Monday, May 16, 2022

The causes, effects, and possible solutions to the baby formula shortage from PBS, CNBC, ABC, and Inside Edition

Weekend Update compares this week's headlines to 'Mad Max' on last night's 'SNL' "opened with a litany of unpleasant realities" that were "also a list of future blogging topics." One of those was the baby formula shortage. As Colin Jost (and his writers) noted, it's ironic, if not downright perverse, that Alito's leaked Supreme Court opinion mentioned "the domestic supply of infants" at the same time we're having trouble feeding the ones we already have. That's dystopian.

PBS NewsHour described the situation in Parents nationwide struggle with a critical baby formula shortage.

A baby formula shortage has become a major problem for parents around the U.S., one without quick solutions. About 40 percent of formula is out of stock nationwide due to supply chain disruptions, inflation and a recall by one of the biggest producers. Meanwhile, the White House announced steps to address the shortage. Brian Dittmeier, of the National WIC Association, joins Ali Rogin to discuss.
I agree with Jessica Cohen Taubman that moms should be in charge of the world, at least for a few days, just to solve problems like this. I'm sharing one such solution at the end of the post.

While PBS did a good job of showing the effects of the shortages in its interviews of mothers and explaining what the U.S. government could do to solve it, it didn't focus enough on the causes of the problem. For that, I turn to CNBC Television explaining How the baby formula shortage happened.

CNBC's Valerie Castro joins The News with Shepard Smith to report on the baby formula shortage and what the administration hopes to do about it.
Four companies control 90% of the market. I've seen that before, as four companies control the beef industry. I wrote then that this could be bad for consumers. The baby formula shortage shows one way this happens.

ABC News reported more of what the U.S. government could do to solve the problem in White House addresses plans to ease baby formula shortage.

President Joe Biden spoke with retailers and manufacturers to make supplies available as quickly as possible, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday.
Looks like the Biden Administration is taking this issue seriously. Also, this was one of Jen Psaki's final press conferences. I wish her success in her future endeavors.

I close with one of the solutions mothers have devised to alleviate the crisis in Inside Edition's Baby Formula Shortage Crisis Is Getting Worse.

The White House promised it’s working hard to solve the national baby formula shortage. But for families with newborn babies and infants, a solution can’t come soon enough. As they get down to their last formula supply, people are getting more and more desperate in their search. A mom named Gina from Sound Beach, New York, drove for hours with her 10-month-old son, looking for formula. She found a lot of bare shelves.
As I've written before, Inside Edition is a syndicated infotainment newsmagazine that is not the hardest news source, so I'm not surprised it presents stories in a very personalized and somewhat sensationalized way. Still, it's a major source of information for many people — this video currently has 412,976 views, nearly twenty times more than the next most viewed video I embedded from CNBC Television with 24,779 — so I shouldn't ignore it. Besides, it shows a Nature knows best solution, donating breast milk, that mothers are contributing to help with the shortage. I find that admirable; I just don't know how scalable it is.

I told my readers to "Stay tuned to see how many of [the unpleasant realities] I tackle this week" yesterday. One down.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Weekend Update compares this week's headlines to 'Mad Max' on last night's 'SNL'

I should have known better yesterday, when I wrote "That's it for reality. Stay tuned for the next Sunday entertainment feature, which will likely be another compilation of highlights from tonight's 'Saturday Night Live.'" Weekend Update: Cryptocurrency Crashes, Mitch McConnell Visits Ukraine opened with a litany of unpleasant realities.*

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like the nationwide baby formula shortage.
It was just this past Thursday that I referenced "Mad Max," so I guess there's something in the air. It also reminds me of what I wrote last September.
[W]hat once felt like the End Times have just become the times reminded me that my wife remarked after looking at the news over the weekend that it feels like it's one apocalyptic event after another. My response was that the pandemic alone isn't the Apocalypse, but it is an apocalypse. The same with all the rest of the calamitous events this summer.
The summer of 2022 hasn't even begun yet, but I still think and feel this way about the news.

Now for the entertainment news in the second segment of Weekend Update: Ukraine Wins Eurovision, 7,000 NYC Rat Sightings Reported.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Mega Millions announcing the wrong winning number.
Congratulations to Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra on winning Eurovision! May that provide a morale boost to the country in its war with Russia. Also, congratulations on getting me to mention Eurovision for the first time since Oscar nominated scores and songs for National Film Score Day 13 months ago.

