what is real and not.

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Why the city is hotter than the suburb

NPR used video from a thermographic camera to explain why cities tend to be hotter than their surrounding areas. Straightforward and a good complement to the video.

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