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Situational Analysis - March 15, 2021
It's Monday, the Ides of March. Today is also National Napping Day, the day after Daylight Savings time returns. Naps can make you feel better and improve your mood. Numerous studies have shown that 10-20 minutes naps are most effective for midday fatigue. Zzzzzzz.
Over the weekend, Utah topped 1 million COVID-19 vaccines administered. At least 75% of Utahns 75 and older have gotten at least their first dose of the vaccine and 52% of Utahns between the ages of 65-69 have received at least one dose.
If you only have time for one thing: Read "These Precious Days" by writer Ann Patchett as she writes about her pandemic year with her house guest, Sooki. Sooki worked for Tom Hanks and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019. She ended up with the Patchett's for much of 2020. "How other people live is pretty much all I think about. Curiosity is the rock upon which fiction is built. But for all the times people have wanted to tell me their story because they think it would make a wonderful novel, it pretty much never works out. People are not characters, no matter how often we tell them they are; conversations are not dialogue; and the actions of our days don't add up to a plot." This is a beautiful, moving piece.
30 days until the end of the Cox/Henderson administration's first 100 days (04/14/2021)
46 days until the Biden/Harris administration's first 100 days are up (04/30/2021)
180 days until half-way through the Cox/Henderson's administration's 500-day plan (09/11/2021)
Today At Utah PolicyRomney: The right way to boycott the Beijing Olympics
By Holly Richardson
As the Beijing Olympic Games approach, it is increasingly clear that China, under the control of the Chinese Communist Party does not deserve an Olympic showcase. Because it is too late to move the Winter Games scheduled for Beijing next February, some have proposed, understandably, that the United States boycott the Games.
Looking back on a 'decade' of a year, pandemic w/in a pandemic, EU countries headed to lock-down and more
By Holly Richardson
Looking back on the "decade" that was last year - We've learned that the United State has some deep fault lines - they were there before the pandemic, but this virus uncovered them in unprecedented ways.
Tweets of the day
By Holly Richardson
Sisters earn their Eagle Scout, a mistake = $15,000 fine, 2 million women have dropped out of the workforce, avalanche survivors rescued in Utah, Arizona lawmaker says that not everybody should be voting and Rhode Islanders aske "Where's the beef?!"
- What a decade this last year has been - Sometimes, a total reset can be a gift (after it stops being awful).
- What does education in Utah look like, post-pandemic? - More virtual schooling, changes in attendance policies.
- Americans drank more during the pandemic. So why did 'dry' bars and businesses survive? - Despite an uptick in alcohol sales, the demand for alcohol-free cocktails and beer appears to be growing.
- No, Donald Trump probably won't replace Rush Limbaugh. But here's who might - Podcaster Ben Shapiro is a possibility, as is Brett Winterble and others.
- Mental health experts warn of '2nd pandemic' stemming from COVID-19 - The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health has likely not been fully realized yet, but studies are already showing concerning trends, including increases of anxiety, depression and substance abuse in the state and nationwide.
- Modern-day Noah creates 'Photo Ark' to save species from extinction - For one veteran wildlife photographer, animal portraits - not plain old cute photos - could be a key to "saving the planet."
- Preserving dreams: Utah bill will allow Medicaid to cover fertility treatments for cancer patients - The bill would direct the Utah Department of Health to apply for a Medicaid waiver to cover fertility preservation treatments. The bill awaits Gov. Spencer Cox's signature before becoming law.
- Utah's place in pandemic nation - As the Utah Legislature put finishing touches on the state's more than $23 billion budget, state leaders repeatedly glowed over what they believe it says about Utah's standing in a nation that has been gripped by COVID-19 for the past year.
- Utah's Doctor: 'I think we're winning' ... knock on wood - Exactly one year since the lockdown, Utah state epidemiologist Dr. Angela Dunn looks at the data and thinks the future looks bright.
Salt Lake Tribune
- States Are Finding More Unreported Covid-19 Deaths (Wall Street Journal) - Backlogs can temporarily raise daily death tolls; 'Nobody likes surprises.."
- Chile becomes Latin America's COVID-19 vaccination champion (Associated Press) - After being among the world's hardest-hit nations with COVID-19, Chile is now near the top among countries at vaccinating its population against the virus.
- Coronavirus relief bill is false advertising: Sen. John Barrasso (ABC News) - Despite Democrats' claims of success on the COVID-19 relief bill, only a portion of the funds go to stopping the spread of the virus, Barrasso, the Senate Republican conference chair, told George Stephanopoulos.
