Friday, January 13, 2023

Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- Oscar Grenfell discusses how Australia is among the countries which has seen a declining life expectancy due to COVID-19 - with a distinct trend based on when it chose to let the pandemic run rampant. Jonathan Shaw examines the evidence showing greater risks of more severe outcomes arising out of reinfections. And Ollie Williams reports on arbitral decisions out of the Northwest Territories rejecting government arguments to dispense with COVID leave merely because it has chosen to lift any declaration of a public health emergency while the pandemic rages on. 

- Meanwhile, Chandra Philip reports on the continuing crisis at Saskatchewan's children's hospital which is having to warehouse patients in spaces not intended for care. And Parry Winsa reports on research showing that patients who try to address their conditions with virtual "walk-in" clinics - which privateering governments and corporations are pushing instead of funding primary physicians - are twice as likely to end up in the emergency room as those who are able to consult with a family doctor. 

- Colin McKerracher reports on the increase in electric vehicle sales over the past few years, while David Wallace-Wells points out that a fuller picture needs to include an even more substantial movement toward electric bikes. And Emily Pointecorvo discusses how a transition process will require far more electricians - which represents a challenge in meeting the new need, but also an obvious opportunity to create new skilled jobs (where the fossil fuel sector is relentlessly slashing them even while pocketing massive profits). 

- Bill McKibben and Oliver Milman each examine the latest revelations about Exxon's detailed knowledge of the global warming caused by fossil fuel use even as it spent massive amounts of money on lobbying and disinformation to prevent any action to combat it. And Aliaksandr Herasimenka et al. study the public-facing funding and infrastructure behind vaccine misinformation. 

- Ram Singh studies (PDF) the systemic gap between reported income and wealth among the wealthiest few - signaling that documented income inequality far underestimates the real disparity in resources.  

- Finally, Akansha Batra, Kaitlyn Jackson and Rita Hamad find that the U.S.' 2021 child tax credit expansion which put a substantial dent in poverty rates also had a marked positive effect on mental health. And Elaine Power, Jennifer Brady and Dian Day write that while a national school food policy would be a plus, it would cover only a small part of the need for support for lower-income families. 

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