The Daily Dose: Asian hate crimes keeps rising in the U.S.; A malaria vaccine may have a path forward.

When will the racist coronavirus-induced madness end? Apparently not this year. According to the Associated Press, “Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that became the authority on gathering data on racially motivated attacks related to the pandemic, received 9,081 incident reports between March 19, 2020, and this June. Of those, 4,548 occurred last year, and 4,533 this year. Since the coronavirus was first reported in China, people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent have been treated as scapegoats solely based on their race.” Stigmatization and disease go hand in hand. Sad state of affairs when people should know better.

There’s some exciting news about the development of a possible malaria vaccine. Per Science, “Add malaria to the growing list of infectious diseases that one day may be prevented with labmade antibodies. In an unusual study, nine people who received these monoclonal antibodies were deliberately exposed to mosquitoes carrying the parasite that causes malaria. None became infected—and the protection appears to last for more than half a year. The trial is too small to reach firm conclusions about the efficacy of the monoclonals, and it isn’t a real-world test, but people in the field are impressed by the proof of principle because it opens a new avenue for preventing the deadly disease. ‘It’s great,’ says Dennis Burton, an immunologist at Scripps Research who has developed monoclonal antibodies to prevent HIV infection, COVID-19, and Zika. ‘This is a landmark study.’” Scientists have been searching for an effective malaria vaccine for longer than anyone can imagine.

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If you thought employee COVID-19 vaccination mandates were slam dunks, think again. More and more, companies are facing a balancing act when it comes to ordering employees to get the jab. Per Reuters, “As coronavirus infections rise again, U.S. companies mandating vaccinations are confronting an uncomfortable question rarely asked by an employer – what is an employee’s religious belief?… But with each mandate comes exceptions. Employers have to make reasonable accommodations for staff who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or refuse vaccination because of ‘sincerely held religious beliefs,’ according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).”

The damaging economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to roll across the globe. This time, news coming out of China suggests that one of the biggest shipping ports in the world is set to temporarily shut down thanks to SARS-CoV-2. According to the South China Morning Post, “The world’s largest shipping port by cargo tonnage has shut down one of its key terminals following a confirmed case of Covid-19, putting further strain on the global shipping industry and disrupting supply chains. The news came as container shipping rates from China and Southeast Asia to the east coast of the United States hit a record high of more than US$20,600 per 20-foot equivalent unit (TEU) – the standard measure for freight container volume – according to the Freightos Baltic global container freight index.”

Anthropocene space pollution is a real thing and is growing more perilous by the day. “This growing congestion is drastically increasing the risk of collisions in space. At the European Space Agency’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany, which controls key research spacecraft, hundreds of e-mail alerts arrive each day warning of potential space smash-ups. And, in May, NASA engineers spotted a 5-millimetre-wide hole in one of the International Space Station’s robotic arms, created by a collision with an unknown piece of space junk.” Space X alone has thousands of satellites orbiting Earth. If I were aboard the International Space Station or China’s version, I’d be really worried.

Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.

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