Even the writers for "SNL" needed a break from the news and they put words to that effect in Kate McKinnon's mouth as Nicole Wallace, who introduced Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Trial Cold Open.

Johnny Depp (Kyle Mooney) and his lawyer (Aidy Bryant) show evidence in the courtroom.
I haven't been following the trial closely, but the viewers that have commented that this wasn't nearly as funny as the real thing and expressed their disappointment. Still, it's a sign that, like me, "SNL" also has "I can't be all DOOM all the time" moods and needed some escapism. I can't say I blame them.

*It's also a list of future blogging topics. Stay tuned to see how many of them I tackle this week.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

CNBC and PBS report record overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021

As I wrote about the largest drop in life expectancy since World War II and repeated in U.S. life expectancy continued falling in 2021, a pandemic update, "the pandemic is responsible for most of the drop, [but] other causes, like the opioid epidemic and systemic racism making the pandemic worse for minorities, played roles in lowering life expectancy." After examining how misinformation and the partisan divide contributed to 1 million deaths from COVID-19 this month, it's time to look at one of the other causes U.S. life expectancy has fallen. Watch CNBC Television report U.S. overdose deaths hit highest total on record.

CNBC's Shep Smith reports on the increase in drug overdose deaths in the United States. Last year, more than 107,000 people died. It was the highest total on record.
While Shep Smith did a good job of presenting the headline numbers, including the best preview image I could find, he and his writers did not explore the reasons for the surge in overdose deaths. I turn to PBS NewsHour's Overdose deaths in the U.S. reached record levels in 2021 to explain those.

New CDC data released Wednesday indicates that deaths from drug overdoses in the U.S. reached a record-high last year. More than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, the highest annual death toll ever recorded. Deaths from fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine rose sharply. Dr. Nora Volkow, the National Institute On Drug Abuse director, joins Geoff Bennett to discuss.
Americans and others taking drugs to deal with the stress of the pandemic doesn't surprise. I expect it's part of the 15 million excess deaths worldwide I mentioned two days ago. It's also an example of two of Commoner's Laws: There is no free lunch and everything is connected to everything else. As I wrote in COVID-19 and diabetes for World Diabetes Day 2021, a pandemic update, "All of the systems in our body are connected to each other and what we do to or for one system will have effects on the rest. Also, isolating ourselves to protect us from the pandemic comes at a price, which we have to pay one way or another..."

Speaking of connections, overdoses from fentanyl contamination of other drugs have shown up in two of my favorite shows, "Ozark" and "Big Sky." I can't escape the opioid epidemic even in my entertainment.

By the way, I'm glad to see PBS interviewing Dr. Nora Volkow. While the U.S. probably wouldn't have more than 100,000 deaths without the pandemic, the country would still likely be seeing record numbers of overdoses and news organizations would be interviewing Dr. Volkow even more often. She deserves the recognition.

That's it for reality. Stay tuned for the next Sunday entertainment feature, which will likely be another compilation of highlights from tonight's "Saturday Night Live."

Friday, May 13, 2022

'The History of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror' from ReviewTyme on Friday the 13th

It's Friday the 13th! This year, instead of exploring the psychology and history of the day, I'm taking a cue from one of my Halloween themes, the Haunted Mansion, by blogging about the other spooky attraction, the Tower of Terror, which was found at four Disney theme parks on three continents, now three parks but still on three continents. For an overview of the ride in all of its locations, watch ReviewTyme's The History of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror.

You are the passengers on a most uncommon elevator about to ascend into your very own episode of The Twilight Zone.

On July 22nd, 1994 - the Hollywood Tower Hotel was opened to the public. It was and still is an absolute modern marvel of an attraction that completely changed how the industry viewed thrill rides. This is the history of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror.
I plan on covering the technology of the attraction and Tokyo DisneySea's version of the ride in future Friday the 13th or Halloween installments. In the meantime, I have a drink recipe video for today's theme, Monster Movie Happy Hour "Twilight Zone" cocktail.

The crew step back in time to 1960 and help celebrate the 60th anniversary of the premiere of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone" tv series.
The technology used to replace the actual background with the images of a 1960s living room and kitchen looks like the one I use on Zoom, where the programming is very good at recognizing what's me, but not so good at keeping any inanimate object I'm holding in the picture if it's not directly in front of me. I played "magic tricks" on my students last semester by making my smartphone disappear when I moved it off to my side. Still, I found this an interestingly conceived and executed video, despite the low budget effects, and subscribed to the channel. I can always use more entertaining drink recipes!

