Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Jonah Brunet points out the wide variety of definitions of the term "lockdown" in response to COVID-19 - with imprecision in the meaning of basic terms being used to drive anti-social complaints about even the most minimal public health measures. And Nisreen Alwan writes about the need for greater recognition of the widespread and devastating effects of long COVID.

- Sara Mojtehedzadeh and Maria Sarrouh report on the Ontario workplaces which have served as COVID hot spots - with a lack of paid sick leave unsurprisingly looming as a common contributor, even as Doug Ford blusters about being more committed to avoiding people having two sources of benefits than their being able to stay healthy. And Joel Dryden and Sarah Rieger report on another belated closure of an Alberta slaughterhouse only after hundreds of cases (including one death).

- Norma Cohen proposes that an excess profit tax could ensure that distortions in supplies and prices resulting from the pandemic don't turn into a windfall for a lucky few at the expense of people in general. And Lucinda Chitapain discusses how corporate-driven intellectual property rules are making vaccines and treatments into drivers of concentrated wealth and increasing inequality.

- Leslie Kaufman reports on new research showing that the Trump administration's attacks on environmental regulations are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. And Jacob Knutsen reports that in contrast, Joe Biden is looking at finally reining in the use of "forever chemicals".

- Finally, Luke Savage interviews Kate Aronoff about the need for U.S. climate policy to go beyond an end to active self-sabotage. Michael Harris notes that the Libs' efforts to simultaneously promote fossil fuel exports and climate change action make it impossible to succeed in the latter. And Jodi-Ann Juexuan Wang highlights the need for government action to make any progress in the fight to avert climate breakdown.

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