clear glass display counter with foods

The Daily Dose: WHO suggests COVID-19 transmission from frozen food possible; We’re all social media chameleons.

So the newest Mars rover has landed safely and has sent back some pretty amazing video. Now what? Ultimately, the Mars car’s target location is up at a nearby delta but before that, there’s work to be done at its current landing location. Per Science, “Before Perseverance starts the long climb up into the delta, to drill samples that will eventually be returned to Earth, it will examine the rocks beneath its six aluminum wheels. The rover landed near outcrops of rock layers that may have originally been laid down before and after the lake and the delta. The NASA team will probe them for clues to the nature and timing of the brief period when water flowed—and life might have flourished.” Can’t wait for more images from the fourth rock from the Sun. In the meantime, I’ll keep watching that thrilling footage of the rover descending to the planet’s surface.

So apparently the theory that the COVID-19 outbreak in China may have been caused by frozen meat won’t go away. Instead, it appears to be gaining traction, at least among the WHO investigators who have the most influence on the search for SARS-CoV-2’s origin. That doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly started making sense to everyone and there are still a plethora of questions. Per Nature, “The WHO team’s call to investigate infected frozen meat has become confused with suggestions from China that the virus can spread on frozen surfaces. For months, media outlets in the country have pushed the idea that the virus might have arrived in Wuhan on frozen wildlife imported from abroad. Subsequent local outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 have also been linked to imported frozen food, and scientists in China have also published a growing body of evidence that transmission on frozen meat is theoretically possible.” While it is logical to not rule anything out without proof, for the most part, scientists not involved in the WHO investigation see the frozen food chain theory as a red-herring.

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The COVID-19 Task Force gave a somber, if not sobering, press conference suggesting that the streak of declining infection numbers may have drawn to a close. Per STAT, “Biden administration officials on Friday warned of a “very concerning” uptick in Covid-19 cases this week, urging Americans not to let down their guard despite an ongoing vaccination campaign and case rates that are substantially lower than their peak last month. ‘We may be done with the virus, but clearly the virus is not done with us,’ Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a White House press briefing. ‘I know people are tired and they want to get back to life, to normal, but we’re not there yet.’” If the uptick is real, it may represent a plateau for cases at very high numbers. So that’s not great. However, a worse case scenario is that the numbers begin rising again as a result of the relaxation of mitigation measures and the spread of new variants.

In real life, human beings alter their personalities a bit depending on the social situation. A team of researchers wanted to find out whether social media users follow a similar pattern, depending on their platforms. According to the study, “We found that users had a variety of strategies for managing multiple audiences across multiple platforms. Almost all participants actively separated their professional (e.g., LinkedIn) and social (e.g., Facebook or Instagram) oriented platforms typically by self-censorship of posts rather than utilizing audience management tools. Via the repertory grid technique, we revealed a number of more subtle nuances of how participants reflect on how and why they maintain a number of social media identities.” That sounds about right.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend. Let’s be careful out there.

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