Enough fantasy and entertainment. I will return to reality tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

PBS NewsHour explains 'How misinformation and the partisan divide drove a surge in U.S. COVID deaths,' a pandemic update on Throwback Thursday

I included a program note in the footnote to Dr. Fauci and Stevie Wonder address political division at commencement ceremonies in Michigan.
I'll probably get to "more pandemic news, including global death estimates" that I promised in NBC News and MSNBC report the U.S. passed 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a pandemic update Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, stay tuned for the final retrospective of the 2021-2022 blogging year on Throwback Thursday.
It turned out that the most active link to a blog entry posted between March 21, 2021 and March 20, 2022 was 'Contagion' vs. COVID-19 updates last year's most commented entries on Throwback Thursday, so instead of making today's final strictly about Twitter, the final retrospective of the 2021-2022 blogging year will again be about the pandemic.

I begin with PBS NewsHour revisiting Vox explains 'How American conservatives turned against the vaccine,' a pandemic update as it explains How misinformation and the partisan divide drove a surge in U.S. COVID deaths.

As the death toll from the coronavirus nears 1 million Americans, we’ve been exploring why the U.S. Suffered such a terrible loss, especially when compared to other nations similar to us. While there are many reasons for this, one of them is that many Americans have not wanted to be vaccinated. William Brangham reports.
I'm going to be a good environmentalist by recycling my reaction from February.
I found this depressing but not surprising, as I've been seeing this develop since I wrote Samantha Bee on 'Mask Hysteria' two years ago, even before vaccines. Since then, I've been paying attention to Charles Gaba at ACASignups.net who has been tracking vaccination rates vs. partisanship since May 2021....He found the same relationship between party identification and vaccination rates that [PBS NewsHour] showed in the video above.
I'm also going to recycle my reaction from U.S. life expectancy continued falling in 2021, a pandemic update, "widespread availability of vaccines has not translated into universal acceptance of vaccines..." On that note, here is Charles's graph that best matches the vaccinated vs. unvaccinated death rate in the video above from Monthly Update: COVID Death Rates by Partisan Lean & Vaccination Rate, except that it charts death rate by county against partisanship instead of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated.


It's amazing how closely they match.

PBS NewsHour also covered global death estimates last week when it reported WHO report finds nearly 15 million deaths associated with COVID-19 worldwide.

Nearly 15 million people around the world have died from COVID's impact, directly or indirectly, during the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new World Health Organization report. It’s also about three times higher than governments have reported so far. University of Washington's Jonathan Wakefield, whose modeling work helped produce the report, joins William Brangham for more.
I explored excess deaths during the pandemic from other causes in Americans speeding during the pandemic is increasing traffic deaths, a driving update, Traffic accidents down but fatal accidents up in Michigan while drivers overpaid $1 billion for insurance during 2020, a driving update, and COVID-19 and diabetes for World Diabetes Day 2021, a pandemic update, so I'm not surprised by the high rate of excess deaths not directly caused by COVID-19. I am a little surprised that Australia and New Zealand didn't experience higher traffic deaths. I guess the land of Mad Max didn't have people speeding on open roads. Before I move on, I was always a little skeptical that India had fewer deaths than the U.S. from the pandemic. An estimate of 4.7 million may be higher than I expected, but I really do think India had more deaths than the U.S.'s 1 million.

Speaking of which, both PBS and ABC News, which broadcast and uploaded Breakthrough COVID-19 deaths increasing as omicron subvariants spread last night, still think the country is close but hasn't passed that grim milestone yet, but expect it will pass it soon (I think we passed it already).

Breakthrough deaths comprise a larger share of COVID-19 deaths amid a surge of cases nationwide. ABC News medical contributor Dr. Alok Patel explains what you need to know.
That's not good news. Despite what Dr. Fauci said to PBS NewsHour last month, we are still in an active pandemic and cases are going up, even though deaths so far haven't followed suit.

