DAILY DOSE: Humans littering on Mars even before setting foot there; FDA approves Covid-19 vaccine for children 5 and under.

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AT LAST.

The tortuous crawl towards approval for Covid-19 vaccine approval for children under 5 years of age has finally ended. Parents can now rejoice. Per Reuters, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized two COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5 and under, opening the door to vaccinating millions of the country’s youngest children. The agency authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s (PFE.N), COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years and Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) shot for those 6 months to 17 years. Pfizer’s is already authorized for those over the age of 5.” Whether parents will vaccinate their kids is a whole different story. So far, in the United States, only 29% of children are fully vaccinated. https://reut.rs/3xzk95Y


LITTERBUGS.

Wherever humans go, waste inevitably follows. Just look at Mars. Humans haven’t even set foot on the Red Planet and they’ve already littered the landscape. Per The Guardian, “Nasa’s Perseverance rover typically beams back evocative images of bleak dusty landscapes, red-hued sandstorms and Martian rock samples. So its operators were surprised to receive an image on Monday of a shiny silver object resembling a discarded crisp packet wedged between two rocks. The object, the Nasa team concluded, is a piece of debris discarded by the robotic craft during its touchdown in February 2021.” Depressing in all sorts of ways. https://bit.ly/3HvkTO5


DISASTERS.

Meanwhile, here on Spaceship Earth, the planet seems to be in rebellion. Natural disasters are making  things complicated for portions of the population. Most recently, flooding has ripped through Yellowstone National Park. The Associated Press features a photo essay documenting some of the damage. According to the introduction, “Some of the forces of nature that helped shape Yellowstone National Park into one of America’s most beloved landscapes unleashed a frightening flood this week as warm rains combined with a rapidly melting snowpack to overwhelm waterways… The park evacuated 10,000 visitors and has closed its gates while it assesses damage to bridges, roads, trails and facilities. Residents of hamlets downstream cleaned up the mess from hundreds of swamped homes, pumping and dumping buckets of chunky brown water outside.” https://bit.ly/3N1OnUH


MT. EVEREST MEETS WARMING WEATHER.

Climate change is causing all sorts of havoc for outdoor adventurers. Mt. Everest is the latest victim of warming weather. Per the BBC, “Nepal is preparing to move its Everest base camp because global warming and human activity are making it unsafe. The camp, used by up to 1,500 people in the spring climbing season, is situated on the rapidly thinning Khumbu glacier. A new site is to be found at a lower altitude, where there is no year-round ice, an official told the BBC. Researchers say melt-water destabilises the glacier, and climbers say crevasses are increasingly appearing at base camp while they sleep. https://bbc.in/3N9jcXS


UNKNOWN TREASURES.

There’s a treasure trove of marine biodiversity just off the coast of New York and New Jersey and the U.S. government is weighing whether to declare it a national marine sanctuary. According to the Smithsonian magazine, “Roughly 100 miles off the coast of New York and New Jersey, sperm whales and sea turtles swim gracefully beneath the waves. Deep-sea corals provide shelter for octopuses, sea stars, bivalves and many other colorful aquatic life forms. On the ocean floor, divers explore historic shipwrecks. Known as Hudson Canyon, this idyllic place could soon become the United States’ newest national marine sanctuary, a protected underwater area similar to a national park or monument. This summer, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants the public to weigh in on whether Hudson Canyon should become part of the national marine sanctuary system, which includes 17 sites—15 underwater parks and 2 monuments—across the country.” https://bit.ly/3MWopBX

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

IMAGE CREDIT: NASA.


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