The Daily Dose: California wildfires rage on; Apple inches further into medical device space.

The wildfires on the west coast of the United States have added to a miserable 2020. People have lost their lives, their homes, and irreplaceable possessions. Firefighters have been placed under immeasurable strain as a result of their efforts. According to the Associated Press, “This year’s blazes have taxed the human, mechanical and financial resources of the nation’s wildfire fighting forces to an extraordinary degree. And half of the fire season is yet to come. Heat, drought and a strategic decision to attack the flames early combined with the coronavirus to put a historically heavy burden on fire teams.” States affected by the wildfires need help, not criticisms. So do the right thing — we’re looking at you, Federal government. https://bit.ly/3iO4cQs

The United Nations has called out Australia for its responsibility in the extinction of a Great Barrier Reef mammal. Per ABC Australia, “Australia was named alongside Cameroon, the Galapagos and Brazil as countries having suffered at least one extinction in the last decade. The Bramble Cay melomys — a native rodent found on a coral cay in the northern Great Barrier Reef — was officially declared extinct by the Australian Government in 2019, although it was last seen in 2009. It is believed to be the world’s first mammal extinction due to climate change.” Sad but definitely won’t be the last extinction. https://ab.co/32ALs1x

If you haven’t gotten the memo yet, rich people have it better than poor people. The advantages are just too many to detail here. But now you an add access to urban green spaces to the list. According to the Guardian, “While 57% of British adults questioned in a survey for the Ramblers said they lived within five minutes’ stroll of a local park, field or canal path, just 39% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds enjoyed the same proximity to green space.” This isn’t limited to the United Kingdom. We’re guessing it’s a global trend. https://bit.ly/2ZII9n7

There are many people who deny the possibility of long, lasting effects resulting from COVID-19 infection. Yes, most of them appear online, but that just means they’re able to reach more people with their misinformed opinions. There are actually people doing tangible research on the subject of so-called longhaulers. Per Nature, “Doctors are now concerned that the pandemic will lead to a significant surge of people battling lasting illnesses and disabilities. Because the disease is so new, no one knows yet what the long-term impacts will be. Some of the damage is likely to be a side effect of intensive treatments such as intubation, whereas other lingering problems could be caused by the virus itself. But preliminary studies and existing research into other coronaviruses suggest that the virus can injure multiple organs and cause some surprising symptoms.” We like facts and data and people actually putting in work. There are too many opinionators out there. https://go.nature.com/2ZJyg8r

Apple announced its latest iteration of the Apple Watch. The new piece of hardware will be quicker and more powerful, allowing it to run more intricate tasks. One of the areas of improvement is in its healthcare functions. According to Ars Technica, “All this upgraded hardware powers newly announced features like the Blood Oxygen app. This app lets users measure their blood-oxygen saturation in just 15 seconds and takes readings periodically throughout your waking and sleeping life. All of this is aimed at keeping track of respiratory and cardiac health to monitor asthma symptoms and potential heart problems, for example.” The question is how far into the medical devices field Apple can push into without triggering strict FDA oversight of their products. https://bit.ly/2RtAcgS


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