That's it for today's pandemic update. Follow over the jump for the most active links on Twitter during the eleventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Dr. Fauci and Stevie Wonder address political division at commencement ceremonies in Michigan

Two celebrities speaking at graduation ceremonies in southeast Michigan addressed political division and exhorted graduates to fight its pernicious effects this past weekend. I begin with Dr. Anthony Fauci delivers University of Michigan 2020 Comeback Graduation Remarks from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President, delivered a compelling speech to the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 graduates at the University of Michigan Comeback Commence at Michigan Stadium on Saturday, May 7, 2022. He applauded the graduates’ adaptability, resilience, and dedication despite the difficulties and uncertainties of the pandemic, saying he is “in awe” of them.
After praising the graduates and recounting how he began researching HIV and AIDS, he remarked on the polarized political environment where those on one side of the ideological divide reject science. In particular, he warned the attendees against "the normalization of untruths." That's a message I can get behind.*

WATCH: Stevie Wonder receives honorary doctorate from Wayne State from WXYZ to see and hear the other celebrity speaker last weekend.

Motown legend Stevie Wonder received an honorary doctorate from Wayne State University on Saturday.
I'm with Wonder; it's disheartening that Americans still have to fight for civil rights, voting rights, and reproductive rights, but fight we must.

*This is only indirectly a pandemic update. I'll probably get to "more pandemic news, including global death estimates" that I promised in NBC News and MSNBC report the U.S. passed 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a pandemic update Friday or Saturday. In the meantime, stay tuned for the final retrospective of the 2021-2022 blogging year on Throwback Thursday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Newsy asks 'Are High Gas Prices Pushing People To Electric Vehicles?'

I have good news and bad news about rising gas prices. The good news is that it is one of the factors convincing Americans to buy electric vehicles. Newsy found that as part of the answer to Are High Gas Prices Pushing People To Electric Vehicles?

Electric vehicles are becoming a larger share of the U.S. car market, pushed both by consumer demand and federal policy changes. #NewsyInTheLoop shares why more people are going electric and the obstacles some automakers and potential buyers are seeing along the way.
It certainly convinced my daughter. She saw $6/gallon gas in Hollywood last fall and decided to buy an EV. I approve.

The response by Congressional Democrats like Chuck Schumer is a continuation of what I described last month.
PBS is showing both sides trying to score political points, Democrats against big corporations and Republicans against environmental regulation. It's no surprise that I'm on the Democrats' side on this. However, if CNBC is correct about gasoline and diesel retailers being reluctant about lowering prices at the pump so that they can recoup losses incurred on the way up, then gas station owners are to blame for the continued high cost of fuel. That would mean beating up on local small businesses. I don't think that would play well for either party's politicians, who would rather be seen as defending the public against big business or "big government."
WXYZ examines the role of gas station owners in actually trying to keep prices down in Stations say they are losing money as gas hits record prices in Michigan.

We are not trying to get into the Guinness Book of World Records, but here we are paying a record $4.32 a gallon in Michigan for gas. AAA reports prices in Michigan hit a new high on May 9.
Gas retailers should be selling regular at $4.45 to break even, so they're selling at a loss to keep customers coming in. That's the good news. The bad news is they will keep the price of gas high once crude oil and wholesale gas prices start falling in late July and August. WDIV looks at that price trajectory and the reasons behind it in Michigan gas prices hit new record high.

Help Me Hank is on the mission to figure out why gas prices are soaring.
I'm not surprised.
The other is increased demand in the face of lower supply, something I've worried about for a while, most recently in Oil falls below $0.00 for the first time ever, when I wrote "the collapse in oil prices will lead to oil company bankruptcies, which will decrease competition and lead to higher prices in the future." Those higher prices because of decreased competition and restrained supply have arrived and I think they will last at least until next year. Get used to them.
I agree that $5.00/gallon regular gasoline is coming to Michigan by Memorial Day. I'm glad I drive a Prius.

By the way, high gas prices have increased reader interest in a decade-old post with a catchy title, Hard times plus rising gas prices equals gas thefts. That's because gas thefts are becoming a big problem again. Maybe I should write about it. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 9, 2022

'Last Week Tonight' examines Alito's leaked draft opinion and what it could mean

I quoted John Oliver examines the Supreme Court after 'Last Week Tonight' wins four Emmy Awards, mentioning "all the bad things that can happen to health care, reproductive rights, civil rights, and voting rights" in 'Saturday Night Live' mocks Alito's leaked Supreme Court opinion to open its Mother's Day episode and adding that "If Alito's draft becomes the majority opinion, then bad things will have happened to health care, reproductive rights, and civil rights all at once. This will become one of those times when I wish the comedians and I weren't right." That night, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" broadcast Abortion Ruling, which the show and HBO uploaded this morning.