- New York's vaccine czar called county officials to gauge their loyalty to Cuomo amid sexual harassment investigation (Washington Post) - One Democratic county executive was so unsettled by the outreach from Larry Schwartz, head of the state's vaccine rollout, that the executive on Friday filed notice of an impending ethics complaint with the public integrity unit of the state attorney general's office.
- 'Vaccine Passports': Will They Be Available in the U.S. in Time for Summer? (NBC) - Vaccine passports that could determine what people can and can't do come loaded with ethical considerations.
- Pfizer vaccine shots actually stop asymptomatic transmission, too (Deseret News) - Israel's Ministry of Health and Pfizer/BioNTech revealed real-world findings of Pfizer's vaccine.
- Allergies or COVID-19? Here's how to tell the difference (Deseret News) - Some coronavirus symptoms are similar to those of bronchitis, the common cold, the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), this year it is likely that a test will be necessary to tell the difference.
- No link between blood clots and Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, WHO says (Deseret News) - Per The Washington Post, "no causal link had been established" between the vaccine and blood clots.
- These 5 COVID-19 symptoms predict whether you're a long-hauler or not (Deseret News) - A new study in the journal Nature Medicine revealed symptoms of 'long-COVID': Fatigue, headaches, hoarse voice, muscle pain, difficulty breathing.
- Clergy Preach Faith in the Covid Vaccine to Doubters (New York Times) - With widespread immunity essential to ending the pandemic, priests, imams, rabbis and swamis are successfully urging their congregations to get the shots. Many people trust them more than they trust health officials.
- Fauci says Trump should push supporters to get covid vaccine after 'disturbing' poll results show they won't (Washington Post) - Nearly half of Republican men and 47 percent of those who supported Trump in the 2020 election said they would not choose to be vaccinated
- A border community, ICE at odds over release of detainees with covid (Washington Post) - Advocates and county officials say they had no idea ICE was dropping detainees with covid off at the bus stop, while ICE says it is the agency's protocol to notify local authorities ahead of time.
Policy NewsUnited Utah Party to hold convention on April 24
All Uniters are invited to participate in our conventions as delegates (registration required). Our conventions are also open to observers. However, we do ask that you RSVP so that we can accommodate all who would like to attend. This year, our state convention will be held virtually via Zoom. Please RSVP and register no later than April 10th.Call for Candidates for Party OfficeAs part of our state organizing convention, we will elect our state party officers of Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer. We invite any qualified Uniter interested in running for these positions to apply no later than April 10th.
Clear the Air Challenge winners announced
Fidelity Investments and Dell Technologies-Utah took top honors in the 12th annual Clear the Air Challenge, sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise and UCAIR. Numerous companies participated in the annual competition to show their commitment to environmental stewardship and improving our public health through cleaner air.
Free FDA conference March 30-31 for oncology therapy start-ups
Attention academic entrepreneurs and founders of small start-up oncology companies! Oncology Therapy Development Workshop: Pivotal Steps and Avoiding Pitfalls for Start-ups - REGISTER
Sens. Lee, Tillis and Paul introduce Mens Rea Reform Act
Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) yesterday introduced the Mens Rea Reform Act of 2021, a bill that aims to reduce overcriminalization, rein in excessive regulation, and curb overzealous prosecutions.
Rep. Stewart's statement on legislation to protect gun rights
Senator Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ) introduced the Gun-owner Registration Information Protection Act (GRIP Act) on March 11, 2021. Congressman Chris Stewart (R-UT) released the following statement:
On This Day In History
- 44 BC - Julius Caesar is stabbed to death by 60 conspirators, led by Marcus Junius Brutus.
- 1767 - Andrew Jackson is born.
- 1838 - Alice Cunningham Fletcher is born. She immersed herself in Native American cultures and pioneered ethnological study.
- 1896 - Marion Cuthbert is born. She helped found the National Association of College Women to fight discrimination in higher education and was secretary of the National Board of YWCA and member of NAACP and numerous peace and human rights boards.
- 1913 - The first presidential press conference is held in the Oval Office with President Woodrow Wilson.
- 1933 - Ruth Bader Ginsburg is born.
- 1946 - Eleanor Roosevelt is appointed US representative to the United Nations.
- 1965 - LBJ calls for equal voting rights in an address before a joint session of Congress.
"Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you."
Why couldn't the flower ride its bike?
It lost its petals.
What did the big flower say to the little one?
You're really growing, bud!
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