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DAILY DOSE: Shanghai Covid-19 cases declining at last; Indian heatwave proof of climate change.


At long last and after much pain, the Covid-19 outbreak in Shanghai appears to be trending the the right direction. New infections have decreased to roughly 7000 cases a day. This means that public health authorities can begin the slow process of unwinding the strict lockdowns enforced as part of Beijing’s Zero-Covid initiative. Per the Associated Press, “The COVID-19 outbreak that has shut down most of Shanghai appears to be waning, with the number of new cases falling below 10,000 a day over the weekend. Authorities have begun a limited easing of a citywide lockdown that has disrupted the lives of millions of residents and dealt at least a temporary blow to China’s economy. Many have been confined to their apartments for three weeks or more. They reported difficulty ordering food deliveries in the early days of the lockdown and higher prices for what they could get.” China’s largest city recorded about 7,000 cases a day on Saturday and Sunday, down from a peak of 27,605 nearly three weeks ago on April 13. Shanghai reported 32 deaths, raising the death toll to 454. Most of the victims have been elderly and many were unvaccinated.


The unprecedented heat tsunami baking India has caused temperatures to reach dangerous levels. People of all ages are taking precautions not to succumb to its effects. Some scientists see it as tangible proof of climate change in India. Per Al-Jazeera, “Heatwaves – with temperatures ranging from 43°C to 46°C – are prevailing in 15 Indian states, including New Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat.Surface land temperatures, meanwhile, have exceeded 60°C over some parts of northwest India, according to satellite data. ‘The extreme climate events are occurring due to climate instability. Nowadays, there are solely extremes whether it is heat, cold, floods or drought. This will occur more often than earlier because of climate change. The duration, intensity, and frequency will also rise in the future,’ Akhilesh Gupta, head of the Climate Change Program at India’s Department of Science & Technology, told Al Jazeera.”


Despite efforts to protect them and their habitats, moths in English woods are seeing significant population decreases. It’s an ominous sign. Per The Guardian, “Moths have declined faster in British woods over the last half-century than on farmland or in cities, despite woodlands having increased and moths being shielded from chemical and light pollution by the trees. Forest populations of moths halved between 1968 and 2016 compared with average national losses of a third, according to a study.” Moths are a well-studied indicator of wider insect declines that recent research has often linked to pesticide use by industrial farming, habitat loss and urban light pollution – none of which directly affect woodlands.


As the pandemic continues to do laps around the world, the cases of long Covid are also accumulating. An article in CNN profiled a number of people suffering from the condition.  “Within about two weeks, [Linda] Timmer had recovered from acute Covid-19 infection. But as she returned to work, she still felt unusual, with problems like overheating, confusion, loss of taste, sound hallucinations and breathlessness. ‘I realized the more I tried to walk or return to normal, my symptoms worsened severely, and I would end up in bed with pain and fatigue for weeks,’ Timmer said. ‘This was the most terrifying time in my life,’ she said.” There are so many similar stories that long Covid cannot be ignored.


Solar flares from our sun can disrupt the electro-magnetic fields here on earth. That means everything from our mobile phones to electrical grids can be thrown for a loop. Twisted magnetic fields carrying streams of hot charged plasma become entwined, then snap and rapidly reorganize. That so-called fast magnetic reconnection releases huge quantities of energy, and Earth is often subject to the accompanying flares, plasma bursts and geomagnetic storms. According to, “Solar physicists led by Yi Hsin Liu of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire have used the MMS data to finally show what happens during fast reconnection. During such an event, the ions and electrons become decoupled from each other and begin to move perpendicular to the sun’s magnetic field lines, creating an unstable energy vacuum through the interplay of electric and magnetic fields. This is called the Hall effect, which is commonly used here on Earth in everything from magnetic locks and sensors to nuclear fusion experiments.”

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

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