John Oliver discusses the leaked draft opinion that looks set to overturn Roe v. Wade, how we got to this point, and where we may be headed.
Oliver didn't go as far back as the 1200s, which "Saturday Night Live" did. He only had to note Sir Matthew Hale from the 1600s to point out the antiquated sources Justice Alito cited to support his draft opinion, who was bad enough.

As for Oliver mocking Chuck Schumer saying "this is not your grandfather's Republican Party," yes and no. In terms of style, it certainly isn't, but on reproductive rights, it's been heading this way for decades. While I didn't mention reproductive rights in If I were still a conservative, disagreement with the anti-abortion movement inside the Republican Party, which had nearly completed its takeover of the party by 2000, certainly contributed. My environmentalism, which I did mention in that post from eleven years ago as a reason I left the GOP, leads me to favor birth control, including abortion as a last resort, in order to reach zero population growth. My feminism adds to my support for reproductive rights. I explained both in CNBC asks 'Is The U.S. Running Out Of People?'
U.S. birth rates have been dropping for more than a decade and fertility rates have been dropping for even longer than that. In fact, U.S. fertility rates have been at or below replacement rate since 1973, when Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion. Economic uncertainty and other factors have contributed to the trend.

Second, increased population is bad for the environment, as expressed by the variable P in I=P*A*T "where I is impact, P is population, A is affluence, and T is technology." Impact increases as both population and affluence increases; both drive up demand for resources and create more waste and pollution. Therefore, keeping population down will help the environment. By keeping human population below the carrying capacity for our species, it helps people as well.

Third, increasing educational and economic opportunities for women is the number one way to decrease birth rates and keep them down, although increasing economic security might put a floor under the declining birth rates. Women's education and a stronger economy will also increase affluence, which will increase impact if more efficient technologies don't counteract both affluence and population.
Notice that I started this section by crediting Roe v. Wade for beginning the current period of low birth rates. That Oliver cites an estimate of 75,000 more children being born if (when) it's overturned demonstrates its effectiveness at lowering U.S. population growth.  Therefore, overturning it strikes me as generally bad for sustainability.

What I see as an unfortunate outcome is one that opponents of abortion regard as a good one, including for its economic effects as an alternative solution to the one I proposed last year.
[I]f not enough babies are born in the U.S. to meet our job demand, the country can allow more immigration. I'm O.K. with that, but Donald Trump became president in large part because many Americans weren't and still aren't. That's why, when one of my students asked in 2015 if the U.S. would ever adopt Chinese population policies, I responded no, that's not the American way. If the U.S. thinks it has an overpopulation issue, it would restrict immigration. The next week, Trump rode down the escalator and denounced immigrants. This is one of those cases where I hate being proved right.
If increasing immigration is not an acceptable solution, then increasing the U.S. birth rate would be. It's a way of avoiding what I worried about four years ago and have repeated several times since.
I have been in favor of zero population growth for as long as I can remember. However, I'm not sure the U.S. economy is set up for a stable or slowly declining population, a point I made in the Hipcrime Vocab: Why Slowing Population Growth is a Problem. We are going to have to figure how to do so. Otherwise, I might live long enough to experience the wisdom of the saying "Be careful what you wish for; you might get it."
I can say the same thing for the opponents of Roe v. Wade, who now seem to be moving on to restricting contraception. Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.

Sunday, May 8, 2022

'Saturday Night Live' mocks Alito's leaked Supreme Court opinion to open its Mother's Day episode

Happy Mother's Day! My post celebrating the day is exactly what I predicted it would be yesterday, when I wrote "stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature, which will probably be the highlights of tonight's 'Saturday Night Live' for Mother's Day. That should be fun, although I expect the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade will be a major topic." It sure was. Watch Roe v. Wade Cold Open to see them mock the antiquity of one of Justice Alito's authorities in his draft opinion.

After Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade, a flashback to 13th century England shows the exact moment three men (Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Dismukes, James Austin Johnson) vote to outlaw abortion.

This sketch follows in the grand tradition of Steve Martin's Theodoric of York, Medieval Barber, which mocked the backwardness of the Middle Ages. Yes, I'm old enough to remember that character. Just the same, the concept works. See, I'm not the only person who recycles an idea when its appropriate.

