Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Wednesday Afternoon Links

Miscellaneous material for your mid-week reading.

- Liz Szabo examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved - and the reality that the large number of infections in the Omicron wave is overwhelming the benefit of existing immunity.  And Andre Picard highlights how counterproductive it is to be eliminating Ontario's Science Advisory Table and other expert groups in the midst of a pandemic where ignorance has already seized an advantage over evidence-based precautions. 

- Meanwhile, Jane Greenhalgh and Selena Simons-Duffin report on the jarring drop in overall U.S. life expectancy due to the pandemic. Sarah Neville discusses the aftershocks of each COVID wave in increasing the risks of a myriad of other health conditions. And Carly Weeks reports on the drop in routine vaccination rates as anti-vax fanatics have applied their politically-cultivated disregard for public health to other diseases. 

- Justin McCarthy reports on the increasing public support for unions in the U.S., with over 70% of respondents approving of organized labour even in a generally polarized political environment. Caitlin Clark reports on the success of port workers in Tacoma in doubling their pay and securing better benefits and working conditions by unionizing, while Randy Thanthong-Knight reports on Unifor's push for wage increases following the election of Lana Payne. And Gregory Beatty discusses the potential for a four-day work week to improve health and work-life balance without affecting productivity. 

- Beatty also examines the Sask Party's attempt to push students into religious schools rife with abuse and scandal by cutting support for public education. And in the wake of public revelations of exorcisms at a Bible camp, Jason Warick reports that officials actually argued that they were necessary in the name of "spiritual warfare". 

- Nick French writes that the nonsensical and counterproductive response to student debt relief by U.S. Republicans only serves to signal how important and powerful a policy it is. 

- Finally, Pollara finds that a strong majority of Albertans are firmly opposed to both the goals and methods of the Flu Trux Klan (even as the UCP's leadership contenders go out of their way to cater to it). 

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