aerial photo of city buildings

DAILY DOSE: Uncertainty in Shanghai as lockdown lacks clarity; Three-parent babies are now legal in Australia.


There’s a lot of unknowns in China’s chief financial hub, even more than there was when the city entered a two phase Covid-19 lockdown. There’s uncertainty among its citizens as neighborhood lockdowns started at different times and the ultimate length of lockdowns remain unknown. Per Sixth Tone, “Shanghai has come to a standstill. The city of nearly 25 million people is all but deserted, and is silent enough that the spring breeze can be heard. There’s a sense of foreboding as COVID-19 infections soar — from a single case on March 1 to over 5,600 on March 30 — at a dramatic rate in a city that had only logged a few hundred locally transmitted infections throughout the pandemic. As cases rose, residential complexes across the city were locked down, while those diagnosed with the virus sent to hospitals and quarantine sites. Men and women in personal protective clothing, nicknamed ‘big white,’ are scattered everywhere, making it feel like time has been set back to 2020.” It’s interesting to note that the eight-day lockdown is meant as time used to facilitate testing. If infection case counts are high – something that seems increasingly likely – the lockdown will stretch far past the eight-day mark.


Businesses in Shanghai are doing everything possible to get in as much money making as possible while they still can. Per Channel News Asia, “In central Shanghai, vegetable sellers and butchers hawked their wares from behind barriers set up ahead of the lockdown and on sidewalks. Restaurants advertised their stock at deep discounts through chat groups, hoping to ease some of their losses. ‘Lockdown super deal!!! 50 per cent off on steaks’, said a pamphlet from a high-end steak house in the city. The city’s two-stage lockdown first begun in districts in the east on Monday and are set to be lifted at 5am on Friday. However some residents told Reuters they were prepared to asked to stay in for longer, especially as the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise.”


The Taal volcano in southern Luzon, Philippines continues to tease possible volcanic events. Per CNN Philippines, “Two phreatomagmatic bursts were recorded from the main crater of Taal Volcano on Thursday morning, state volcanologists said. The first event occurred at 10:39 a.m., the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said in a Facebook post with a video showing Taal’s main crater. In a separate advisory, the agency said another phreatomagmatic event happened at 10:47 a.m. which lasted for more than a minute. Volcanic plumes measuring 500 meters tall were detected during the second burst, Phivolcs noted. Phreatomagmatic explosions result from the interaction between magma — the molten material inside the volcano — and water.” The Taal volcano has erupted regularly since 2019, with a major event taking place in 2020. The area surrounding the volcano are heavily populated.


So-called three-parent babies have been approved in Australia, making mitochondrial donation available. Per ABC, “Mitochondrial donation will become legal in Australia, with a controversial bill passing the Senate after a conscience vote. A bill to allow the technology under what is called ‘Maeve’s Law’, was passed by 37 votes to 17 last night. The law is named in honour of a little girl named Maeve Hood, who has severe mitochondrial disease. Advocates, from affected families to scientific heavyweights, are celebrating the decision. But other experts are calling for caution, with some arguing the decision to legalise the technology was premature.” The life-saving procedure is an IVF technique that replaces a woman’s defective mitochondria with those from another woman’s egg to help her conceive a healthy child.

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

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