The leaked opinion also led Weekend Update: Roe v. Wade Leaked Draft Opinion, Vladimir Putin to Undergo Cancer Surgery.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like Rudy Giuliani cancelling his scheduled appearance to meet with the January 6 committee.
"Tomorrow is Mother's Day, whether you want it to be or not." That's exactly the joke I was expecting and SNL's writers wasted not time delivering it. As for the quip about Vladimir Putin and cancer, I'll let Andre 3000 reply for me.


Weekend Update continued with Justice Amy Coney Barrett on Overturning Roe v. Wade.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett (Kate McKinnon) stops by Weekend Update to discuss the Supreme Court's leaked draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade and share her opinion on abortion.
"Unless I'm missing something about class in America." McKinnon's version of Justice Barrett certainly is. She and the rest of the segments about the draft opinion remind me of what I wrote in John Oliver examines the Supreme Court after 'Last Week Tonight' wins four Emmy Awards, mentioning "all the bad things that can happen to health care, reproductive rights, civil rights, and voting rights as a result of this nomination..." If Alito's draft becomes the majority opinion, then bad things will have happened to health care, reproductive rights, and civil rights all at once. This will become one of those times when I wish the comedians and I weren't right.

Enough of what is likely to happen to Roe v. Wade. Follow over the jump for two segments about Mother's Day and the conclusion to Weekend Update.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

NBC News and MSNBC report the U.S. passed 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a pandemic update


It's time for a grim update to the U.S. passing 900,000 dead from COVID-19 this past February, MSNBC reporting U.S. Tops One Million Covid-19 Deaths.

The U.S. on Wednesday surpassed 1 million Covid-19 deaths, according to data compiled by NBC News. The Morning Joe panel discusses.
Normally, I'd place this second or third as commentary on the news, but it included the graphic I used to illustrate this entry, so I put it first. Besides, Joe, Mika, and crew followed up on the White House Correspondents Dinner, which Trevor Noah called "a superspreader event" and asked if the reporters there even read their own papers and watched their own news. Joe made the same observation and, despite everyone attending being vaccinated and boosted while testing negative, noted how many attendees came down ill. The BA.2 strain of the Omicron varient is that infectious.

MSNBC broadcast and uploaded that segment on Cinco De Mayo. Here's the first report from NBC News on Star Wars Day, U.S. Surpasses A 'Soul-Crushing Milestone' – 1 Million Covid Deaths.

The U.S. has surpassed 1 million Covid deaths. It's a number that forces us to confront tough questions, like how many of those could have been prevented. It "shakes our consciousness, demands our attention, forces us to pause and consider who and what we have lost," Lester Holt says.
Holt and his writers are noting the ironic, even perverse juxtaposition of the U.S. relaxing safeguards at the same time it passed 1 million dead from this disease. They confessed that they didn't consider "the unpredictability of free will, distrust in science, and simple human behavior." All those put the lie in my hope based on life imitating art that I first wrote in CDC offering zombie apocalypse tips updates 'Zombie Apocalypse Index for Day of the (Walking) Dead,' the top post of the tenth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News for Throwback Thursday and repeated in 'Contagion' vs. COVID-19 updates last year's most commented entries on Throwback Thursday.
By the way, the movie ended with people receiving the vaccine. That's a good sign, as my wife and I got our first shots today. The horror movie is almost over for us.
I hope that's really true, not just for my wife and me, but also for my readers.
Nope, the horror movie continued, as 450,000 more Americans died from the pandemic since I wrote that. To repeat what I wrote in Two years of the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan, "I'm finding people's responses to the pandemic, particularly the partisan reaction, to be more dispiriting than the isolation." About the only consolation I can gather from this grim statistic is that it took 15 weeks for 100,000 more bodies to pile up compared to six weeks between the U.S. passing 800,000 dead and 900,000 dead, so the rate is going in the right direction, but that's cold comfort.

This is a Detroit-based blog, so I'm closing with WDIV/Click On Detroit's US tops 1 million COVID deaths.

At least one million COVID-19 deaths have been recorded in the U.S. since the pandemic began, according to an official count by NBC News.
Remember that every death is a person who is missed.

I have lots more pandemic news, including global death estimates, but I will save those for the next pandemic update. In the meantime, stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature, which will probably be the highlights of tonight's "Saturday Night Live" for Mother's Day. That should be fun, although I expect the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade will be a major topic.