person in laboratory coat holding blue envelopes

DAILY DOSE: Doctor fights for right to spring surprise bills on patients; Tokyo subway powered by renewable energy.

WAY OF THE SLOTH.

The people of Shanghai have been under strict lockdown for four weeks and shows little signs of being lifted completely any time soon. Beijing has suggested that they will try to loosen restrictions a little bit in a few days, depending on a building or compound’s infection rate. Per the Associated Press, “Shanghai city authorities said Wednesday they will start rounds of COVID-19 testing over the next few days to determine which neighborhoods can safely be allowed a limited amount of freedom of movement, as residents in Beijing watch carefully on word for whether the capital city will lock down. On Wednesday, China reported 14,222 new cases, the vast majority of which were asymptomatic. The country is battling its largest outbreak since the pandemic was first reported in Wuhan in late December 2019.” In a couple of weeks, expect the show to shift north. Beijing is on its way toward a similar lockdown. If the authorities should have learned one thing from the West’s botched efforts, it’s that locking down families together only increased the change that entire families were infected and then eventually infected people outside of the family. https://bit.ly/3vHTz9I


A BAD COVID-19 SITUATION CAN STILL GET WORSE.

There are ominous signs that animals may be able to serve as virus reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2, the microbe responsible for Covid-19. Specifically, researchers are seeing significant infections among deer. Per Nature, “It’s not yet clear whether the virus can spread in long chains of infection among deer, or whether deer-to-human transmission could spark outbreaks. But researchers are growing increasingly concerned about the animals becoming a viral reservoir, serving as a recalcitrant source of outbreaks and potentially breeding new variants. Some researchers think that the highly infectious Omicron variant spent time in an animal reservoir before popping up in people.” Scientists are saying that while the news may not be welcome, they aren’t worried yet. And that, of course, is the tell-tale sign that you should start worrying. https://go.nature.com/3ydhS2n


NO SHAME IN HIS GAME.

A Long Island doctor named Daniel Haller is doing everything possible to bring back the right for doctors to resume sending patients bills with “surprise charges.” The Np Surprises Act is popular with Democrats and Republicans alike, probably because it’s popular with their constituencies. Who likes random unexpected bills, right? Per STAT, “Haller, an acute-care surgeon on Long Island in New York, is suing the federal government over the No Surprises Act, a new law that protects people from receiving unexpected bills from out-of-network doctors. He argues the entire law should be thrown out because it violates his constitutional rights to bill patients directly for any “balance of the fair value” of his services, according to his complaint.” Good luck with that one Dr. Haller. https://bit.ly/38vIeBO


SHIBUYA PROOF OF CONCEPT.

Let’s end today’s Daily Dose with some promising news. The Associated Press is reporting that one of Tokyo’s major subway lines is now completely powered by renewable energy. Per the AP, “Tokyo’s Shibuya is famed for its Scramble Crossing, where crowds of people crisscross the intersection in a scene symbolizing urban Japan’s congestion and anonymity. It may have added another boasting right. Tokyu Railways’ trains running through Shibuya and other stations were switched to power generated only by solar and other renewable sources starting April 1. That means the carbon dioxide emissions of Tokyu’s sprawling network of seven train lines and one tram service now stand at zero, with green energy being used at all its stations, including for vending machines for drinks, security camera screens and lighting.” So it may be possible after all. https://bit.ly/3ERS3G8

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


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